August 14, 2007

I Struggle

Intellectual Property rights are a rather difficult issue. It's something I haven't given extensive thought to and I try to follow a standard of general good will in place of a rationally devised principle. For example, I don't download music but from licensed distributors like the iTunes store. That's not my usual standard for things, but I can only do so much in my life at a time.

Well, this presents me with a challenge on this blog because I like to repost things like cartoons (see yesterday's posts) and YouTube videos.

I do try to check news sources for reproduction rules to see if they have a word limit. Capitalism Magazine, for instance, has a 200 word limit and you can bet I count the words in my block quotes. In all cases, I try to provide links back to the owner or source site for things. And, of course, if ever asked to remove rights protected materials from my site, I would do so immediately and with many apologies.

Well, now that I've given a little more thought to it, I can't repost things like cartoons. That's bad. I will be updating that most recent post here shortly.

YouTube videos are more difficult because it's so hard to tell who is posting the video with permission and without. Music videos, for instance, are often posted by the record label and reposting is permitted and encouraged.

I bring this up because a reader over at Noodlefood snarked about her posting a YouTube video that is alleged to be in violation of the copyrights of the video.

I really don't have any conclusions to draw at this time. I'm just fretting over the difficulty I've had with grasping the principles behind intellectual property rights.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at August 14, 2007 08:41 AM | TrackBack

Is it possible to make an authoritative determination about who owns the rights to a YouTube video? Does the fact that they offer the ability to link to and embed their videos change anything? Does the (presumed, by me) fact that they allow the uploader to restrict such options modify the context?

Given the nature of YouTube as a public forum, is it incumbent upon the owners of copyrights to hire an agent to monitor YouTube for violations of their rights?

What are the responsibilities of the end-user given all the tools made available (without hacking) to him by legitimate parties (i.e. Google)? What constitutes due diligence and good faith in the case of linking to and embedding YouTube videos?

Posted by: Rachel at August 14, 2007 01:53 PM

The short answer is that I really don't know.

I do know that it is extremely difficult to determine whether or not a user has permission to post a video to YouTube and YouTube leaves it to the users to abide by copyright law.

If someone complains, then they will remove a video, but it's very hard to rights owners to monitor YouTube for violators.

Posted by: Flibbert at August 14, 2007 02:08 PM

Really, all an organization would have to do is monitor the social network traffic for references to it and its products, works and interests. Once they found themselves being talked about, it's a sure bet someone would be seen to be providing someone else with a link to a source. If that source is found to be copyrighted material, the company's agents could then contact the host of the source, or who ever.

And with the economics of scale, some enterprising business major could set up a company to do just that and then even "small-fries", with their comparatively smaller budgets could pursue such a strategy.

Posted by: Rachel at August 16, 2007 04:53 PM
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