copyright or copywrong

I told you I’m going through a bristly period just now.

Geez! Just when I thought the previous post took me out of that zone, I came across a blog featuring YouTube videos of Beatles songs. The person who uploaded the videos on YouTube removed instrumentals from copyrighted works, producing an a capella effect. The boys sang like angels! Who knew?

It struck me, however, as an egregious violation of copyright law, even as modified. Google (which owns YouTube) took me to task for much less. It steamed me to see these Beatle videos. I left the following comment on the post. (I don’t think he violated copyright law by posting them from YouTube, but, just in case, I won’t name him and make the Copyright Polizei’s job easier.)

[I’m not paying fines or going to jail for this video! The soundtrack is new, attached from YouTube audio files! The video is reloaded in legally correct form!]

Wow! I accidentally recorded a little vintage Louis Armstrong on three short videos of my cat, Andy, when I made videos at the same time I was listening to a favorite CD. It looked and sounded cute, so I made the mistake of posting them on YouTube, thinking I “quoted” too short a section of each song to be in violation of copyright law. In retrospect, I didn’t adequately identify the music of copyright holder or meet the standards of the Creative Commons business.

Google sent me a severe notice about killing my children, confiscating all my wealth, and tossing me in front of a truck for my terrible violation of law and google (by way of YouTube) standards.

[This video, re-edited with new music downloaded from google audio files – i.e. “legal” music – also is a trifle not worth jail time with Bubba or a huge fine.]

I barely joke here. I was genuinely shocked and worried about my legal woes-to-be. I mean, remember when they sued schoolchildren who downloaded music off the Internet?

It’s videos like these that made me think it wasn’t wrong, however. I mean, I had snippets of music; these are complete copyrighted works, even as modified. Complete movies uploaded by individuals, not the known copyright holders, also confused the issue for me. Google applies the rule and laws selectively, apparently.

I was threatened with legal action even if I removed the three videos, banishment forever from YouTube, removal from their advertising scam-cum-moneymaking program (I don’t get enough views to ever trigger payouts), and deletion of all my account.

Frankly, it pisses me to see these videos on YouTube considering what I experienced. No, it makes me want to see a lawyer!

I re-edited the offending videos, and used Kevin MacLeod music I paid for that I profusely acknowledged both at the end of the videos and in the text under the video.

[This is the third video I re-edited with new music to show my desire to comply with copyright law. Thanks for the audio file, YouTube. It isn’t Louie Armstrong but it’s, well, music!]

I didn’t have to buy the music or do much more than acknowledge [its] source, using an acknowledgement shown on MacLeod’s website, but I decided google/YouTube needed to know I absolutely had authorization to the music, which I identified by name and the catalog number MacLeod uses.

This is from the file where I set up my video and YouTube "about" text. The box appears in both, but the lightning bolt is to remind why I'm doing this.

This is from the file where I set up my video and YouTube “about” text. The box I copy on the video and the “about” text box below the video, but the lightning bolt is to remind why I’m doing this.

The irony is that my CD collection is somewhere between 5000-6000 discs, bought and paid for by me except for exactly one CD I received as a gift. I think my support of artists and the companies that produce CDs is easily established. If the average paid per CD was even $10 (it was more, of course), I have a small fortune in CDs.

Of course, since this over-kill by google, I doubt I’ll ever pay another penny for a CD produced by the copyright holder. (It isn’t the Armstrong estate, as far as I know, but Sony.)

You might want to review your liability, if any, for re-posting these videos.

Google says I am evil. Maybe I am. I definitely have an attitude - now!

Google says I am evil. Maybe I am. I definitely have an attitude – now!

I seem to have settled the problem of my videos to google’s satisfaction because advertisements now appear on my videos again, though, as noted, there is no, NO benefit to me. Even when I use google’s audio files [now], I make sure the name of the music and artist appear below the video since (for reasons obscure to me) sometimes YouTube adds these acknowledgements…, but many times it does not.


Whew! Sometimes protection of copyrights results in something more like copywrongs. Just saying. LOL! (Just joking, google/YouTube. No, really. I wuv you! >smack~smack<)

Did I ever tell you what the late Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes said about lawyers in a trenchant saying that translates well into English? No? Well, the saying is a curse: "May you be surrounded by a hundred lawyers!" Gets my attention.

24 thoughts on “copyright or copywrong

  1. Don’t do what I did and waste two frustrating hours using it without any instructions and then trying to trim an audio that I had only paused and wondering why it didn’t work when it needs to be stopped rather than paused. Why oh why do we have to have little horrid little glitches in most everything designed to catch one out and slow one down? Thank God for googling even though I too hate Google who are so rude that most of the time they don’t even bother answering emails when they made a fortune out of us. Long may they rot – I mean prosper! BTW AVS4U looks good but turns out a disastrous end result when it comes to quality. I spent days researching through all the dross and apparently Adobe Premier is the one to use but very expensive, or Lightworks video editor has a fully functioning free version used by professionals. Looking forward to the next video of Andy and Dougy and seeing their very cute little mugs!

    • I told them this morning that they need to be cute today, but not until the natural light is perfect for making videos of their little dark selves.

