My favourite Vocaloid video is gone! Why has YouTube removed it?
People are reporting to YouTube that Vocaloid videos are violating their copyright. YouTube removes the allegedly offending videos. Moreover, once several videos are removed for such reports, the account is blocked and all otehr videos on the same account also disappear. This can happen very fast if several videos on the same account are "hit" at once.
Does this mean a copyright really was violated?
Not necessarily. YouTube apparently does not verify such reports. In the case of Vocaloid videos, there is strong suspicion that most reports are fake and do not originate from real copyright holders, though this was not proven.
If they are fake, this means that someone is specially sending mass fake copyright claims, for an unclear but malicious purpose.
Why is YouTube so mean? Can't they check before deleting?
They can't, because they are in the United States of America and therefore subject to a law called DMCA (Digital Millennnium Copyright Act). According to this law, if they receive a statement of copyright voloation, they must remove the offending content "within a reasonable time", or he copyright owner can sue them. As they are a massive video storage site, verifying all claims in "a reasonable time" might not be an option.
If a video is deleted, what can one do to put it back?
The uploader can file a counter-notification to YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/t/copyright_center . But there are two problems there:
- To do that, the uploader must ensure that they have the necessary copyright authorization - otherwise they open themselves up to charges of perjury (false judicial claims). This may not be easy for them, as contacting original producers is sometimes hard (especially for someone who does not understand Japanese).
- Also, YouTube might require the uploader to provide their real name and address. This information might be passed to the one claiming to be the copyright holder. If the claim is by a malicious party, that party gets access to their personal data and could use it for evil purposes (such as making new false copyright claims in their name - or something even more sinister like creating fake ID papers). For many people, this is not an acceptable risk.
No one else, except the uploader (and, of course, YouTube), can do anything to put the video back in its place.
I am an uploader and my video(s) are deleted, what should I do if I can't file a counterclaim?
Please inform the world what video was deleted and what name (company, etc) has claimed to be the copyright owner. If you do not want to reveal your real name, you don't have to!
You can use the Japanese wiki for reporting: http://www18.atwiki.jp/savemiku_english/pages/20.html . Youc an also make a comment in this Wiki; we will do our best to pass it to the Japanese team.
We, the fans - this is not some closed group, "we" includes YOU! - really need to know what particular music is getting deleted and by what names. This might help us understand what is really going on. Some claims are most likely genuine, such as Sony claims to Project DIVA videos. Some is already known - see "What are fans doing about it?" below.
I am looking at a bookmarked video and instead of it, I see some company names! Does it mean these companies claimed copyright to this video?
Not necessarily. In many cases, you will see an "Account terminated" notice, such as this:
In this case, all we know is that each of these companies reported some video on the same account. We do not know if any of these companies, or anyone at all, has reported the video that we tried to see.
(IMPORTANT NOTE: some claims might actually not even be on Vocaloid videos, but on unrelated videos on the same account! So, even in this particular screenshot, we have no idea if any of the listed names have indeed been involved in Vocaloid claims).
Who is doing the copyright claims?
What are fans doing about it?
A group of Japanese users has started the Save Miku project. Its Wiki page is http://www18.atwiki.jp/savemiku_english/ . Considerable work has been done already. In particular, the following lists are available:
Deleted accounts: http://www55.atwiki.jp/savemiku/pages/43.html
Deleted videos: http://www55.atwiki.jp/savemiku/pages/33.html
Requestor names are listed.
Some users have called for people to download Vocaloid videos and reupload from their own accounts with a [Save Miku] notice.
Are fans trying to encourage theft of intellectual property?
While copyright and the idea of intellectual property is a separate debate, the supporters of "Save Miku" often do NOT want to encourage any real breaking of copyright.
But it seems that someone is making false copyright claims. And such false claims are most definitely a form of stealing. False claimers steal the title to works from the producers, and use it to destroy the publications that would give producers worldwide fame. (This does not apply to legitimate claims).
We want to stop the theft!
What is the status of information in this FAQ?
It is the private opinion of individuals, based on personal research. It does not represent any corporate entity and is not legal advise.