back to article Google on piracy: We really, really care

Google has returned some punches in the PR war over YouTube, claiming it has handed over $3bn in royalties from artists using its Content ID system, or $1bn since 2014. But Content ID is actually one of musicians’ biggest beefs. Google’s implementation of Content ID, which "identifies user-uploaded [YouTube] videos to help …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Square Enix, Nintendo and Ministry of Sound seem to be able to find and claim on videos with sub 10 seconds of content I'm pretty sure the Labels could manage it.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google's Full Frontal Lobotomy Search Engline.

    I think if you had chance to compare results from Google Search from pre-2012 to Lobobomized Google Search 2016, you'd remove the 'might' from the final Paragraph.

    A case of closing the Gate behind themelves.

  3. 2460 Something

    And they wonder why people complain about them abusing their monopolistic position. I have no problem with a company that is trying to make money in exchange for services rendered, but when that company effectively blackmails everyone, at that point it should be investigated and fined proportional to their revenue.

    It is a shame they dropped their original mantra of 'Do No Evil'. A company that pervasive could actually set some good precedences, and still be making ridiculous amounts of money.

    1. Uffish


      To quote the NYTimes:-

      To quote the U.S. Supreme Court opinion in the recent Hobby Lobby case: "Modern corporate law does not require for-profit corporations to pursue profit at the expense of everything else, and many do not."

      So Google, "Why ya doin' it"?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mantra

        No,modern corporate law doesn't; but the shareholders generally aren't slow to lawyer up if profit is not being pursued assiduously enough.

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        "So Google, "Why ya doin' it"?"

        Because they can.

        Same reason as any bit of psychopathic corporate behavior, even when the organization is not being run by one.

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    the idea behind Content ID is “great”

    Maybe, but it's implementation is stupid.

    ContentID does no check that the notice is justified. There is no oversight and no recourse. Thousands of fair use videos have been shot down without any say to the process.

    ContentID is just another monopolistic, fascist tool in the hands of the company that cares the least about content.

    Can someone say ironic ?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Illegal File Sharing

    "Fans are constantly uploading music, and YouTube is constantly transmitting the third-party uploads"

    The way this was phrased instantly reminded me of Napster and its ilk. Surely YouTube is way out there on the wrong side of the law by encouraging sharing of copyrighted content without the consent of the copyright owner and profiting directly from that very activity?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Illegal File Sharing

      no generally not, it sounds that way because Orlowski is a blowhard on this subject. Most of this content is too short to monetise in any useful way and contentID is perfectly aggressive enough to catch most of the content on there if people cared enough to implement it. So aggressive that it happily pulls down and steals from fair use content creators. Not that el'reg gives two craps about modern content chained to a bare upgrade to print media.

      1. John Lilburne

        Re: Illegal File Sharing

        OK it is no secret that I despise Google, I do not want any of my content on any of their sites. Every one of the 10,000+ pages on my site has meta tags googlebot noimageindex. Were I a musician I would not be able to use ContentID without allowing Google a license. In effect if don't license stuff to Google you can't use Content ID you have to play whack-a-mole. This was the whole point of the bullying that Zoe Keating had to endure from them the other year.

        Google ContentID is a protection racket.

        Google parctices Lawfare where they engage in expensive legal cases backed up by ther $billions that they know musicians, photographers, and authors can compete against. Simple in order to appropriate more content to themselves.

        Google truly is a scummy company of the worst sort.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Illegal File Sharing

      It's also the preservation of history.

      Thosands and thousands of previously unreleased tracks were destroyed a few years back "Because they can...". The fellow who actually posessed the masters faught for preservation. Court sided with the label because they had the rights. It was a musical book burning. All the historic early jazz and blues history erased, because... they... could.

      Piracy fulfills a moral obligation at times and can save people from their own stupidity.

      1. John Lilburne

        Re: Illegal File Sharing

        Well that is the point of property, the owner has the right to destroy it. One sees it all the time when factories are pulled down, parks are turned into housing estates, trees chopped down, etc, etc.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Illegal File Sharing

          "Well that is the point of property, the owner has the right to destroy it. One sees it all the time when factories are pulled down, parks are turned into housing estates, trees chopped down, etc, etc."

          Your comparison is all the more reason that certain items of history belong to the people, not any one person or group.

  6. Bob Dole (tm)

    Time for a change...

    It really wasn't that long ago when the only way performers made money was by actually performing live. The ability to record sound changed that and for some reason it became not just accepted but expected that you could get rich off of a single performance by simply selling the recording.

    In today's world I think we've come full circle. Artists are going to have to tour, sell tickets and do live performances to show off their craft in order to make money. They should stop recording "records" and transform back into performers. Sure, publish a few songs so people can get an idea of what you are like but those are freebies. Instead the need to focus their energies on deriving revenue from actual ticket sales.

