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Space Science Idle Your Rights Online

NASA's Own Video of Curiosity Landing Crashes Into a DMCA Takedown 597

derekmead writes "NASA's livestream coverage of the Curiosity rover's landing on Mars was practically as flawless as the landing itself. But NASA couldn't prepare for everything. An hour or so after Curiosity's 1.31 a.m. EST landing in Gale Crater,the space agency's main YouTube channel had posted a 13-minute excerpt of the stream. Ten minutes later, the video was gone, replaced with the message: 'This video contains content from Scripps Local News, who has blocked it on copyright grounds. Sorry about that.' That is to say, a NASA-made video posted on NASA's official YouTube channel, documenting the landing of a $2.5 billion Mars rover mission paid for with public taxpayer money, was blocked by YouTube because of a copyright claim by a private news service."
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NASA's Own Video of Curiosity Landing Crashes Into a DMCA Takedown

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  • Scrpps Media Company (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 06, 2012 @12:45PM (#40896069)

    I know Ohio is boring and all but if they want the attention: http://www.scripps.com/heritage/contact-us

  • So what? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 06, 2012 @12:48PM (#40896121)

    Just see it on Nasa's site: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=149933921

  • by scorp1us ( 235526 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @12:48PM (#40896123) Journal

    I really thought there was. Anyway I was up all night. [xkcd.com]

    We should make the fine exist for anyone filing false DMCA claims. The law only states that they may be liable for court costs and lawyer fees, but lets make a $50,000 civil penalty too.

  • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdot@NOsPam.hackish.org> on Monday August 06, 2012 @12:57PM (#40896217)

    So if NASA releases footage of something that is public domain (paid for by your tax dollars) then if, say, NBC, replays that footage and adds a logo in the lower right corner... NBC can then sue you if you save that footage to your harddrive.

    This area isn't actually that clear. You probably cannot rebroadcast the version that has NBC's logo on it, but not because this footage has been re-copyrighted by the addition of the logo. Rather, it's just that the logo itself is copyrighted, and you can't broadcast that. You can, however, remove the logo and broadcast NBC's version of the public-domain footage sans logo. Assuming, at least that they broadcast essentially the original PD video, and have not made any other changes sufficiently creative to produce a new copyright.

    I'm not sure if it's been litigated with film, but in the art world, that was litigated in Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. [wikipedia.org], which found that scanning a public-domain artwork does not make your scan copyrighted. So I don't believe simply rebroadcasting NASA footage creates a new copyrighted version of the footage. Maybe if you do some creative editing, then that specific sequence of cuts is copyrighted.

  • Remember (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 06, 2012 @12:58PM (#40896243)

    All NASA footage, photos, etc. are public domain. No exceptions. It's traditional to credit NASA for photos, etc. but not legally necessary.

    This is merely meant to inform those that didn't know, and is not meant to make a point or argument of any kind.

  • by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @01:01PM (#40896279) Homepage Journal
    Actually from what I hear the DMCA requires immediate carrier response. If they tell the carrier your content is infringing, then your carrier MUST shut it down; it's not their call, legally they must remove the content on claim. Then you can come back and say bullshit, and your carrier can re-instate it, and then it's your legal battle--there's no edit war here, you're now responsible for the content and the carrier by statute is able to legally accept your claim as primary until the court decides who has controlling interest.
  • by dcollins ( 135727 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @01:06PM (#40896349) Homepage

    Using NASA Imagery and Linking to NASA Web Sites

    Still Images, Audio Recordings, Video, and Related Computer Files

    NASA still images; audio files; video; and computer files used in the rendition of 3-dimensional models, such as texture maps and polygon data in any format, generally are not copyrighted. You may use NASA imagery, video, audio, and data files used for the rendition of 3-dimensional models for educational or informational purposes, including photo collections, textbooks, public exhibits, computer graphical simulations and Internet Web pages. This general permission extends to personal Web pages.

    http://www.nasa.gov/audience/formedia/features/MP_Photo_Guidelines.html [nasa.gov]

  • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @01:10PM (#40896391)
    The problem is, sufficiently creative these days has been so narrowly defined as to mean "But ours is off-white instead of muave. See! That's creative!" -- and the courts uphold this. That's one of the problems with our archaic case law / common law judiciary: Once you win a case against an opponent that can't defend themselves, you can then use that precident against an opponent who can, and probably win. The system assumes that both the defense and prosecution are fairly represented, and the judge is impartial in every case. Of course it isn't, so over time, the system biases itself politically and economically in favor of whomever is in power. This was probably by design... a testament to miserable Britain.
  • by Nemyst ( 1383049 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @01:18PM (#40896477) Homepage

    TFA says that the process isn't exactly as you describe:

    According to the DMCA, if a user disputes a claim from a copyright holder, YouTube should make a video available again, at least until the copyright holder files a second claim to take the disputed video offline again. Instead, YouTube requires the alleged violator to submit a signed counter-claim, under penalty of perjury. (There’s no such penalty for those claiming violations to begin with.) YouTube forwards the claim to the supposed copyright owner and waits ten days for a response. “If we do not receive such notification, we may reinstate the material,” says YouTube, emphasis mine.

