back to article YouTube supremo says vid-streaming-slash-piracy giant can't afford EU's copyright overhaul

YouTube, a company "completely sustained by pirated content" according to Google executives prior to its 2006 acquisition, is warning that a proposed revision of Europe's copyright directive could spell the end of online video sharing as we know it. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki in a blog post on Monday denounced changes being …

  1. LDS Silver badge

    So what?

    Even selling stolen goods at 10% of the price would bring many customers to any shop. Just, it's illegal. Or any TV station that could broadcast any content without paying the owners while selling ads would become rich quite soon.

    And I really don't believe people watching less pirated video and more original contents on YouTube is a issue - but for Google and its profits.

    1. whitepines

      Re: So what?

      It's not like the rights holders have made it easy or convenient to pay for and access their work.

      YouTube: Search, play, enjoy, move on

      Movie studio: Sign up for monthly rental payments, agree to onerous legal mumbo-jumbo, sit through various threats and advertisements for stuff you don't care about, then watch the work in low quality on specific approved hardware devices under strictly controlled conditions.

      In the stolen goods analogy, it would be more akin to having to engage in an inner city drug deal to buy the legitimate product. Sorry, but this mess is all on Hollywood's shoulders.

      1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

        Re: So what?


        It's not like the shops have made it easy or convenient to buy stuff

        Shoplifting - search for stuff in shop, put it in pocket, move on.

        Shopping - search for stuff in shop, queue to pay, find wallet, put credit card in machine, tap PIN, wait for receipt, pay credit card bill, etc.

        Sorry, but this shoplifting mess is all on the shops' shoulders.

        1. whitepines

          Re: So what?

          Nah, I think you miss the point. Let's update that analogy for an industry that actually adapted:

          Go to Amazon. Click on item to buy. Puchase item with same day delivery. Get item that's all yours and you can do whatever you want with it.

          For that matter, buying music tracks. Click, click, download, plays anywhere. Even if it's slightly easier to pirate music, why have the police on your tail (major inconvenience, jail!)? That's where having a product that is easy to buy (and for multimedia, actually own a copy of) helps cut down on piracy significantly.

          Just try that with video....and then remember that for many people piracy, for all its downsides (and illegality) is still a more convenient way to view something. Now that's an industry that just won't adapt no matter what happens!

          1. LDS Silver badge

            "Just try that with video."

            Order a Blue-Ray on Amazon?

            If for "convenient" you mean "I don't have to pay for it" - you're right.

            1. Zakhar

              Re: "Just try that with video."

              ... Which blue-ray I cannot watch on my Linux machines with VLC because of stupid DRMs.

              I used to watch DVD I legally borrowed at my local DVD Shop... not anymore with Blu Rays, which makes the points of this argument.

            2. whitepines

              Re: "Just try that with video."

              "Order a Blue-Ray on Amazon?"

              And then you have to watch it on an approved player, with an approved TV, and sometimes with an Internet connection to the authorisation servers. Which means buying all that overpriced tat in the first place (which doesn't really work right half the time because of HDCP) when I've got a perfectly good computer with perfectly adequate GPU and screen that is more than capable of playing the same content, DRM-free, in 4K HD. As long as it's pirated, not bought, since Hollywood prevents sale of DRM-free video files and my fancy computing setup is Linux based without ME or PSP.


        2. jason_derp Bronze badge

          Re: So what?

          I wholeheartedly agree! I can't wait for the day where I can just pick up my stuff and leave, or when I can get my groceries delivered so I don't have to even bother with the headache of a store!

        3. NotAnotherAccount

          Re: So what?

          Except brick and mortar is suffering for this very reason. Amazon and other online retailers are decimating the high street exactly because it is more convenient.

          1. ukaudiophile

            Re: So what?

            The decimation of the high street will get much, much worse if councils and government don't realise that people have better things to do with their spare time than waste it waiting for uncomfortable, overpriced public transport to get them to shops, or keep treating the motorist like a cash cow to fleece every time they leave the house, get stuck in traffic jams, have speed cameras on every street, only to park in overpriced or heavily time limited free parking whilst predatory traffic wardens are ready to pounce if only a few minutes late.

            Why should I be bothered with this? Why right has the high street to expect to survive with this attitude. Let the high street die, it's outlived it's use. I'll take click and deliver to the door by Amazon any day.

            1. Patrician

              Re: So what?

              While I fully agree with you with regards to the high street's eventual fate, I do wonder how you would expect the road systems to handle the traffic if, as you seem to be suggesting, there were to be a traffic/parking free for all in our towns and cites?

              My local county town for instance is a complete nightmare to navigate through, as the road system just cannot handle the numbers of vehicles attempting to pass through it; if parking wasn't strictly regulated and people parked wherever they wanted, there would be gridlock within minutes.

              Parking schemes, in the main, are not there "to fleece" the motorist but to attempt to keep our cities roads, "planned" in times before Mr Ford setup his factories, at least passable and keep modern traffic moving.

      2. LDS Silver badge

        "YouTube: Search, play, enjoy, move on"

        False argument. YouTube is easy exactly because it doesn't give a damn about who uploads what, all it needs to tracks are its ads and your habits.

