Monday News: YouTube & ContentID, suing for hypothetical infringement, Tate Archive adds content, and origins of Chinese Science Fiction
Congrats on the 10-Year Anniversary YouTube, Now Please Fix Content ID – YouTube is ten years old! It has definitely changed over the years, and not always for the better. EFF notes that the automated system YouTube uses to authenticate content and protect the IP rights of those who own them. Unfortunately, the system has not exactly worked as it should, and some of the examples provided in this piece are pretty funny (in a frustrated shaking head kind of way).
It just goes to show how difficult the balance is between protecting everyone’s IP rights, including those that inhere in the public domain.
ContentID is supposed to help rightsholders and content creators manage and monetize their content on the site. The system works by checking every video upload against a database of audio and video “fingerprints” submitted by rightsholders. So when you upload a video, the Content ID tool can spot a song snippet used in that video, and the rightsholder gets to decide what happens when there is a match by setting “usage restrictions” — it can elect to Block, Track, or Monetize (i.e., get a portion of revenue generated from ads around the video).
When ContentID first launched, we were wary of the dangers that an automated filtering system like ContentID posed, and warned against the system’s potential to automatically censor fair uses. Unfortunately, our predictions have largely come to be true. –EFF
Can You Sue For Copyright Infringement Before It’s Actually Happened? – Although you have likely heard of the Mayweather/Pacquiao heavyweight fight this weekend, you may not know that HBO and Showtime actually sued two sites (both named as “Doe” in the complaint) for infringement before it actually occurs. While there are some circumstances in which one may file for a declaratory judgment affirming their legal rights, this is not such an example. Forget your stupid little C&D letters – why not just go ahead and sue for hypothetical damages, just in case someone infringes?! Given that the fight was this weekend, it seems we’ll have to see what happens with both the suit itself and the larger issues around the legitimacy of such a legal tactic.
A few months ago, we wrote about a lawsuit filed by a boxing promoter that sued UStream for not taking down streams of a boxing match fast enough. The promoter claims that because it warned UStream ahead of time to block these streams, it should have been faster about deleting them. That case is still ongoing and headed to trial, but in another story of boxing and streaming, we now have an attempt at creating a legal violation of pre-crime copyright infringement. It appears that HBO and Showtime have decided to pre-sue two sites that it claims are planning to stream the big Floyd Mayweather/Manny Pacquiao boxing match. –Tech Dirt
Art History: 11,000 New Items Available Online From The World’s Largest Archive of British Art – In happier news, the Tate Archive is making more than 10,000 items available for public access as part of the Archives and Access project. A couple of examples from the new collections are listed below, and here is a link to the Archives and Access introduction.
- An extensive collection of over 1000 negatives taken by surrealist artist Eileen Agar. The materials include images of coastal scenes in Brittany and Cornwall and a small selection of photographs of Dora Maar, Pablo Picasso and Man Ray on the beach in Juan-les-Pins, France.
- Drawings, sketchbooks and letters from artist Felicia Browne, one of the first British volunteers to die in the Spanish Civil War and the only British woman to play a combatant role. The letters and drawings tell the unique story of Browne’s journey to Spain where she joined the militia and was engulfed in the outbreak of the war. –infoDOCKET
The Beginning of Chinese Science Fiction – In interesting article by Shaoyan Hu on the origins of Chinese Science Fiction in the early 20th century. Although I wish the piece were longer and more developed, there’s still a lot of interesting detail here about how Chinese SF was often serialized in its early incarnation, and stories were not always completed before being abandoned. There is also an interesting connection between Chinese and Japanese translations of Jules Verne’s books and the way those translations were also, in their own way, adaptations.
In 1903, Lu Xun, who is generally considered the “founding father” of modern Chinese literature, translated Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon while he was studying in Japan. But he did not translate it from the original French text. What happened was that he found the translations of another two novels by Verne published as serializations on a Chinese magazine called New Fiction, which was founded by Liang Qichao, one of the leading Chinese intellectuals at the time. He was deeply intrigued by this peculiar type of fictions. Then, one day, in a second-hand bookstore, Lu Xun encountered a Japanese book called “Travelling on the Moon”, translated by Inoue Tsutomu. Without knowing that it was written by the same author as the two novels in New Fiction, he decided to translate this Japanese version into Chinese because he felt it shared the same flavour with the other two. Unfortunately, not many people had read this Chinese version because it did not sell. Even years later, when Lu Xun became well known in China’s literature world, the reprinted version did not have the translator’s name on it for some unfathomable reason. –Amazing Stories