While people are quick to call foul when YouTube issues take-downs on what the creators think are parodies, the video sharing site recently removed a true parody from the creatives at C3, calling out YouTube for its failure to properly compensate artists.
Guest post by Chris Castle of Music Technology Policy
If you’ve ever heard some of the truly muddled gibberish from YouTubers or Facebookers justifying counternotifications after being hit with a copyright claim, you’ll know that what seems like 99.9% of them have no idea what a parody is (thanks in part to the unholy alliance of Google and its too close for comfort marriage to the Electronic Frontier Foundation). So it’s particularly galling when YouTube actually takes down a real parody, and gall goes supernova when YouTube takes down a parody of…YouTube. Yes, that’s right…dumb, dumber AND dumbest in the same place at the same time, a veritable threefer of dumbassery, or stupidity cubed.
Recall that the Content Creators Coalition produced a couple videos that parodied the main two issues that the creative community has with YouTube: YouTube’s absurdly low royalties and YouTube’s absurd abuse of the DMCA safe harbor. The videos are also a bit of an homage to Apple’s classic Mac. vs. PC ad campaign from 2006.
According to Richard Morgan writing in the New York Post, YouTube responded by unilaterally taking down the C3 videos because it violated YouTube’s terms of service. MTP readers will recall that the fastest way to get a video of illegal drugs for sale, jihadi recruiters, pimp apps, war porn and a host of other nasty stuff is for me to post the video on MTP. Little did I know that the same would happen to C3!
While videos of ISIS beheadings somehow slipped past YouTube censors, the video streaming site didn’t have any problems finding a playful ad campaign by some indie musicians — and promptly pulling the plug on it.
The campaign, called “YouTube Can Do Better,” featuring a “square” businessman as “YouTube,” was created by the Content Creators Coalition as an attempt to get the Google property to increase the ad revenue split with musicians.
The campaign’s lead spot, “Pennies vs. Dollars,” was uploaded to YouTube on Oct. 25 around 11:30 a.m. — and was pulled from the video-sharing site less than 48 hours later, the group, known as
c3, told The Post. YouTube said it pulled the video “due to violation of terms & conditions.”
The artist-led coalition, whose members include David Byrne, Roseanne Cash and T Bone Burnett, fired back at the Google unit within an hour.
“After two days of widespread press coverage of our artist-driven campaign to pressure Google into treating artists more fairly,” c3 complained, “you suspended and are now censoring our account.”
It really is true–Goliath NEVER learns.