        It's far easier to run an illegal business than a legal one, sure, to run a legal one you have to follow the rules, and it implies some overhead.

        And if you talk about quality, YouTube is the lowest quality. Still most people prefer stolen low quality stuff for free than pay for better ones. After all, the whole Google business is built on giving away low quality stuff for free (the only exception the search engine, designed well before they understood what model worked for them).

        While I have little sympathy for most of the movie and music industry, still taking advantage of and making profits from someone else work is theft. If you don't like how Hollywood & C. sell their stuff, avoid them fully. There isn't anything you can't live without. Just hope someone will steal your work one day and greatly profits from it, and let's see how you will feel...

      3. steviebuk Silver badge

        Re: So what?

        And purchase a DVD or BluRay and sit and watch the Anti-piracy warnings, despite you having purchased said movie/TV Show. Yet pirate it & all that is removed. When a pirate gives a better quality service than the content providers, you'll always going to have an issue.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "and sit and watch the Anti-piracy warnings"

          Ah, those few seconds really kills you... I don't know how I could really stand them, my god. While Google ads and tracking are sooooooo goooooooood I don't know how I could live without. And those antipiracy warnings were added when pirating became a real issue. They are useless, but are a legal protection to avoid those trying to assert "I didn't know it was illegal, your honor!". Just like writing on a cigarette pack that they kill. Do you smoke?

          Please, tell the truth. You don't want to pay for anything. You like the free stuff, no matter where it comes from.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "and sit and watch the Anti-piracy warnings"

            They are useless, but are a legal protection to avoid those trying to assert "I didn't know it was illegal, your honor!". Just like writing on a cigarette pack that they kill. Do you smoke?

            since I place a DVD in my PC and immediately rip it to my server, I have never seen any if these 'trailers, of which you speak....

            I really didn't know it was illegal, your honour...

      4. strum

        Re: So what?

        >Search, play, enjoy, move on

        I'm no fan of MPAA, but that attitude emphasises the problem - you do not value work that has taken a great deal of time and money to create. You treat a cellphone cat video the same as a $500m blockbuster movie - and vice versa.

        Yo do not have a right to access anything and everything you want. Yes, the producers of commercial material don't make it easy to play by their rules - but they are their rules, not yours.

        1. whitepines

          Re: So what?

          "I'm no fan of MPAA, but that attitude emphasises the problem - you do not value work that has taken a great deal of time and money to create."

          On the contrary, I'd pay *more* for a non-DRM encumbered movie file that I could buy *once*, archive, and literally hit play on whatever computer, set top box, etc. I have and have the movie start playing right away in full quality, even if the studio was out of business or the title was "out of print". I've even tried asking the studios directly if I could buy a product like that (basically something like a modern version of the old VHS/BetaMax tape) with no response at all.

          You seem to miss the part where this is not being offered, and that the terms of access to a very large part of our common culture and heritage are, frankly, outrageous. Copyright had balances in place specifically to prevent the permanent destruction of culture, and DRM has blown all those balances to bits.

          When I can buy said DRM free file, play it on my Linux boxes, etc. I will. Until then, printed books are still available and the telly still works with OTA....double oops, that latter one!

        2. Teiwaz

          Re: So what?

          Search, play, enjoy, move on

          I'm no fan of MPAA, but that attitude emphasises the problem - you do not value work that has taken a great deal of time and money to create.

          Oh, of course, we need to bow thrice at the altar and open vein to sign contract to potentially watch a month or twos worth of streaming content when all is wanted is the one.

          A cellphone cat video is equal to a $500m blockbuster movie if you can't guarantee you connection is not going to stutter through four fifths of it or or force you to wait an extra thirty minutes while the little circle in the middle of the viewer spins around a still image.

    2. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

      Re: So what?

      I watch a lot of YouTube videos - and as far as I am aware none of them are pirated. A badly thought out copyright rule may remove one of my best forms of entertainment (certainly better than the rubbish on TV). There are also a lot of instructional videos on YouTube - if they are removed because of the EU copyright rubbish then that will harm a number of people who use them.

      A number of media firms use extracts or single songs on YouTube to advertise their products (Sony and UMG are among the companies doing this).

      YouTube is also the shop window for a number of media companies who use videos on YouTube to show their capabilities to potential new clients.

      There is also a lot of performances of out of copyright songs uploaded by the performing artist.

      There is an old rule in law which should be applied - it is better that 10 guilty men go free than one innocent man be jailed.

      (Most of the current commercial films and music is so bad that there is no point in pirating it - even party political broadcasts are better!!!)

      1. msknight Silver badge

        Re: So what?

        Sorry Duncan, I have to disagree.

        Shed loads of content on YouTube is pirated. I see it frequently. Channels go down, and new ones come up to replace them. That includes music piracy, and piracy of other people's videos. There is a lot of copyrighted content on YouTube.

        YouTube actually have sod all control of their platform. Remember Alex Jones whose supposed to be banned from the platform? I'm currently tracking... fourteen channels re-broadcasting his live streams. Hang on, one channel just got banned outright. Thirteen.

