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#1 uwxplorer

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 08:26 PM

Hi,

I was doing a little search for a domain name, when I discovered that my YouTube channel was basically duplicated by a site called "World News" (wn.com).
I checked a few YouTube channels I follow regularly, and bingo, they were also duplicated (I would recommend you check yours by simply typing wn.com/your_channel_name in the address bar of your browser, where your_channel_name is your YouTube channel name).
I was not assuming that videos posted on YouTube would not be embedded, linked to and possibly even ripped off, but a blatant mirroring with repackaging (the videos are embedded, so their YouTube origin is clear) is kind of surprising... Each video has its own "upload" date, which apparently corresponds to when it first appears on wn.com and a "publication" date, which seems to be that of the YouTube upload date. In fact, chances are that if you type wn.com/your_video_name and "your_video_name" is specific enough (i.e. not shared by many YouTube videos), your video will show up. If not, it will share a page with others with similar titles.

YouTube specifically forbids sites from "us[ing] or launch[ing] any automated system, including without limitation, "robots," "spiders," or "offline readers," that accesses the Service in a manner that sends more request messages to the YouTube servers in a given period of time than a human can reasonably produce in the same period by using a conventional on-line web browser. Notwithstanding the foregoing, YouTube grants the operators of public search engines permission to use spiders to copy materials from the site for the sole purpose of and solely to the extent necessary for creating publicly available searchable indices of the materials, but not caches or archives of such materials. YouTube reserves the right to revoke these exceptions either generally or in specific cases. You agree not to collect or harvest any personally identifiable information, including account names, from the Service, nor to use the communication systems provided by the Service (e.g., comments, email) for any commercial solicitation purposes. You agree not to solicit, for commercial purposes, any users of the Service with respect to their Content[/i]"
(http://www.youtube.com/t/terms, section 4.H), so that seems to fall under that section (robot is the key word in the excerpt above).

I'd be curious to hear comments from others about this (especially those having received the same "honor" as me). Should we report this site to YouTube? Elsewhere? Just live with it?

PS: for reference, but you don't have to follow the link, my channel name is my user name.

Edited by uwxplorer, 22 March 2011 - 04:23 AM.


#2 decosnapper

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 05:07 AM

Blatant mirroring isn't really surprising. For some getting access to material like yours simply makes great business sense (minimal overheads) and does wonders for their profitability. What better than free content? Would we all like free cameras? Yes please! Is it likely to happen? Not in my lifetime, but I digress.

I don't use YouTube (Wetpixel video members, please chip in here), nor have I had the chance to look at how the World News site is actually using your content, so I can't say for certain. It may be within YouTube's terms and conditions, it may not. The clip of the terms above doesn't include what rights you have assigned to YouTube by posting the video up - which might include sub-licensing (including free-of-charge or sale) - and this could be the crux of the issue; Has YouTube given the rights to a third party, or not?

YouTube might be losing out here. If a site is mirroring content, what is the point of visiting YouTube? So what? I hear...... in a simple world vistior numbers = advertising revenue. The more visitors, the greater the revenue. By shifting content off the site, visitors go elsewhere.

I would not be happy with my work being used in this way - this is one reason none of my images are on Facebook for example as they take sub-licensing rights* - so perhaps the best thing to do is contact YouTube and ask?


*Goldman Sachs (Investment bankers) recently purchased a stake in Facebook. One day they will want to see a return on their investment - nothing wrong with this - but when that includes my images being licensed and zero revenue comes my way then I object. Think it won't happen on FB? It already has with another picture hosting site used by Twitter and a news agency........ celebrity images (some of the most valuable in terms of repro rights) are being sub-licensed with no indication of how the license fee is to be shared with the creator.
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#3 uwxplorer

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 06:29 PM

Blatant mirroring isn't really surprising.


I looked up some threads on YouTube help website and found that this is happening a lot (with this specific website but also others). They are basically "news agregators" or "search engines" (like Google) which (so far) embed videos and somewhat format their presentation (for instance the creation of http links with usernames reproducing those of YouTube) in a way that may look deceptively intentional but is most likely a simple piece of html code.
So fighting against this would be like fighting against Google (which owns YouTube anyway) for reporting your videos when conducting a search based on user name, channel name or video title and description... Some people suggested preventing embedding when uploading a video, but that kind of defeats the purpose of sharing.
This all makes it all the more important to stamp a copyright notice on every single frame of a video (or picture) if one cares about attribution.
I am not trying to make any money from my "creations" (so far), but I guess I'd feel a bit uneasy if somebody else was. Or would I?

#4 decosnapper

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 02:53 AM

I am not trying to make any money from my "creations" (so far), but I guess I'd feel a bit uneasy if somebody else was. Or would I?


At what point do you decide to make money from your work? In my experience, if you start out with a zero value and consumers/clients get used to 'no charge' then negotiating the fee upwards is nigh on impossible.

As for being comfortable with others creating $ value from the work of others, well only the individual can decide. I have no idea why anyone would think it morally acceptable for anyone to derive revenue from images or video and then not share the proceeds with the creative talent that invested time (and money) in creating the material in the first place.

