This video-blogger has been in such episodes many times as a YouTube Partner. What happens is that I may use 5 seconds of video of a publicly seen news event, say the Russian Meteor of February 15th, and then make a commentary about that clip. Now, the actually video itself is generally several minutes long, and is about a widely seen news issue.
In other words, I’m referring to a video clip that you may seen on CNN or MSNBC, where they mark “YouTube” to say they got it from YouTube. That same news organization runs ads for their telecast and uses the news event to draw viewers – basically, the same as a YouTube Partner who comments on the news.
What the European Quick Buck Artists do is try and find the Youtube videos that have the clip in them, and have went viral, then file copyright claims against them. When the Youtube Partner files a counter claim to challenge them under fair use, they say “We’re in Europe, it doesn’t apply to us.” And they claim they’re representing a “client.”
If you’re a partner and reading this, do not fear to call their bluff. What I’ve learned is the European Quick Buck Artists never say or prove they’re representing a client. In one case, a UK man claimed to have the NFL as a video client. I know many at the NFL from current NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to the PR staff – they were not doing business with that person. I notified him of my discovery, and he backed away.
In another case that’s current, a group called melberries.com has set up a business in Europe and is trying to profit from the Russian Meteor disaster. It claims to have a “client” that happens to represent one of the sonic boom videos that has been replayed thousands of times in America. So, they filed a claim against me that I’ve fought. Their response: “We’re in Europe” and then send a link to Youtube’s copyright statement, which does not represent international law. It reads this:
In many countries, certain uses of copyright-protected works do not infringe the owner’s rights. In the United States, copyright rights are limited by the doctrine of “fair use.” In certain other countries, there is a similar concept called “fair dealing.” It is your responsibility to understand the relevant law and whether it protects the use you have in mind.
In the United States, fair use can only be determined in a court of law. To determine whether a fair use defense is valid, judges examine the allegedly infringing use according to four factors. Uses for criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research may be considered fair.
If you plan to use even a small portion of copyrighted material, we’d strongly advise you to take legal advice first. YouTube cannot make determinations of fair use.
Note that YouTube says “judges examine the allegedly infringing use according to four factors. Uses for criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research may be considered fair.” Thus, if a person’s making a comment on a video, and not using all of it, then that’s fair use. Internationally, it’s called “fair dealing.”
But the bottom line is European groups must be stopped from trying to fool Americans into paying them money, either by cash or by allowing that group to hijack the American’s ad revenues, and then claim “The law doesn’t apply to us, we’re in the EU.”
You know, that argument itself proves the invalidity of the claims of these European Quick Buck Artists. As I wrote to the EU group, the buck stops here.
They released the claim.