        YouTube actually have a very poor control of their platform, and I'm wondering how long it will be, before advertisers wake up to this, and that YouTube's comforting words about advert placement and figures, are actually worth nothing.

        Also, as a creator, the false positives are sickening. I'm getting false copyright claims from their bots (and I know it's the bots because the videos are hit with strikes before they are published) and then I've got a battle to get those claims revoked. The YouTube content scanning system, from where I'm sitting, is a blunderbus that isn't even pointed at the barn door.

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          @ msknight

          "Shed loads of content on YouTube is pirated"

          I do not disagree. Take it down and be done with it.

          But SciShow, PBS Space Time, Brainy Dose and shedloads of others are perfectly legitimate and very interesting.

          What is asked is not to close YouTube, it's to clean it up. And as I pay for my films, I see no problem in outing the pirates. On the other hand, I see a very big problem in the rampant abuse of the DMCA that YouTube exerts absolutely no control over. So out with the fucking DCMA and in with proper copyright control.

          1. Sampler

            Re: @ msknight

            I'd like proper copyright control, the DMCA auto flag stuff is ridiculous, I've had several video's flagged at the moment of upload for non-copyright violations but the code has decided otherwise.

            My last one was a bicycle event, I was cycling along with some friends on the Sydney to 'Gong 90k ride, not even four minutes of a nice down hill and interaction with friends, happened to be near someone with a bluetooth speaker playing a song barely audible in the background, in fact, I had to watch the video a few times with the sound cranked to eleven to even pick it out.

            It's all a pain in the ass as the monetise or disable something or other. I actually watch a fair bit of original content on YouTube and don't recall watching anything pirate, but then, I'm also in Australia so not affected by this, but, would welcome a change to how copyright is handled as apparently it's not working to prevent copyright infringement and the false positives are very annoying even for us casuals so god knows what it's like for a professional..

            1. Diogenes

              Re: @ msknight

              It was funny when NASA had its Mars landing videos flagged for DCMA violations by umpteen hundred news organisations for footage that it supplied the news organisations, & which, because it was NASA was actually in the public domain.

            2. LDS Silver badge

              "I'd like proper copyright control, the DMCA auto flag stuff is ridiculous"

              That shows exactly how the YouTube model is broken - copyright laws have fair use exceptions, but of course YouTube is not interested in allowed only original contents which could contain fair use.

              They prefer to hide their big revenue streams from plain copyright violations behind a finger, letting companies chase dancing toddlers and protecting big violators.

          2. msknight Silver badge

            Re: @ pascal monett

            The problem for YouTube is that cleaning it up, will destroy their business model.

            They get more adverts from a bootleg of the latest music hits, than they do from a video of me repairing a walkman. If they clean it up... then the income goes down the pan. That's the problem.

            Personally, I'm also on Vimeo, where I pay for the privilege of having a channel. THAT is the proper business model, I believe. What should happen, in my eyes, is that every channel on YouTube should be charged for its existence, and rely on its viewers paying for the higher tier content.

            Like I do now... I am a patron of a few channels. What I pay is affordable to me, and I get access to extra content which the non-subscribers don't see. I also get access to non-video content like subscriber blogs, etc. - the combined number of people like me, enables a living income for the content creators.

            YouTube's current model actually penalises creators who use other platforms for income at the moment. That stifles the creators and limits them to video.

            The whole model is selfish, inflexible, unpoliceable and doomed to fail.

            1. gnarlymarley

              Re: @ pascal monett

              The problem for YouTube is that cleaning it up, will destroy their business model.

              They get more adverts from a bootleg of the latest music hits, than they do from a video of me repairing a walkman. If they clean it up... then the income goes down the pan. That's the problem.

              The reason for this is that some people seek it out. Back in the day (a few decades ago) the music industry tried to block MP3s, and when they started to release their content on MP3 instead of CD, mysteriously folks started getting their content from the music industries instead of the pirates. For me, I have no need of anything from the music industry (as I have already purchased any CD that is of interest to me). I imagine that folks will keep doing this as it appears to be the reason why folks upload pirated content up to youtube. One thing that folks have not accounted for is the "free advertising" from those of us would would run across pirated stuff and then seek out the original source.

              1. LDS Silver badge

                "folks started getting their content from the music industries instead of the pirates"

                Are you sure? Youtube is also used to listen to a lot of pirated music.... while there are a lot of legal video streaming services as well.

          3. rmason

            Re: @ msknight

            @Pascal Monett

            YouTube all but admitted they wouldn't be able to keep the lights on without the pirated stuff. It is *the* primary use for youtube for massive sections of society.

            IF 80%+ of all YouTube content disappeared, it follows that so would a large percentage of users, because they are there to consume that content. Teenagers use it for music with no payment required, entire seasons of TV shows are available as well as movies etc.

            The advertisers are playing for those eyeballs, those eyeballs are, mostly, only there to view the stuff that would be removed.

          4. David Nash

            Re: @ msknight

            There may be shedloads of pirated stuff on YT but there is also shedloads of either original or licensed material and we'll lose a valuable resource if it went away.

            Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

            1. LDS Silver badge

              "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater."

