Industry Trade Group Finally Admits Forcing YouTube To Police Site Doesn’t Work Well
A group typically known for their criticism of YouTube, the Content Creators Coalition, recently admitted that it is impossible to expect the video site to accurately or effectively police all of the content on its site.
By Mike Masnick of Techdirt
Here's one I certainly didn't expect. A group known for spreading a bunch of bogus RIAA talking points about the evils of YouTube seems to be admitting two odd things: (1) that it's impossible to expect YouTube to accurately police all the content on its site and (2) that sharing entire published news articles is clearly not copyright infringement. The group in question is the "Content Creators Coalition" — last seen around these parts whining about the DMCA's safe harbors on a site that only exists because of them. And it seems that bizarre and self-contradictory publicity stunts are basically the norm for this group. They've specifically been whining about how one of their videos got taken down on YouTube over an apparent terms of service violation. They complained, and YouTube reviewed it, and put the video back up. But, the Content Creators Coalition is using this to argue… something about how YouTube is trying to censor criticism?
It really doesn't make much sense, because it actually seems to be a pretty blatant admission by the Content Creators Coalition that their other bugaboo — about how YouTube doesn't take down infringing content fast enough — is completely silly as well. Proactively policing the millions upon millions of videos uploaded to the site (for free, mind you) is nearly impossible to do correctly. The article itself (published by the Google-hating News Corp.-owned NY Post) tries to attack YouTube's moderation features, but actually makes the perfect argument for why it's silly to expect an open platform like YouTube to police everything:
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.
Right. Which is why it's great that we can now add the Content Creators Coalition to those who think that forcing YouTube to police and filter content on its platform is silly and will lead to unnecessary and misguided takedowns. Glad to have them on board.
Now, the only reason I even know about this article is that it was sent to me by Eric Jotkoff at Law Media Group. If you don't remember Law Media Group, they're the secretive lobbying PR shopthat seems to specialize in attacking Google with really sketchy practices, such as insisting that corn farmers will be hurt by Google partnering with Yahoo, or by publishing faked op-eds, such as one about how awful net neutrality was — but "written" by a guy who actually was in favor of net neutrality.
And when I say that Jotkoff and Law Media Group sent me that NY Post article, I do mean sent it to me. He sent me the entire article in an email. So that appears to be Law Media Group, on behalf of the Content Creators Coalition, admitting that sending around entire news articles is not infringing. Now, I'd argue that there's a good fair use case to be made for sharing full articles via email in such situations. But I wouldn't really expect a group like Law Media Group, which regularly sends me emails about the importance of stronger copyright on behalf of a whole bunch of groups that all seem to parrot the RIAA's talking points (coincidence, I'm sure?), to basically admit that reposting full articles from companies like News Corp. is fair use.
I've asked Eric to confirm that this is the official stance of the organization, but, perhaps not too surprisingly, I have not heard back at the time of publication.