It can depend on what your product is. If you are a housing or camera supplier then showing off the images created, giving them away for adverts etc actually makes sense - it helps sell cameras & housings.

Giving away your images when images - and the information therein - is your product makes no sense, not to me anyway. If anyone has any different ideas please share them.

Edited by decosnapper, 23 March 2011 - 04:31 AM.

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#5 uwxplorer

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 07:29 AM

Giving away your images when images - and the information therein - is your product makes no sense, not to me anyway. If anyone has any different ideas please share them.

I am coming from an academic setting, where, if things are not free (payed for by the tax payers and students), most of the intellectual production is, if not immediately, at least rapidly, freely available on the Internet. There is a lot of debate (fueled in large part by science journal publishers) on whether this is going to be the end of the world or the beginning of a new one. As a user (and creator), I like the tremendous boost in access and opportunity for discovery and understanding that this has given to me (and exposure for my work). Of course it opens the door to abuses (blatant plagiarism is growing, but tools are being developed to kill that), but I would not imagine going back twenty years back in time when I was limited to what my local (science) library had on its shelves.
For private creators who live from their work, I understand the dilemma between revenue generation and exposure. I think some model similar to the self-publishing eBook one discussed here would be worth considering...

#6 furby076

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 09:04 AM

Blatant mirroring isn't really surprising. For some getting access to material like yours simply makes great business sense (minimal overheads) and does wonders for their profitability. What better than free content? Would we all like free cameras? Yes please! Is it likely to happen? Not in my lifetime, but I digress.

I don't use YouTube (Wetpixel video members, please chip in here), nor have I had the chance to look at how the World News site is actually using your content, so I can't say for certain. It may be within YouTube's terms and conditions, it may not. The clip of the terms above doesn't include what rights you have assigned to YouTube by posting the video up - which might include sub-licensing (including free-of-charge or sale) - and this could be the crux of the issue; Has YouTube given the rights to a third party, or not?

YouTube might be losing out here. If a site is mirroring content, what is the point of visiting YouTube? So what? I hear...... in a simple world vistior numbers = advertising revenue. The more visitors, the greater the revenue. By shifting content off the site, visitors go elsewhere.

I would not be happy with my work being used in this way - this is one reason none of my images are on Facebook for example as they take sub-licensing rights* - so perhaps the best thing to do is contact YouTube and ask?


*Goldman Sachs (Investment bankers) recently purchased a stake in Facebook. One day they will want to see a return on their investment - nothing wrong with this - but when that includes my images being licensed and zero revenue comes my way then I object. Think it won't happen on FB? It already has with another picture hosting site used by Twitter and a news agency........ celebrity images (some of the most valuable in terms of repro rights) are being sub-licensed with no indication of how the license fee is to be shared with the creator.


Are you sure posting pics on facebook means that you assign your rights to facebook? That doesn't seem to make much sense to me and I would wager it is a hard argument for facebook to make in court. Especially since many of those pictures are of minors, posted by minors, who do not have the legal authority to sign away anything. I do know Facebook has some clauses that sound weird but it is mainly to protect facebook, not allow them to sell/give/etc your pictures.
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#7 decosnapper

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 10:24 AM

Are you sure posting pics on facebook means that you assign your rights to facebook? That doesn't seem to make much sense to me and I would wager it is a hard argument for facebook to make in court. Especially since many of those pictures are of minors, posted by minors, who do not have the legal authority to sign away anything. I do know Facebook has some clauses that sound weird but it is mainly to protect facebook, not allow them to sell/give/etc your pictures.


Last time I checked, Facebook took the right to sub-license images posted therein. There is nothing to stop them charging a license fee or just giving them away to a third party.......and sub-licensing has already resulted in a deal where celebrity images hosted on Pixili (primarily Twitter users) have been sub-licensed to Wenn (Celebrity pix agency). Good business; free premium content with no overheads in the form of payment to the image creators.

The reasoning of arguments in open court is a moot point. Facebook have plenty of lawyers that could bury you in paperwork et al if you chose to launch legal action against them. This is pretty much what happened (as far as I know) with the Google scanned book settlement with the US Writers Guild (recent judgement has asked parties to reconsider.........as the deal was, I believe, seen to be biased towards Google's benefit). When you have an almost unlimited legal fund it matters not who is 'right' or 'wrong' - it comes down to a war of attrition whereby one side can wear down the other with legal arguments, paperwork and counter-reasoning.

By my best guess, Facebook must rival the likes of Getty, Corbis and Alamy when it comes to the sheer volume of images - all rights cleared - at their disposal. Of course, the social networking site may well have no intentions to use submitted images for gain - commercial or otherwise - but there is just one nagging doubt; If Facebook doesn't need the right to sub-license, why must users agree to them in the first place? If I were being really cynical, I would add the next question of where does a massive stock library, rights cleared, fit with FB's business plan that will be used to pay Goldman Sachs (the investment bankers who recently purchased a stake in FB) back when they want their money?

This is hypothetical and I could be completely wrong, but fits neatly into my world of unintended consequences.
Simon Brown

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