              Again, you mean Youtube is not a viable business without pirated contents?

              So an illegal operation should be not touched if they have a small legal outlet - i.e. like some mafia activities?

              1. David Nash

                Re: "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater."

                No, that's not what I was saying. Not sure if previous commenters would agree with you.

                I was just expressing my desire for the non-pirated stuff to continue. I don't see why they can't make it a viable business, perhaps they should move it all to the premium YT service and close the free service. As long as the non-pirate stuff is available and the premium fee wasn't silly, I'd pay, same as I pay for Spotify.

                I've never understood using YT for music anyway, it's really inefficient and who sits there watching the music videos?

        2. onefang

          Re: So what?

          "YouTube actually have a very poor control of their platform,"

          They don't even have good control of their adverts. Youtube always shows me adverts in Russian, for goods and services available in Russia as far as I can tell. I'm not in Russia, I'm not Russian, I don't speak Russian. All those adverts are entirely wasted on me.

          "The YouTube content scanning system, from where I'm sitting, is a blunderbus that isn't even pointed at the barn door."

          In my case, for the advert system, the barn door isn't even on the same continent.

          1. Rattus Rattus

            Re: So what?

            YouTube has ads? Huh.

        3. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: So what?

          Bless Alex, and his Gay Frogs, may he croke forever!

        4. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: So what?

          @ msknight

          "Shed loads of content on YouTube is pirated"

          Shed loads of content on the internet is pirated. I wonder how long until the sledgehammer comes down on that

        5. jmch Silver badge

          Re: So what?

          "YouTube actually have a very poor control of their platform"

          Absolutely this. Not because they can't, but because they have no incentive to do so. With multibillion $$ revenues they can afford to hire an army of human analysts who can double-check on videos flagged up be their algorithms. They could easily slap down vexatious claims that against 'fair-use' scenarios. They can quickly identify and ban content illegal that is constantly re-uploaded. Yes, it's a whack-a-mole but if that's the way the platform works, that's what YouTube needs to do to keep it clean.

          But they don't, because right now more views = more income and they are screwing both advertisers who have no idea how many real people are viewing their ads, AND the copyright holders who get a blackmailed to accept a pittance for their material (otherwise we won't take down anything breaching your copyright) AND original content creators who can't even monetise any hits on their videos unless they have huge volumes (and even then Google passes on a pittance compared to what it collects from ads). Policing their platform properly would not only cost them money, it would reduce their income so of course they won't do it.... UNLESS they are forced to by making them truly liable for content. So good on the EU for clamping down on them.

        6. gnarlymarley

          Re: So what?

          Shed loads of content on YouTube is pirated.

          There maybe lots of pirated junk on youtube, but there are some of us folks that do not have the time to seek it out, so we do not see it. All of the youtube videos that I see, all make some sort of comment about copyright and attempt to silence videos or blur background pictures. This means that I do not see the content.

          Now back in the day when I would see something of interest, I would attempt first to see out a legitimate channel before finally giving up and going to the reupload. Any more these days youtube has raised the cap on how many viewers needed before you can "monetize" your videos, so it should no longer be worth it unless you can nab enough stuff to get youtube to pay you money for it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So what?

        All my YouTube videos are categorised as "unlisted" - so they only get viewed a few times by family and friends who want to see my various seasonal decorations.

        So it was a surprise to see that one from earlier in the year had been marked as "monetised by copyright holder". It identified a piece of music that was unknown to me.

        It was a short video of my neighbour playing with her kids in the snow taken from my window. She wanted it uploaded so that she could send the link to her parents.

        The copyright issue was because the lounge radio in the background happened to be tuned to Classic FM. Fortunately YouTube provided an option to remove the audio track - and at some point the video will be deleted when my neighbour decides all her family have seen it.

        1. Giovani Tapini

          Re: So what?

          @AC even a few seconds of music can attract the bot blunderbuss, even if it is incidental as in your case. It makes posting anything involving gaming, out at the fairground or shopping, night out etc almost impossible.

          How many public spaces now have background muzak in the background. The blunderbuss does not work, nor is it identifying real pirated content. I've seem TV programmes simply modified with a picture frame to avoid the controls.

          To be fair on google they will probably always be behind in the arms race, copyright holders should also not insist on nitpicking a few seconds of background in otherwise entirely non violating content.

          I can't see either side reaching a satisfactory conclusion though.

      3. LDS Silver badge

        "A badly thought out copyright rule may remove"

        Why? You assert you don't watch pirated contents. Any video that isn't pirated will stay there, and you will be able to keep on watching it. Instructional videos that don't infringe copyright - and remember there are a lot of fair use exceptions - they will stay there, just like any promotional video uploaded there with full rights, so what are your you talking about?

        Or do you mean that without pirated contents YouTube is not a viable business and will collapse?

        1. gnarlymarley

          Re: "A badly thought out copyright rule may remove"

          Any video that isn't pirated will stay there, and you will be able to keep on watching it. Instructional videos that don't infringe copyright - and remember there are a lot of fair use exceptions - they will stay there, just like any promotional video uploaded there with full rights, so what are your you talking about?

