Sony issues fraudulent takedown for Blender's open source movie


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Sony did that to me over an Apple GarageBand loop in a video I made. One email to Apple and a day later I got an apology from Sony.


Does the burden of proof lie with Sony to show that it owns the material, or does the Blender foundation have to prove its ownership?


With Blender - this isn’t a DMCA take-down, but an automated YouTube take-down. One has to go through a YouTube form that actually has quite limited choices as to defence of usage (and the assumption is that you are using someone else’s IP). I had this happen once on a video consisting of my own images and my own rendition of public domain music (J. J. Froberger).

The majority of my videos are of my own music and my own artwork, but I’m just waiting for the day that one of these, umm… fine organizations makes a move on one of them as well. I suspect that this isn’t a matter of “if”; it’s a matter of “when”.


Regardless of whether this is ContentID or a DMCA or whatever, wouldn’t YouTube’s notice of, “This video contains content from Sony Pictures Movies & Shows” be a fraudulent statement? It seems like this kind of claim, accidental or otherwise, should open Sony and/or YouTube to defamation lawsuits. They’re essentially accusing the Blender Foundation of violating copyright in a public statement. Considering that this is specifically intended to be open, the statement amounts to calling Blender hypocrites. That seems like it should be actionable (whether or not it’s the morally correct thing to do to sue in this scenario…).


Needs to be a law that punishes the one who causes an illegitimate takedown.


I hope this gets fixed soon, I’m now anxious to see it.

On the plus side, this movie and Blender are now more popular due to Sony’s unfortunate error.


And then there needs to be some organization with the authority to review and enforce the punishments.

Right now that role is being fulfilled by our collective indigence on digital power and the various forms of the almighty FSM.


I’m no lawyer, but it seems to me that what’s needed are some class action lawsuits against the media companies who are doing this. From what I understand, if you deliberately issue a fraudulent DMCA complaint you can be held liable for interfering in the IP owner’s business relationship with the website, and for costing them advertising revenue. The problem is that the media companies can claim that they’re acting on good faith because their bots are designed to only issue legitimate take-down notices…but are there limits to how far that argument can carry them?

At this point, bogus take-downs have reached a level where they’re widely interfering with the ability of content creators to use YouTube without pouring days of their time into defending DMCA complaints. If you can show that the media companies know that they’re issuing an unreasonable proportion of false copyright claims as part of their routine activities, would it not follow that they can he held liable for damages?

Some of the companies that troll YouTube are not even being negligent–they know that most people won’t have the time/ability to defend a DMCA complaint, and they make their money by inserting their ads into other people’s content. If the big media companies can get away on plausible deniability, it seems that there are, at least, smaller fish to fry.


Maybe Sony should receive a few strikes against its accounts?


It doesn’t work like that. Small people can’t make claims. Only big corporate people with youtube support.


I think every one of them - media companies, performing rights organisations, copyright trolls of various sizes and motivations, censors - knows that there are large numbers of fraudulent, negligent and/or malicious take-downs. This isn’t, after all, the first article to be written on the matter - the problem is very much public knowledge. Any denial isn’t in the least bit plausible.

They don’t care. The legal penalties are pocket change for them, and the laws involved (as they pertain to copyright fraud, not copyright violation, in American jurisdiction) seem designed to be difficult for potential litigants.


The first line of Blender’s response should be “Bite my shiny rendered ass!” – although that might actually infringe on copyright…


Yet another reason to avoid anything having to do with Sony.


Misdirected Blame.

This isn’t so much a DMCA thing as it is a Youtube thing.


They make money from people uploading videos, yet they abuse those people.



It’s actually an even better reason to have nothing to do with youtube.


It’s a federal crime, with incarceration time, to lie in a takedown request. I’ve never seen someone persecuted for it, though… probably because “oops, these are automated: how are you going to throw a bot in jail?”

And now that Google’s created the Youtube version (so it’s not an official DMCA), they’re doubly-covered.


Sadly, “stop giving YouTube free video content” is starting to sound like “don’t pour that water in the ocean.” It’s the ocean, man. All water ends up there anyway.


I see that there is a copy here:

One of the youtube comments says the following:

You forgot to put somewhere in there that it was 100% produced by the blender foundation and Sony is currently pulling the video off YouTube because they are claiming rights that aren't theirs to claim. All because Sony made a demo 4K video that showcased part of the sintel footage.

It’s called Slander of Title and it is actionable… if one has the resources to take on Sony’s legal department. Since this is so clearly an error and getting some bad press, it could hopefully be resolved with a polite phone call or two to someone at Sony, if can get someone besides a receptionist on the line there.

But that doesn’t solve the essential fuckedness of Youtube’s Content ID policies.