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Sintel Restored on YouTube (Editorial)

23

It looks like the message came through - as of 9am this morning (CET), Sintel is available on YouTube again. In case you missed it, there was an outcry on the internet this weekend as it was pulled by Sony after alleged copyright infringement.

To put things into perspective, these YouTube takedowns are massively automated. Software scans all the uploaded media and flags any material where they detect copyrighted material. Large corporations such as Sony have enough traction with YouTube that they can then also automatically take down these media (smaller companies have to manually submit a DMCA takedown notice).

So is there still a problem? You bet there is - we're lucky to have a huge and vocal community behind us, that spread this story over the web in a couple of hours. The story was featured on Cartoon Brew, Boing Boing, Slashdot and Reddit (which nuked the BlenderNation server for a few hours). This helped revert the takedown. If you're a small publisher however, you will find it nearly impossible to talk to anyone and get your video back up. These automated takedowns can destroy your project and leave you powerless.

Boing Boing hits the nail on the head with their comment:

While it's probably a mistake, because this is so brain-meltingly obviously wrong, it's also a very stark example of how sloppy, over-broad, and consequence-free enforcement of copyright can damage culture.

I don't think there was any intent behind this particular takedown - just an unfair, unaccountable system. I'm glad we got Sintel back.

About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-)

23 Comments

    • Sadly it's part of their terms of use. The most you can do is try to take it to the mass media or, if it happens again, lawyer up and claim a flimsy argument like breech of contract or filing a false report (since youtube is responsible for making sure each and every claim is valid before taking down the video)

      • Actually, I don't completely agree. There is probably nothing you can legally do against the takedown, but the message that was posted claiming the copyright infringement is an example of libel, which could be considered damaging to the reputation and therefore the income of the blender foundation. Terms of use are of no consequence or not, youtube should revoke that statement publicly.

        • 1) They remove access through search and profiles, you will only get that error trying to access it directly.
          2) DMCA protects them so long as the notice was properly formatted because it was done "under good faith"
          3) Most people agree that DMCA is absolutely garbage because it just makes the mickey mouse laws even more ridiculous than they were. Copyright when done correctly is good, but this era of automated copyright infringement notices and 150 year copyright holding (assuming you live to 100 and made something in your 20s) is just too damn crazy.

    • Put the blame where it belongs. Someone at Sony uploaded the film, made the claim, started the automated blocking (yes that is a choice), and then went offline for the weekend. Youtube has no way of knowing if Sony's claim is correct or not. Everything that's wrong in this story is Sony's fault, and in my opinion Sony should pay a vast license fee to Blender for the two days where they took worldwide control of the film.

  1. Alexander Weide on

    Sorry to say, But be honest, i don't believe in Randomness. I don't believe that this is a mistake caused by machines. If yes, this would happen every day, on all of my videos and so on. i do believe that this was a chessboard game.

    Support Gooseberry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    bye

  2. Machines are made by humans: any machine error is equal to a human error. So, there are people responsible for all these troubles.

  3. Brian Lockett on

    ...Anybody want to help me fix the imaginary windows of Sony Corporation that mobs busted out yesterday?

  4. I think the Blender Foundation deserves two apologies. One from youtube for how their copyright scrubbers made a hugh and obvious mistake that became the foundations problem, and another one from Sony, because lets face it, they obviously claimed copy right on some video they uploaded that contains content they do not own or at least gave credit for most likely.

  5. Paul Eckhardt on

    If people didn't illegally upload content in the first place, we'd never have any of these problems. I don't blame big companies for things like this happening.
    People don't have a right to access company's content. If they don't make it available, that is the company's right. Please respect content licensing agreements. Thanks!

  6. FluxCapacitance on

    With all the new attention for the Blender Foundation and the open source movement, maybe this wasn't such a bad thing after all.

  7. "Large corporations such as Sony have enough traction with YouTube that they can then also automatically take down these media (smaller companies have to manually submit a DMCA takedown notice)...If you’re a small publisher however, you will find it nearly impossible to talk to anyone and get your video back up. These automated takedowns can destroy your project and leave you powerless."

    Well therein lies the rub, now doesn't it? This could be good fodder for a class-action lawsuit against Google for giving this type of control to a third-party.

  8. An apology from Sony or Youtube would be the same as letting them kick you as a thanks for not killing you when they did stab you in the back, we need to protest harder and not let the copyright be a weapon that only is used to stop smaller creators to compete with the big media monopoly. The only truth is that Sony and Youtube are evil and we should not support them in any way.

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