          Under the current laws and current system setup, there are instructional videos that fall under fair use that is getting removed. I will name EEVblog as one of them due to some of his video which catch "bad actors" on the fundraiser sites. So are you saying that by adding more laws, we will start having actual fair use treated properly? I think what you would actually see is that more people would abuse your new law to their personal advantage.

      4. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: So what?

        It maybe "Better", but it hardly means that we don't lock up innocent People who #dindunuffen

      5. big_D Silver badge

        Re: So what?

        @Duncan McDonald, sorry, every video you watch has copyright. It is automatic assigned to the creator for new material.

        If you watch a "compilation" video of snippits from other people, that is an infringement of copyright, unless the compiler has received a waiver from every single film maker who's clips he has used - and yes, that means Vine compilations, dashcams, pop videos, silly accidents, sports coverage etc.

        If a person hasn't uploaded original content that they themselves have filmed or for which they have bought the copyright or a license to reproduce, that video is in breach of copyright.

        YouTube knows this, Google knows this, most people making the videos know this - and legitimate vloggers get permission, before they include other people's clips in their videos. But it is a lot of work for Google, because they let YouTube build up its volume on the back of copyright infringement, instead of finding a way at the beginning to vet content and scale that up with the service.

        No they are faced with running an illegal service and they can't be arsed to do anything about it, so they are threatening to throw their toys out the pram.

        And, yes, I do watch about half a dozen YouTube channels, but they all show their own original content.

        1. msknight Silver badge

          Re: So what?

          There is, actually a contract section which applies. Unfortunately, there are two terms of service documents for YouTube, and I'm not really sure which of the two versions are actually in force. (EDIT - they might have sorted this out, finally)

          Part of 6.c. of the second link ... " You also hereby grant each user of the Service a non-exclusive license to access your Content through the Service, and to use, reproduce, distribute, display and perform such Content as permitted through the functionality of the Service and under these Terms of Service."

          The trick is the, "through the functionality of the service".. so if you download the video in order to then use it in one of your videos which you then upload... you're out of 6.c. because you've gone outside the service in order to mash up the video. So none of this is very straightforward.

          I recorded a video on the problem here - - but it does appear that they might... finally... have actually synchronised the two terms of service.

          ie. even though your uploaded work is copyrighted the instant you upload it... the simple act of uploading it to youtube, automatically grants every other youtube viewer the ability to use and reproduce it.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: it is better that 10 guilty men go free

        it's great for google to live off the back of this noble premise, for ever.

      7. gnarlymarley

        Re: So what?

        I watch a lot of YouTube videos - and as far as I am aware none of them are pirated. A badly thought out copyright rule may remove one of my best forms of entertainment (certainly better than the rubbish on TV). There are also a lot of instructional videos on YouTube - if they are removed because of the EU copyright rubbish then that will harm a number of people who use them.

        Sorry Duncan, I have to agree with you.

        There have been a number of original youtube artists that I watch that have been labeled as copyright violations. In the firewall world, there are two kinds of packets, false-positives and false-negatives. One means you get a copyrighted video through and the other means you block something that is not copyrighted. If as msknight says we will have a fine line that will never have any false catches (and I mean either direction), then the blocking would be okay. The problem is that there are always false catches and some of us that completely avoid the copyright music, pictures, or videos, keep getting caught in its cross hairs.

        Also, I have to partially disagree with msknight. Mainly because the above where I note that catch all rules everything, youtube would need to hire 24,000 people (400 hours of video uploaded each minute) just to track all the videos. Also, due to human error, might need to double that so we can have atleast two people check every video. Now you can argue that they need blocked until otherwise specified, but that would mean the end of live streaming, even from Alex Jones as one would not be able to trust that he himself is not uploading "copyrighted content".

        1. jmch Silver badge

          Re: So what?

          "youtube would need to hire 24,000 people (400 hours of video uploaded each minute)"

          Not necessarily. They can have some automation to flag potentially copyrighted content plus anyone can flag any content they think is their copyright and this would also go for human review. Also if there is a 2-hour movie, it won't take a human reviewer the entire 2 hours to understand that it's copyrighted. So it would require considerably less than 24,000 people to do the reviewing.

          It's not that they can't it's that they choose not to

  2. msknight Silver badge


    ... I believe they are trying to put the frighteners on. And based on past behaviour, I wouldn't put it past them to go overboard deliberately, in order to stir up the hornets nest.

    To be honest, this was coming someday. If the EU gives in now, then they might as well call it game over and hand over control of government to the corporates.

    1. itzman

      Re: Personally...

      If the EU gives in now, then they might as well call it game over and hand over control of government to the corporates

      The Corporates already run the EU. who else is actually interested in DRM and copyright - the pleb on the street?


  3. LenG

    Too hard

    As I understand it, Google is arguing it shouldn't have to obey the law because it is too difficult. I should try that out next time I get caught for illegal parking - "Sorry, your honour, but it was too difficult to find legal parking". Or maybe I shouldn't.

    1. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: Too hard

      "Google is arguing it shouldn't have to obey the law because it is too difficult."

