Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Regarding YouTube and the Alex Kidd Review

As you may or may not know, I recently uploaded my review of Alex Kidd in Miracle World to my YouTube channel. However, some of you may also have noticed that the video was blocked in some countries ("some countries" apparently meaning almost every country except the USA). This is because I had the gall to use a teeny, tiny part of a certain song for a teeny, tiny part of my video. Naturally, this caused YouTube to claim copyright infringement and block my video, but only outside of the US, of course.

You see, this is one of the MAJOR reasons why I and several people in my situation HATE YouTube! Okay, I'll admit, it is a very, very good place to find tons of very, very good videos and it is a good place to promote your shows and such, but the way they handle copyright is killing guys like me! Don't get me wrong, I don't want to or intend to infringe on anyone's copyright and I know that when it comes to using music it's usually a bit more strict, but the thing is that this shouldn't, based on everything I've seen and on how I understand it, be considered infringement!

First of all, consider the TONS of other videos out there that do basically the exact same thing! It doesn't necessarily have to be a game review, but how many YouTube-like videos do you know of that has part of or a whole song within it? Why is it okay for some people to do this and not for others? And don't tell me that ALL of these people have gotten WRITTEN permission to use the songs from the copyright holders because there is just no way in hell that's true! Now, I know that just because some people get away with it, doesn't necessarily mean that it's okay or legal, but you still have to wonder why even YouTube think it's okay for some people to do it and not others.

Secondly, if it's so wrong to use a very small clip of a song in a video, then why isn't it just removed? Why block it in some countries, but still allow America to watch it? Okay, so various countries have various rules and regulations regarding copyright and so on, but since YouTube is online and, if anything, an american-based site, I would have thought that it would either allow everyone to watch the videos or just remove it, but no! They're basically saying: "No, you can't have this song in your video, but we'll still allow Americans to watch it. After all, they're the only audience that matters!" Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against America or Americans, but this just seems like obvious favouritism, doesn't it?

Thirdly, the only site that has this issue, is YouTube! I can upload the very same video to blip.tv, screwattack.com and any number of other sites without any problems whatsoever even though most of these sites still have copyright infringement rules to uphold, which they do! If these videos really were infringing on copyright, wouldn't it be reasonable to assume that the videos would be removed from all of these other sites as well? Maybe I'm wrong, maybe the other sites just aren't strict enough, but I definitely think the problem is with YouTube!

Fourthly, the video in question is a fucking review! That means, unless I've completely misunderstood how this works, that it's protected from copyright infringement under the fair use law. Now, I know that fair use may not apply to all countries, but again if YouTube should follow any one country's law, I would assume it would follow US law considering it is a US-based company! I mean, they even give you the option to claim fair use if you think your video has been wrongly marked as infringement (and yes, I have done this, but my dispute got rejected). Okay, so maybe the music used in the video isn't really covered by fair use, even though I think it is, but then what about the review/satire clause or whatever it's called? I believe that would cover the use of that one little part of this one little song!

Finally, why do they even care? As I said, I don't want to or intend to infringe on anyone's work, and I don't believe I am, but even if I were, would it really be such a big problem? I mean, it's not like my dinky little review that happens to contain a piece of someone's music is going to completely ruin the artist in question!  If anything, I would say that my video could help promote the artist and/or song as I always put the song and artist in my credits. That way, if anyone happens to like a particular song I used, they can try to find this song on iTunes or in a music-store or something. If they don't like it, they wouldn't get it anyway! In short, my videos don't hurt the promotion or sales of anything, it can only improve it, if anything.

Again, I don't support copyright infringement of any kind and if I am in the wrong on this, I apologize and will take every measure to ensure I don't infringe on anything in the future, but as stated, I am fairly certain that I am well within my rights to make my videos in the way I make them. However, as the situation stands now, some videos will be problematic to upload to YouTube. I already knew this to some extent before I started this show, which is why there are several types of videos I never upload to YouTube (like film reviews, top 10s and let's plays). In any case, I do still want to upload my game reviews to YouTube, but occasionally it might be problematic, as with my Alex Kidd review.

For now, I have removed the video from YouTube since only some people could watch it anyway, and I will see what, if anything, I can do to upload some version of it. What I have in mind is either to cut the part with the song out of the video or try and find some other, free song that could fit the sequence. For now though, I guess you will have to settle for seeing this particular review on this site. I thank you for your continued support and understanding and I will try to remedy the YouTube situation as soon as possible. Thank you.

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