Jimmy Fallon played a video game on air, meaning that streaming your own game gets you taken down as a pirate, thanks to NBC

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/04/29/welcome-to-filternet.html


It’s frustrating that there are no penalties for making fraudulent copyright claims. That seems like the obvious main flaw in the current system.

You claim you own it? We believe you!
Your claim was false? You’re in trouble!

It’s in step two that the current system is failing.


I mean, doesn’t NBC employ people to spot this sort of thing before it happens?


Is there even a work-around for them, though? Can they submit a clip and say, “We claim the copyright for this video except for the period of time between 1:35 and 3:46”?

(Edit: because after that point, it’s all down to Youtube’s algorithms, and NBC doesn’t have much input, except to make a fuss after everything goes sideways when someone else runs afoul of the filter, in the hope of getting Youtube to notice and correct the issue. But it’s too late at that point.)


It’s all baked into YouTube policy and doesn’t have any legal basis. By posting videos to YouTube you agree to the terms, which includes screwing over small content creators in order to appease rich and powerful media organizations.

The infringement notices is totally automated by YouTube, and NBC can choose to demonetize such videos or force them off. Unfortunately they get 1000’s of people posting clips of the Tonight Show and probably don’t bother reviewing each one. It’s conceivable that any false positives are swept up with the many real infringements and NBC and YouTube doesn’t care enough not to crush us little folks in the process.


Is there any way for someone that makes video games or other “content generation engines” to pre-approve recorded use of their stuff?

Ex: you make a video game, you do not want people stealing them, but you might be OK with players recording/streaming their gameplay and posting it to youtube (including the comments they add).

(Ex1: livestreaming)
(Ex2: Mechanima such as rooster teeth using Halo)

Is there some way to get a pre-approved posting put in when using these games?

I get this might be a case of 《SARCASM》“Oh good, another technology filter to pile on.” 《\SARCASM》
But could that be implemented?


Rather than someone from NBC checking potentially infringing third-party videos, they could check their own: “this bit’s ours, that bit’s someone else’s so we won’t claim it”.

If they were liable for false claims, I suspect they’d find a way…


Don’t get me wrong the imbalance of power that youtube gives the network is offensive. However, I looked at the Reddit post and you are talking about something that took place a day ago. So something was erroneously banned by an automated system and in less than a day it was fixed by humans. Isn’t that kind of how most automated systems work? Sure it would be great if automated systems were right all the time but we all know that isn’t the case.


hasn’t conan been playing video games fo a while? How does Clueless Gamer intersect with Content ID, given that they often receive prerelease copies of games that will be streamed?


Rather than someone from NBC checking potentially infringing third-party videos, they could check their own: “this bit’s ours, that bit’s someone else’s so we won’t claim it” .

But the copyright is all theirs.
The problem is that this is a transformative work that might share similarities with other non-infringing others.

The problem here is youtube’s filter, as it cannot detect all of that nuance in copyright.
It also fails to detect fair-use and as posted recently it messes with works on the public domain.
The solution is recognize the filter limitations and avoid this kind of problem, or go the other way and just ask google to nerd harder and get a perfect filter.
Guess which one being chosen.


I suppose that even direct lawyer letters to the network outside of YouTube wouldn’t help. They’re not claiming copyright over the game, just their show. They’d direct you back to YouTube, where the fuckup is happening. YouTube would say that they’re not claiming copyright over the game, only preventing you from using their service; please go through their appeal process. And around and around…


In the YouTube market where algorithms demand content creators post quickly and frequently, having one’s original content blocked from being monetized for only one day results in a loss of close to 100% of one’s revenue. Just because a bot cant tell what’s what.



If someone had to put their name to the claim under penalty of perjury, we’d see them editing their uploads sharpish.

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according to that tweet it’s not really the game, it was the song in the game ( i think content id mainly works off audio. ) maybe, if the audio isn’t pure enough on the show it doesn’t get attributed to the show. it also might be a who uploads it first thing.

youtube didn’t correct it. the tweet said fallon’s production team did the work.( probably by demonetizing the clip, or possibly by escalating to nbc or google reps. )

relying on the goodwill of powerful people is a poor substitute for copyright management. all you need is a powerful bad actor to game the system, and there are plenty


I don’t even think it’s a case of something new being implemented, but instead having different approaches to copyright, such as being able to say, “This video I uploaded to the filter, I’m laying claim to copyright, not to prevent others from posting it, or even stop them from monetizing their clips, but to prevent others from laying claim to it (and stop others from using it).” I suspect that’s not something that Youtube gave sufficient (or any) consideration to.


In this case, it’s not perjury. They do have the copyright on Jimmy Fallon playing the video game. The inclusion of the video game material makes it a derivative, but probably within Fair Use.

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It’s easy to point at YouTube, but it isn’t YouTube. It’s the laws. Google would index the entire web and serve you everything completely ignoring copyright if you let them. The reason why Google is acting as it is is because they got beaten by the copyright interests in the courts. Google was forced to settle, and this is the result. This is what capitulation looks like.

Shaking fists at Google isn’t going to help. It’s the laws. The only people that change laws are legislators. If we keep electing legislators that are bought and paid for by the copyright lobby, this is what we get. And to be really clear, this is very much “both sides”, so don’t get off shaking a righteous fist at the other other side. Totally fucked copyright law is a part of the bipartisan consensus, with only a small handful of defectors from both sides of the aisle. We don’t care enough to make it a primary issue, and the result is that the copyright lobby simply (legally) bribes our corrupt politicians into just passing whatever they ask. Because in America political bribery is legal, and the only thing besides bribes that makes a politician bother to look up and not go to the highest bidder is a large number of normally loyal voters screaming at the top of their lungs, red faced, and refusing to vote.

Copyright is so important, but it is just too cerebral and abstract of an issue to ever get any sort of large support. The more in the weeds copyright gets, the harder it is to muster anything. Copyright reform is then again damned because there is no corporate interest with money that wants less copyright. There are companies that find copyright annoying, like Google, but it isn’t so annoying that they are willing to spend what copyright holders are willing to spend. Worse, the longer Google lives in this sort of ecosystem, the better they adapt to it and start using it for their own interests. If copyright law says that you MUST use a filter, and only Google makes a filter that is worth a damn, that means copyright law can shut down Google’s competition by burdening them with a having to implement copyright protection they don’t have or can’t afford. Copyright law is corrupting.

It’s the laws. We need to fix the laws. Moralizing at YouTube isn’t going to work. We need to fix the laws.


I was thinking along the same lines, but in a way that does not require a new filter (but a lot more computing power).

My thought was as follows:

  • Someone uploads something and states that this is copyrighted material.
  • Instead of it immediately being approved it gets checked against all previously uploaded material (the same check as for new videos)
  • If there is an older video found with similar content both parties can state why they think they own the copyright or the claimer can drop the claim.

I know checking all videos requires a lot more computing power, but this could be part of the business model. Normally a video, that also claims to be copyrighted, can be checked against prior content in, say, a week. If you pay for it you can have your claim checked faster. It is important that this waiting period is only for videos that claim to be copyrighted. I think a lot of normal users wouldn’t care about this, and if someone later tries to copyright their material they still get a chance to claim the copyright because, before a claim is approved, it gets checked against prior use.

New videos (whether they claim copyright or not) have to be checked against anything in the copyright that has it’s claim currently processed as well as already approved claims.

This would lessen the amount of false claims. It is still not perfect, but I think it is better then what is currently being done.

Jimmy Fallon also hogs all the celebrity guests, and so they never seem to be around when I want a nice friendly sit-down with any of them to discuss their latest projects.

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I think the genuine answer is “no”.