Friday, February 24, 2012

Send in the Copyright Demolition Squad!

A video detailing what a scientist faces if he wants to publish a scientific article made me share some short, rather polemic thoughts on copyright on Google+. I then realized that they are worth being put on this blog. So here we go:

It is a well-established lie that copyright is a means for creators of art, music, scientific papers and other works to protect their intellectual property against people who want to prey on it. Little could be farther from truth. Copyright is regularly and habitually being perverted into a means to dispossess creators of their intellectual property so that they do not obtain a fair payoff.

In my opinion, those who fight the ever worsening, dreadful state of copyright are no enemies of the authors. They surely are enemies of those parasites who prey on these authors' works but fighting this vermin definitely is a just cause.

Joe Scientist comes face-to-face with
the scientific publication business

Friday, February 3, 2012

Copyright Claims vs. Hatsune Miku Youtube Videos

As you may know, I am a member of the German pirate party. An important reason for joining was that I disapprove a system where the mere claim (without the need for providing any evidence) that certain content infringes copyright is sufficient for its takedown. Not only does this approach collide with my view that guilty until proven guilty should be a universal principle not just for penal codes, it also makes the abusive use of false claims way to easy.

In the case of YouTube’s automated system things are even worse. Not only can false claims be made – they can made by anybody, not just by persons who are authorized by the copyright holder to do so. I am a huge fan of vocaloids in general and Hatsune Miku in particular and while I have an account at nicovideo (the site where most vocaloid music is uploaded), I prefer accessing them on youtube because there you can build a virtually infinite number of playlists.

I now learned that there seems to be a concerted action to have high-ranked Hatsune Miku videos removed from youtube by making false claims of copyright infringement which not only results in those videos being removed but also in accounts being closed due to such claims and the three strikes rule.

The Disappearance of Hatsune Miku from YouTube
This is incident is sad in may ways including:
  • A means created for a just cause is abused for a hidous one (first and foremost copyright is not about making money but about empowering creators of content so that they have a say in how it is used – this is so central that German law does not even allow you to give up this right).
  • Damage is done to the community because many Hatsune Miku songs usually are happy ones that brighten your day.
  • As vocaloids allow every hobby composer to use vocals without having to paying quite a lot of money on a singer or having to find people willing to sing without payment, they allow talents that would otherwise have been lost to give a world-wide audience delight.
For more please visit Recent Copyright Claims Affecting Miku Youtube Videos at Vocaloidism. Please help spread the word about this attack on wonderful music created for what likely is the oldest reason to make music: the fun of making it and listening to it.

Fittingly, the song that you hear as BGM for the above video is The Disappearance of Hatsune Miku.

I wonder if the incident may have to do with the top position at Singers You'd Like to Perform at the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremonies