Posted August 30, 2007 3:13 pm by with 1 comment

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As always, copyright issues abound for Google’s video-sharing darling, YouTube. First, Google Blogoscoped found YouTube complying with a copyright take down request from Viacom. Not huge news, other than the fact that the clip in question was apparently featured another clip—which Viacom had used without permission. The removed clip was uploaded by the actual copyright holder, producer Chris Knight.

Wait, what? Let’s walk through that again. Web Junk 2.0, a Viacom-owned VH1 show, used a video clip produced by Chris Knight without his permission. Knight, the rightful copyright holder, uploads the Web Junk 2.0 clip of his clip. Viacom files the standard DMCA take down notice with YouTube so they can take down their stolen stolen content. YouTube complies.

Apparently, they did also give Knight the option to counterfile, which he did. Until he hears back, however, the clip is off YouTube. As Knight says, “That’s chutzpah.”

Being such a stickler for IP law, YouTube also announced a deal with a UK music society on royalties. YouTube will pay an undisclosed amount—a flat fee—to the MCPS-PRS Alliance (the music collection society in the UK) in exchange for not being sued again licenses for 10 million songs used in YouTube’s users’ videos as well as its partners’ professional content. They’ll cooperate to find a way to monitor music usage on the most popular videos.

Apparently, this is the first worldwide royalties deal that YouTube has made. It’s pretty interesting that YouTube would rather absorb the risk, responsibility and cost of its users’ copyright infringement than police their use of copyrighted material in this case.

  • Contrary to what most people think, it’s in fact still not strictly legal to include recordings of UK artists’ music (even where it’s written by Alliance members) in YouTube videos, not until the PPL are on board anyway – see, which includes some further information I obtained from the MCPS-PRS Alliance about their YouTube deal which was not in the Alliance press release and has not otherwise been made public previously as far as I know.