      Yeah, google…. I don’t want to use google+, but made the mistake of signing up for it before I knew anything about it (because friends were on it). Now, it wants to undo settings in other google stuff, like YouTube. Drives me nuts! I know how to handle it now, but not how to stop it. When I go to google help, I generally regret wasting my time.

  2. You can do your own cutting in and fading out with Audacity. It’s free and quite easy to use once you get the hang of it. It’s useful that if you do get stuck you can just google or YT it and someone will have posted the solution.

  3. Pingback: That was then: On civil discourse. | weggieboy's blog

  4. Pingback: Copyrights and Copywrongs – The Author and Copyright | assimannih

  5. I think that the Copyright/Patent process is about a broken as it possibly can be. It is totally arbitrary, both in assignment of Copyright/Patent and in the enforcement, prosecution, and remedies. Patent trolls buy or file patents for ideas and then wait to sue anyone with a working product that even vaguely appears to infringe on the patent. Lawyers sue because they see $$$s, not justice. Lawyers use fear as a bludgeon on little guys such as yourself.

    I could go on, but I would just become irrationally angry and incoherent …

    • That was a new haircut when I first filmed it, but he’s about a month and two or so weeks into his last haircut, which means he’s a bit hairier!

      I have been using Kevin MacLeod’s music. One can use it for free, but I wanted to make damn sure there was no doubt about my authority to use it, so paid the small free will one time fee.

      YouTube also allows free use of music in an audio file they have, but i find them sometimes to be a bit abrupt and unmanageable to use. I like a fade in and a fade out on my videos for a bit more finished feel.

      Thanks for the link! I will check it out. You never know. It’s nice to have a wide variety of options, and I could find something I like as well as what I use or better!

    • Yeah. My boo boo is 2 minutes and 13 seconds of video spread over three videos of 50 seconds, 46 seconds, and 37 seconds length. I don’t recall, but there probably were two, maybe three different songs the snippets came from.

      One of the videos of two posted that caught my attention and triggered this rant was a complete Beetles song of over two minutes, and the other (which I was too steamed to listen to beyond part of the first song) was over 11 minutes long, and must have had three, maybe four complete Beetles songs on it.

      Beetles music copyrights are guarded by Cerberus, much like other Hounds of Hell guard Disney properties (to the point to taking on nursery schools that use unauthorized drawings of Disney characters for the kiddies…!)

      • I understand copyright and why it’s important for owners to get recognition for it. But really, going after churches, nursery schools (and YouTube videos) is really going to far! It gets my goat! No one sees a drawing of Mickey Mouse and think, “Wow, whoever drew that on the wall has a wicked imagination!” Everyone just knows …

      • It is capitalism at its venal worst. I agree, a fair return to the creator of art, music, whatever is reasonable. Of course, the people who produce the CDs, etc. get the lion’s share.

    • As I noted when I slipped from my comment on my friend’s blog into my conclusion, #&!^%#@$#&!^%#@$#&!^%#@$#&!^%#@$#&!^%#@$#&!^%#@$#&!^%#&!

      I appreciate having my eyes opened to the facts of copyright law, but google/YouTube kind of used a battleship to stop a rowboat here. A small rowboat!

      I’ve since read through as much copyright information as my peanut brain can handle. It’s just easier to not use anything but music by people like Kevin MacLeod or that available from YouTube’s audio files (something like 500,000 pieces, I think I read somewhere).

      YouTube does have a video on copyright law, featuring the violent Treehouse Friends chopping and smashing each other into oblivion. Appropriately, I say! Too bad that isn’t a mandatory view before you are allowed to even upload your own videos. A less lawyerly explanation than the one YouTube has in addition to this video would help, too.

      I’m reasonably intelligent, willingly on the side of the law, but first I need these YouTube corn packers to point fine points of law out to me if they aren’t obvious or if there are egregious examples on YouTube that suggest (by their presence for anyone to view) that they are legitimately uploaded works that are, in fact, seriously illegal.

      As my maternal grandfather infamously would say (I am told) “GD the GD [whatever he was cussing at the time]!”

      • One of my DailyBooth friends is musical, as is his family. When they get together, they play country western and blue grass style music for fun. They actually are pretty decent musicians! Ardie, the friend, ran into the Copyright Polizei over a cover they did, and he had to delete the file from YouTube.

        Again, since there seems to be no consistency in how they apply the rule or copyright laws, the question becomes one of how to do a cover and do it legally. I guess you contact the person holding the copyright.

        In a similar vein, churches are required to pay to use the music they use in services (according to my pastor), as are businesses that pipe radio or CD music music over the intercom. The royalty agencies actually have roving inspectors who visit businesses to verify no violations are in process. If there are, the owner gets to arrange to pay royalties or cease playing the illegal music. I know this because I was friends with a woman who played opera music in her picture and painting framing store until she had a visitor from ASCAP, I think it was.

        Muzak music is the exception since that company pays a royalty to the copyright holder, then charges a fee to the service users for use of a degraded version of the music. (I don’t know how to describe it. “Degraded” sounds like a lawsuit-in-the-making, in America! I know the music is all one dynamic. No pianissimo followed with a forte there!)

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