      Naw. It's more like a community that decides to ticket/tow illegally parked delivery vehicles being warned by a delivery company that if they start doing so, no one will make deliveries in their community.

      Presumably, the EU -- if it stands its ground -- will not get copyright holders paid(more). Instead it'll result in some Europeans using proxy servers/VPNs to view You-Tube and many more no longer viewing the videos. Legally I imagine that either the European clients or the non-European proxy/VPN or both will be breaking the law, but I can't envision it being enforced except maybe selectively.

      Personally, I've never thought You-Tube videos of commercial performances were remotely legal. But neither do I think that -- in the very long run -- Copyright laws are workable in most contexts.

      1. onefang

        Re: Too hard

        "Personally, I've never thought You-Tube videos of commercial performances were remotely legal."

        Depends on who put it on Youtube. After Taylor Swift put on a concert in a sports stadium near me that was close enough to hear, but not close enough to hear clearly, I realised that as far as I know, I had not ever before heard any of her music. I figured I'd give her the benefit of the doubt. So I went to Youtube, and watched a playlist of Taylor Swift videos that had been uploaded on her own channel. It sounds plausible that her own promotional channel can legally upload her own videos, but you never know. It even included a video of a concert, professionally produced, not just the result of one of the many phones I saw recording it. So a legal upload of her commercial performances.

      2. Eguro

        Re: Too hard

        Is this not a situation where capitalism might actually be good for something?

        YT: "Well we'll just leave the EU then!"

        EU: "Oh noes... What should we do"

        Group of EU Citizens: "We'll start our own streaming service with blackjac... a slightly altered system and the possibility for content creators on YT to also upload to our service for both the EU audience and beyond."

        YT: "But that'll mean videos on your platform will be viewable by both EU and non-EU citizens... That's a better value-offer for content creators than we're offering... Oh no!"

        YT melts away/fixes itself.

        (or maybe an existing platform will do it. Whatever)

        1. Spazturtle

          Re: Too hard

          That'w won't happen because nobody in the EU could afford to set it up and run it. Having to review every single video before it can be uploaded is prohibitively expensive.

        2. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Too hard

          @ Eguro

          "Is this not a situation where capitalism might actually be good for something?"

          I think you might have capitalism wrong. If ABC are not willing to take this on due to the oppressive regulations then what are the chances someone will be daring enough to make it, or that anyone would care for the limited and extremely over careful content?

          Regulation can kill capitalism (actually this part is markets not capitalism but anyway).

      3. gnarlymarley

        Re: Too hard

        Naw. It's more like a community that decides to ticket/tow illegally parked delivery vehicles being warned by a delivery company that if they start doing so, no one will make deliveries in their community.

        Ummm, deliveries will still happen. The catch is that they will be by someone like the mafia who will enjoy the higher pay. There are a lot of thrill seekers out there that will attempt to deliver and try to get away with it.

        Of course, in this case, google may just block all IPs in Europe and withdraw its presence, just like it is heading for the android EU stupidness. The VPNs will need to stay out of Europe and even if they are breaking the law there, they will never be caught. This lack of presence means the jobs move to other parts of the world, so less employment in Europe.

        So what would be the point of a law that does not stop copyright criminal activity?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: LenG

      New Law. You must first check everything you say, post, upload or create against all known works of media, fiction, writing, film, audio, music and IP in existence. If your argument is "but I won't put any existing IP in my used content", well, lets hope no music, images, infrared influence or prior art exist for *anything* you do.

      Because even "Or maybe I shouldn't" has a million hits on Google. So who said it first, should they have copyright? Should you be banned from saying it?

      I totally agree that uploading existing content, passing off, and counterfeiting should not be allowed. But a lot of people here are painting themselves in a massive corner saying *everything* is infringing and must be checked prior!

      1. LDS Silver badge

        "You must first check everything you say"

        You should make some effort to understand what copyright really is, and how really works - and what "fair use" exceptions are. Otherwise, your just spreading FUD.

    3. The Nazz

      Re: Too hard

      Interesting comment that about "illegal parking". Yes, traffic wardens exist and yes, people frequently get ticketed, those which stick* are almost always entirely their fault for their chosen action.

      But, i would be willing to wager that less than 5% of illegal parking is ticketed. I could go out now, 9pm in the evening and within minutes find hundreds of cars parked illegally which won't get ticketed.

      So, should we ban all motorists because some park illegally and get away with it?

      * eg the twat of an Oxford city centre warden issuing a ticket despite a perfectly valid parking ticket being on display, immediately cancelled upon a complaint being made, obviously, albeit at my further time and expense.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time for change

    When I come to power hypocrisy will be made illegal (along with adverts claiming using their product will make you more attractive to the opposite sex - basically all of them)

    I've had enough of American corporations. Probably why the apes will take over - more integrity

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Time for change

      What about products that genuinely do make you more attractive to the opposite sex?

  5. IceC0ld


    You Tube is believed to pull down between 10 and 15 BILLION $ per year ........................

    it's been raking in this cash for over a decade, but now, when asked to ensure that the ones creating the product, are catered for / paid for or product removed .................

