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It is well known that YouTube serves as a platform for a huge variety of educational material. Most prominently, Salman Kahn (“Khan Academy“) began his career as a provider of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) by posting teaching videos on YouTube.

In addition to educational material on all kinds of topics provided by third parties, Google increasingly engages in the production of its own educational content to improve the quality of user-generated content published on its platform. Google’s obvious calculation: better videos means more views means more ad revenue.

Initially, however, Google’s first educational videos were in mere self-defense against countervailing accusations with relation to copyright infringement on its platform. While rights holders complained and blocked unauthorised use of their content, users protested against respective deletion of their accounts (see “Private Negotiation of Public Goods: Collateral Damage(s)“) . In this situation, Google launched its “YouTube Copyright School”, which so-called “multiple infringers” have to watch to re-open their account (see “Crazy Copyright Cartoon: The YouTube Copyright School“).

Read the rest of this entry »

Dirk von Gehlen, editor in charge of the German portal jetzt.de, points in his blog to the following impressive and viral Google commercial featuring Lady Gaga and dozens of Lady Gaga fans all around the world:

As von Gehlen emphasizes, the video is effectively a collage of copyright infringements by YouTube users, ending with the request to provide even more of those:

the web is what you make of it

In the official description of the video, Google gives more details on the background and the making of the video:

This film celebrates Lady Gaga’s special and unmediated relationship with her fans, the Little Monsters. The making of this film is a demonstration of the power of the web in its own right. […] Within hours of the release of her new single “Edge of Glory” on May 9th, fans began uploading videos on YouTube, making the song their own by dancing to it, singing it and playing it on all kinds of instruments.

The whole video and its imperative is thus completely at odds with another video released by Google about a month ago: the YouTube Copyright School, which was meant to educate users about copyright and warned them to abstain from infringements like those presented in the Lady Gaga commercial. Read the rest of this entry »

Right on time before flying to Leuven for the upcoming ESF Workshop “Consuming the Illegal“, Google/YouTube published the copyright cartoon perfectly illustrating what the workshop will be about:

The copyright abolitionists over at “Against Monopoly” feature a series entitled “IP as a joke“. But this video, as funny as it may seem, is to be taken completely serious. The background for this crazy/disturbing/awkward “Copyright School” is a change in YouTube’s copyright infringement policies. As repeatedly discussed on this blog (e.g. “This Post is Available in Your Country“) and described by fellow workshop participant Domen Bajde (see “Private Negotiation of Public Goods: Collateral Damage(s)“), users who posted three videos containing (seemingly) infringing content to YouTube have not only lost those videos but all of their videos: their account was deleted.

But since even for copyright lawyers it is often difficult to distinguish between infringing and non-infringing (fair) use (see the workshop paper of Sigrid and myself), a lot of creative users remixing existing works were in constant danger to lose all their uploaded videos due to suddenly becoming a “multiple infringer”. This week, Google has softened this policy a little. “Infringers” are now first sentenced to “copyright school”. On the official YouTube-blog this reads as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

The Book

Governance across borders: transnational fields and transversal themes. Leonhard Dobusch, Philip Mader and Sigrid Quack (eds.), 2013, epubli publishers.
May 2019
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