Friday, December 16, 2011

Universal claims it can have any video pulled from YouTube. Any at all.

Here's something a bit worrying: a large corporation which appears to have a deal with Google to have any video it doesn't like taken off YouTube:

Your letter could be read to suggest that UMG's rights to use the YouTube "Content Management System" with respect to certain user-posted videos are limited to instances in which UMG asserts a claim that a user-posted video contains material that infringes a UMG copyright. As you know, UMG's rights in this regard are not limited to copyright infringement, as set forth more completely in the March 31, 2009 Video License Agreement for UGC Video Service Providers, including without limitation Paragraphs 1(b) and 1(g) thereof.
Presumably, the idea was that Universal's deal with Google to allow music to which they owned the copyright to appear on YouTube had a clause that could be used to squish edge cases. Maybe Google rationalised it: they'll have to lose the odd parody, despite parody being a protected use in the US, but it's a deal worth doing to get access to the Universal catalogue.

And yet, here we are now, with a company apparently convinced it can have videos taken down at whim.

If I were an evil corporation - let's say, for the sake of argument, Coke - I'd watch this video reminding people of how unionists who organise my labour sometimes end up dead, and get on the phone to my chums in Universal. "Hello? Can you veto any video on YouTube, regardless of if you have any legal reason to do so? Yes? Could you do me a favour...?"