    I find it more than a little interesting that this is exactly how the top performers make the bulk of their cash.

    1. Hugh McIntyre

      Re: Time for a change...

      The difference is that back in the day when performers could only make money from live performance, people were not listening to music at home because there were no recordings to buy. So it's not surprising live performance was the only way to get paid (or composer fees/royalties).

      Now we do have recordings the situation is different. And the question is whether it's OK for people to enjoy the benefits of a musician's (or artist's) results without paying when the artist may be living in poverty. There's no question that if nobody listens to a musician then they should not expect to be paid, but if thousands of people (or more) do want the music and can afford to pay, then it's not obvious why the artist cannot ask for payment. What if they don't want to go on tour?

      1. Bob Dole (tm)

        Re: Time for a change...

        I don't think the artists personal situation with regards to poverty or not has anything at all to do with the discussion.

        Quite frankly, most artists contract away the bulk of their rights to the recording labels anyway. This is the first problem that the artists need to solve - even the "indie" labels take at least 50% of the "profits". This leaves musicians with very very little to show for their work even if people are buying their recordings.

        So, let's be clear on who the actors are in this play. Primarily it's a fight between record labels and the internet. My solution is for artists to stop using labels; ignore trying to distribute CDs or downloads and instead focus on playing live shows. The better the show, the easier it will be to get into larger venues.

        1. Hugh McIntyre

          Re: Time for a change...

          Presumably the indie labels would argue that they are providing a bunch of work for the 50% including advertising, order fulfillment, production assistance, etc. The artists are certainly free to stop using labels, find a label offering a better deal, or set up their own label. (Several large rock bands in the past did set up their own labels after releasing the ~ 3 albums their initial contracts required, once they were famous).

          Likewise, artists are free to rely on your "solution" of only live performance revenue if they want. But some musicians clearly want to be paid for recordings as well, either directly or by using a label to handle the details. You're free to boycott such musicians/labels, just like you're free to give your own recordings away for free if you're a musician. But not free to force others to follow the same model if they don't want to.

          Now, if 99% of musicians switch to live-performance-only then the few remaining die-hards may find it hard to charge money, much like Open Source means there's no big market for paid web browsers and servers any more. Not sure this would be a good thing though, not least because payment-for-music means that consumers can direct payment only to the good bands.

          In terms of: "I don't think the artists personal situation with regards to poverty or not has anything at all to do with the discussion." -- sorry, but I do think it's relevant that if thousands/millions of people are enjoying someone's music, telling that musician "you get nothing, go live in poverty" is wrong.

  7. N2

    In other news

    Google seeks to copy millions of books without permission.

    Pot kettle & black spring to mind.

  8. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    "YouTube operation were to drive down royalty rates for creators."

    Don't know.

    But it's been very hand that it does (for Google) has it not?

  9. tiggity Silver badge

    Over the top

    I'm used to Orlowski & his anti Google view

    However, the twisting of language is a bit excessive e.g.

    " leverages three of Google’s internet platform monopolies. Google’s monopoly search engine drives music lovers to YouTube, Google’s monopoly video service, where the money is returned to artists from Google’s advertising monopoly"

    1. Google search engine is not a monopoly, Google is the most popular search engine but people are free to use Bing etc.

    2. You Tube does not have the monopoly on being a video sharing site, I'm sure Mr. Orlowski will have heard of Vimeo (especially as they have had algorithms to try & detect copyright infringing music in video uploads for quite a while. Many big name music companies publish promo videos there.). Friends who use Facebook seem to consume a lot of videos via that site - again not exactly a minor web presence.

    3. I'm sure Google does not have the monopoly on adverts, see the Bing search engine as an example of non Google ads

    A bit emotive saying "A search for “Katy Perry MP3” returned nine illegal sites in its first 10 organic search results" - by illegal I am assuming the author means there is a suspicion of the site potentially encouraging copyright infringement?

  10. adam payne

    Content ID is stupid

    Google claims that ContentID is effective, with “over 98 per cent of copyright issues [are] resolved via ContentID”, and that the identification success rate is 99.5 per cent.

    ContentID is so effective that one of my Chiptune videos was flagged for copyright. Apparently the copyright holder was a Bollywood company that has had nothing to do with computer games and didn't even exist when the Chiptune was made.

    When I contested the claim the Bollywood company didn't even bother to respond so the video was allowed to stand with ads removed.

    Google ContentID(TM) now with built in time machine and bogus copyright flags.

  11. dmacleo

    the real issue here....

    someone wanting a katy perry mp3...

  12. Dan 55 Silver badge

    So sign an advertising contract...

    ... for 1 (one) advert to be served per year for the total value of 1 (one) pence, or whatever the bare minimum you can get away with is.

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