    NOW it's all too much like hard work ........................

    you have NO idea how hard I would be prepared to function to ensure that the goose kept on laying those golden returns ffs

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: IMHO

      Any decrease in youtube is good.

      Presently, you can make money with the most worthless useless sh*t uploaded there. Compare that to a website where your ad revenue is barely hovering above zero. Regardless of the quality of your content.

      Google, for whatever reason, has been pricing DOWN web ads and video ads UP for the last 5 years and shifting their ad machine towards youtube and away from web content.

      Anything to throw a bit of a spanner in the works for this one is good as far as I am concerned.

    2. Spazturtle

      Re: IMHO

      "You Tube is believed to pull down between 10 and 15 BILLION $ per year "

      Exactly, they simply don't make enough money to be able to afford to implement the requirements of this new directive. It's unaffordable.

  6. Geoffrey W

    When did YouTube add Slash to its video streaming and piracy portfolio? Can't wait to read what Susan Wojcicki, Satya Nadella, and Sundar Pichai get up to on their bi-annual team building workshops in Las Vegas...

  7. Tomato42

    Well, if Wojcicki wasn't fully occupied with fucking with legitimate YouTubers uploading original content, maybe YouTube wouldn't have problems with sustaining on copyright-infringing mass-uploaders

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "The police should catch bad drivers, instead of giving me speeding tickets"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        To correct the analogy:

        "the police should catch bad drivers instead of trying to arrest me for filming them in a public space"

        1. ratfox

          I feel a proper analogy should reflect the fact that the more they try to catch pirates, the more they are going to annoy innocent users with false positives.

      2. gnarlymarley

        "The police should catch bad drivers, instead of giving me speeding tickets"

        Ummm, isn't speeding considered aa act of a "bad driver"? The speeding ticket is only an issue if you were not actually speeding.

        Now I was going the flow of traffic one day, and a cop pulled me over and claimed I was speeding. Now I drive under the speed limit instead of going the speed limit. (And yes, I will admit that going slightly slower that traffic could be considered impeding the flow, but better to be "safe than sorry". If you don't like it, then stop calling the cops on me.) By adding more laws, we make it easier to catch the innocent in some sort of trap and we miss catching the guilty. It would be nice if we could actually catch the guilty without involving the innocent. (Also by guilty, I mean someone that broke the law, not someone that annoyed you.)

  8. joekhul

    Eff the E.U.

    America and American companies should leave these freetard loving idiots behind. Take our defense system with us and let Mother Russia invade. Read these forums. Not a single person who has ever worked an honest day in their life. Just a bunch of free loaders. They will love communism.

    1. julian.smith

      Re: Eff the E.U.

      Goodbye ... take Putin's Bitch with you

    2. Christopher Reeve's Horse

      Re: Eff the E.U.

      @joekhul Bro, that's quite some comment history you have. Almost exclusively posting on articles related to Google, massive amounts of downvotes, and liberal use of the terms 'RegTard'. I'm almost tempted to believe you might be attempting to troll...

      And just for clarity; exactly which part of Russia is it that you think is still communist? You appear to be >25 years out of touch.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. FrozenShamrock

      Re: Eff the E.U.

      joekhul - you're a disgrace not only to America, but humanity as a whole. I thought American capitalism was all about protecting private property? I sometimes get the feeling that property is more important than people in this country. After all, aren't corporations people? The EU is trying to protect private property from being stolen by pirate outfits like You tube. But, then again, your golden idol (or is it orange idol) pouty puss, little hands trump has been served with cease and desist orders from several artists for stealing their songs for use at his idiot fests. You and your kind are the free tards here; wanting to profit from the work of someone else.

  9. the Jim bloke

    get some regulation happening

    and if youtube has too much content to even try to be compliant, maybe its time for smaller more responsive entities to move in.

    No monopoly will ever willingly let someone else into what they see as their patch, but if they have become so big they arent serving their customers (users - not advertisers), its time to start swinging the axe.

  10. GordyBUK

    Copyright? What's that?

    Google/TouTube don't give a toss about copyright. Their attitude has always been to just publish it first, consider saying "sorry" (with fingers crossed behind their back) later, and/or get the lawyers involved. Take google books, for example.

    Digital Music News has a good analysis of the OpEd piece, addressing all the issues. If YT is supportive of Article 13, as thely calim, why spend more than $36M trying to prevent it from passing?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Copyright? What's that?

      Your post has been removed for copyright. I mean, why should Youtube be labeled this way, and The Register get a free pass? From now on, every post, article and image used by Te Register, and GordyBUKs access to the entire internet, must be checked by:

      An Eu representative for copyright

      A corperate Copyright holder for every company ever to release copyrighted material

      Disney and all the massive companies

      Every Legal representation firm looking for a quick buck by taking breaches to court over infringement

      Please allow 7 to 8 years per post, upload or "content" you create for us to vet.

      Yours thankfully, The Brigade Painting Youtube with a bad light... but not looking in the mirror themselves.

      1. GordyBUK

        Re: Copyright? What's that?

        Complete and utter rubbish! You've clearly never suffered at the hands of those abusing the copyright of something that you have produced, whereas I have, and I know many others (musicians and authors) who are in the same boat as me.

