Over a number of years now, YouTube has left many independent creators and observers thinking that things had gotten pretty bad – what with the platform’s “judge, jury, and executioner” approach to compliance with DMCA notices.
And that means summarily taking down content on the platform, whether or not the system is affected to prove they had not infringed on copyright – while the system is also way too often abused by false strikes.
That’s the exact opposite of “innocent until proven guilty” – but other than feeling counterintuitive, the system betrays a policy that is consistently deviating from YouTube’s roots as an originally symbiotic content platform for independent, home-grown talent that propelled it into world domination.
Only for that talent to be finding out that YouTube increasingly caters to corporations and mainstream celebrities.
So – could things really get any worse? Apparently so, as we are now witnessing a kind of “cultural appropriation of independent creators’ existential angst” – with 5-time Grammy winners referring to themselves as “ordinary, small creators, producers.
The Grammy-winning personality in question, Maria Schneider, is suing YouTube for poor copyright enforcement policy.
According to a California court filing Schneider and Pirate Monitor LTD want YouTube to provide those like herself, and not just giant copyright holders in the music/entertainment industry, with full access to the Content ID system.
We obtained a copy of the complaint for you here.
It’s not that Schneider and her ilk can’t go after suspected infringers now – it’s just that’s an involved process reserved for lesser YouTube denizens. And the court is asked to allow them to be able to easily dish out claims, like their behemoth brethren are capable of doing right now.
As things stand, the lawsuit complains, these “small creators” are “relegated to vastly inferior and time-consuming manual means of trying to police and manage their copyrights, such as scanning the entirety of YouTube postings, searching for keywords, titles, and other potential identifiers.”
So – other than asking the court to award her money, Schneider also wants YouTube to improve on the ease-of-use of its copyright tools.
This would mean that instead of blocking videos immediately upon receiving DMCA notices – YouTube would work to “proactively” block suspected infringing content, even before it’s uploaded.
That would also mean “extending YouTube’s pre-upload screening feature to everyone.”
But how about suing YouTube to force it to reform a system that’s obviously not working for anybody – except for some vague “one percent”?
Clearly – not a thought that ever crossed Schneider’s mind.