  • by azalin ( 67640 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @01:18PM (#40896479)
    A company is not a person. It is subject to a couple of different rules already.
  • by TheCycoONE ( 913189 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @01:21PM (#40896523)


    Youtube Founded: February 14th 2005.
    DMCA effective: October 28th 1998.

    I think there may be a problem with your argument.

  • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @01:23PM (#40896537)

    So you're advocating that the only way for the laws to better reflect the "people" as opposed to corporations is for a civil uprising resulting in murder of the "ruling" class?

    When you make peaceful protest impossible, you make violent revolution inevitable. There is a massive power imbalance, and the police overwhelmingly support corporations. Protesters are routinely disappeared in this country, or held on phoney charges, etc. When US Bank had protesters out front, they literally hooked up the hoses and power sprayed away the sin for weeks at a go... in a public square... all to keep the protesters from having a place to congregate near their headquarters. The "routine cleaning" that went on for weeks stopped at the next city hall meeting, when they passed a resolution in secret forbidding protest in the public meeting area, paid for by US tax dollars, as in on public property. The next morning, the protesters showed up and were promptly shoved into a dozen police SWAT vans and taken away, held for weeks without charge. The entire affair was later revealed to have been supported by the Department of Homeland Security, who labeled the protesters potential domestic terrorists and persons of interest.

    When you have this kind of overbearing police response at the request of a corporation, with full cooperation from all levels of government, what option do you realistically think the people have for peaceful recourse? The Constitution provided that "the right of the people to peacefully assemble shall not be infringed," not just because it's necessary to the efficient running of a democratic state, but because as long as people feel their concerns are being heard (even if nothing is done), they're very unlikely to become violent. People become violent when they're isolated.

    Having places for public protest is essential to the national security of this country. Without it, people's anger and emotion builds until it finds a violent release. We're nearing the high-water mark of violence; Our society goes through cycles of violence on a 50 year mark. In 4 years, we hit that high water mark again. If we don't give activists the space they need to non-violently protest, then (statistically) there's a very high probability that we'll experience high levels of politically-motivated violence by individuals acting alone or in small groups. In short, our anti-terrorism initatives are leading to a perfect storm of conditions to create terrorism.

    I don't want violence; I've seen more than enough to last me many lifetimes. But not everyone shares that view; Some people think a certain level of violence is acceptable and many of them work for the government. They're going to get a lot of people hurt and killed. There's a simple, proven method of avoiding this: Public meetings. That's something our police are dead-set on preventing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 06, 2012 @01:27PM (#40896579)

    TFA is full of it, the original claim is very much submitted under penalty of perjury. The fact that the US has extremely lax standards and let's the original lawyers look the other way instead of checking what they churn out is a different issue.

  • by russotto ( 537200 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @01:30PM (#40896623) Journal

    Actually from what I hear the DMCA requires immediate carrier response. If they tell the carrier your content is infringing, then your carrier MUST shut it down; it's not their call, legally they must remove the content on claim. Then you can come back and say bullshit, and your carrier can re-instate it, and then it's your legal battle--there's no edit war here, you're now responsible for the content and the carrier by statute is able to legally accept your claim as primary until the court decides who has controlling interest.

    No, it's worse than that. After you say "bullshit", the claimaint can say "not bullshit" -- then the provider has to (in order to retain safe harbor) take it down again until a court says otherwise. Basically an automatic injunction.

  • by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @01:53PM (#40896903)

    Well the article is wrong then. (Not the first time a reporter demonstrated his/her lack of technical understanding.) Here is how it works:

    (1) Author/creator submits DMCA Takedown Request
    (2)(a) The "victim" realized he was wrong and does nothing so item remains offline.
    (2)(b) Or they say the takedown notice is BS and submits a restore request: "This items does not violate copyright. I own it."
    (3) The item is then restored. Legally the time is 10 days but many ISPs (including youtube) restore immediately.
    (4) At that point the alleged copyright owner can file a lawsuit against the alleged violator. The ISP has immunity since it followed steps 1-3.

  • by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @01:54PM (#40896909) Homepage Journal

    Youtube MUST restore your video, else they will be guilty of a criminal act (under the DMCA).

    That is wrong. You need to read DMCA again more carefully (in terms of what its procedures are describing, not the details of those procedures), and then also think about how youtube works, from human labor perspective.

    DMCA or not, there are no conditions under which youtube is required to host someone's video. Counter-notices do not create any new hosting requirements for them that they previously wouldn't have had. Youtube could restore the video after getting a counter-notice from NASA, and then they would be absolved of liability to the TV station. But they certainly aren't required to host the video after a counter-notice.