        I don't think copyright is perfect, but there has to be some way to protect the rights of content creators , otherwise we may as well kiss goodbye to literature and music, for starters.

        The work being done by the Copyright Hub is interesting, as it puts the power back in the hands of the copyright holder, rather than letting comopanies like YouTube abuse the law.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Copyright industry rules..

    So youtube has problems with new EU copyright directive? Latest problematic youtube copyright problem we've seen was when someone posted to an irc channel a youtube video which had remixed parts from commercial blockbuster movies + some idiot explaining whatever is happening in the scene + some video editing tricks. Whoever posted the video got some heat for posting the content without a license, but guess the real problem is that the video was allowed in youtube's platform. Given that the video (with clearly infringing content) is available in youtube, other people might also see it without knowledge that the author of the video had no permission to publish the content on youtube.

    Youtube clearly has problems with following copyrights, given that they rely on DMCA to protect them against copyright lawsuits. Guess that isn't suitable plan in EU area, so they should use http request code: "451 Unavailable For Legal Reasons" for EU citizens until they can get their copyright story working properly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Copyright industry rules..

      Your post has "clearly infringing content" in it. Our lawyers will be with you shortly. The text matches our copyrighted book. As you have already posted before vetting/checking against all known written works, the breach has already happened. Thus you already owe us damages and losses.

      We look forwards to your payment/court hearing.

      (Oh, sorry, the harshness of a law only applies to others, and not yourself? You do realise it may not be reasonable to consider every "clip" or "snip" of video, audio, or in your case text, to be copyrighted?)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    EU residents are at risk of being cut off from videos

    Is it a piece of FUD in your pocket, or are you just displeased to see me?

  13. juice Silver badge


    "Pointing to global music hit "Despacito," Wojcicki said the video has multiple copyrights, and while YouTube currently has deals in place to pay royalties, some of the rights holders aren't known to the company."

    Surely at this point, you'd work with the content creator to identify and credit all the copyright owners. After all, it's barely two years old; it's not like they're trying to confirm ownershop of the various plays Homer is claimed to have written.

    Hell, even Wikipedia has a stab at a credit list -

    I'm guessing that there's some aspect of their "safe harbour" defence which would be weakened if they were to work with content producers to sort out copyrights, but claiming it's outright impossible for a song which has racked up over 5 /billion/ views and earned it's creator some $10 million in revenue[*]? Disingenuous at best.

    [*] - presumably, that also means that Youtube has earned at least the same amount of revenue, if not significantly more.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If copyright wasn't absurdly long then I might have some sympathy but you're not going to get a coherent argument from BIG media because it's in their interest to maintain the status quo. I'd be for tougher enforcement if it were for a reasonable period of 20 years say but death + 70 is quite ridiculous and I wish the pirates well until BIG media is willing to give something to get something.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      The copyright rule is simple: the mouse never goes out of copyright.

  15. Patrick R
    Thumb Up

    Despacito..."we might have to block videos like this"

    What a loss for the World.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "EU residents are at risk of being cut off from videos that, in just the last month, they viewed more than 90bn times."

    ok, ok. so i watched *that* tiktok video clip a few too many times.

  17. mithrenithil

    Errm do people realise that this will affect any streaming service as soon as it hits a certain "size".

    The only streaming EU will have is back to the old media giants who will vet and produce their own content at a cost. Also it won't affect Google as a business, they will just sell their own gated service to EU, maybe called YouTube Red where EUizens can consume produced content just as they would from Amazon, Netflix, Sky, and all the other media giants.

    The real question is what will happen to all the independent content creators? This isn't about jumping platform as they will either need to sign up to a big company and be produced or lose the EU market.

  18. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I admit I have watched copyright material on Youtube before, but most of what I have watched that is copyrighted is not available to watch legitimately anywhere else even if I were to pay for it. In the last couple of weeks I have watched unreleased pilot episodes of US versions of Peep show and Red Dwarf. And no doubt stuff like this would be removed if the big media companies get their way and Article 13 goes ahead.

    I think there is a better solution to the problem of piracy on Youtube than those proposed in Article 13, and it would start with reducing the copyright length from its current ridiculously long term to one more reasonable such as 25 years. But that is never going to happen with big media companies having so much influence with the worlds governments.

  19. GrapeBunch
    Big Brother


    Maybe the EU should make a rule that a certain percentage, say 75 or 125 or 300, of ad revenue for views of a copyrighted work, cast on behalf of a non-owner, must go to the copyright owner. Or to the EU itself. (<< see, I'm collecting down votes, it's the 21st century upgrade of Numismatics.) In addition to the familiar takedown measures. Yes, there are issues, but knowing the revenue should not be one of them.

    Or mandate a $$ reward for (the first?) viewer who reports each copyrighted work cast on behalf of a non-holder of the copyright. That ought to be an entertaining scramble.

    If people weren't fixated by the thought that they could watch or collect stuff, we'd be involved in more healthful recreations such as gardening, yoga, or playing Go. As we did before the invention of the VCR. It's like a 21st century upgrade of Philately. They want us to pay attention. The annoying screens and technologies are part of the process of hooking us on their game.

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