    Youtube, like any other host or ISP, is free to immediately "fold" after receiving a notice, without ever bothering to do all the expensive stuff like forwarding notices and dealing with counter-notices. DMCA just assumes that hosts would do such a thing, in the cause of customer service, since the people's whose content would be getting blocked, would presumably be paying the hosts and the hosts would want to continue to collect that money. But when users aren't customers, the forces that make hosts want to do that, are very weak.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 06, 2012 @01:54PM (#40896913)

    This was the result of YouTube's Content ID. Scripps is a media partner with Google. All of their uploads are "protected" by the Content ID system. NASA released the video to the news outlets, Scripps published it on YouTube before NASA did. When NASA did upload it, it was already in the system from the Scripps uploaded and was automacticlly flagged.

    No DMCA claim was filed, it was all automatic. Maybe the Scripps employee the posted it could have tagged the video to prevent this, I don't know.

    The problem is a result of Google trying to police copyright, not with a company filing a complaint.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 06, 2012 @02:08PM (#40897097)

    "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers".

    That's as a prelude to abusing people's rights. So, be careful what you ask for - because you just might get it.

  • (2)(c) while the person filing the infringement notice was in the wrong so was the uploader (e.g. neither of them holds the copyright), the item remains offline
    (2)(d) the uploader belives they are in the right but they are too afraid of lawsuits to assert that right, the item remains offline

  • by v1 ( 525388 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @02:24PM (#40897349) Homepage Journal

    That's not the way the DMCA works. After the posting party sends a properly-worded counterclaim, the next step of the party claiming the copyright violation is to file a lawsuit. They can't just file another DMCA claim.

    I understand that's how it's supposed to work, but quite a few people have found it worked for them as I described. Within days (or sometimes hours) of getting their videos reinstated, they'd get another takedown on the same video from the same source. And when you get your 3rd, youtube will suspend your account. You'd expect they'd ignore repeat takedowns, and you'd expect they'd un-tick the three-strikes counter when a counterclaim was filed, but they don't and they don't. At least sometimes. Maybe it's improved recently.

    I just reviewed some more recent information and it looks like that in at least some cases they temp suspend you now and send you a "copyright quiz" to fill out. If you pass, you get your account back. If not, you have to wait a few days to retake the quiz. They weren't specific about three strikes, but some accounts can be suspended immediately without even a second incident if they consider the violation bad enough. They also appear to ban other accounts with the same email address on them, so don't use a shared email account (such as family) or you may become collateral damage from the banhammer.

    There doesn't appear to be any clear spelled out hard rules anywhere. They're probably trying to keep their options open. If they put it in writing, then their enforcement/interpretation will be disputed.

  • by ffflala ( 793437 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @03:34PM (#40898197)
    Copying from another post of mine ITT:

    "A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed."

    I added the italics to make the division clear. The first part of that sentence is not under penalty of perjury. Perjury penalties only apply to the statement that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the (alleged) owner. This means it would only be perjury if, for example, the person/organization who filed the takedown notice in Scripps's name wasn't authorized by Scripps to do file DMCA takedown notices. AFAICT, operjury has never applied to whether the notification itself was accurate.

    So if you're upset that no one has ever been charged with perjury for filing an inaccurate DMCA takedown notice, you should at least know that it's not because those organizations/people are above the law. Instead, it's because that's simply not what the law actually says.

  • by ffflala ( 793437 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @03:39PM (#40898253)
    To make that even more clear: in the context of DMCA takedown notices, it's only perjury if you lie (or are "mistaken") about who you are and who you represent. It's not perjury if you lie or "mistakenly" file an inaccurate takedown notice.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 06, 2012 @09:18PM (#40901077)

    This isn't DMCA. YouTube offers "preferred" content owners automated detection of content, with automated takedown or applying forced advertising to the content, with diversion of revenues to the claimed content owner.

    This "going way beyond DMCA" is one of the reasons why YouTube are still going despite rampant copyright infringement, and why megaupload (despite abiding by DMCA to the letter) are defunct.

    A similar sort of thing has happened to me. I had a funny video, which a local TV channel ran on their show (without permission). They then posted their show on YouTube. As a preferred customer, YouTube took their clip and used it as a reference for an "infringing material" search; unsurprsingly, as my video was the source, it triggered a match, and the revenue on my video was seized. I also got a warning that I was at risk of losing ALL my advertising revenue irrevocably, if I continued to upload "infringing" material.

    I appealed the match, but all this meant was that YouTube simply ask the purported "owner" for a manual match. They claimed that they had watched both videos and agreed that they matched, and that was all YouTube wanted. As far as YT were concerned, the appeal had been lost, and the decision was final.

    So, I made a DMCA claim on YouTube against the TV channel. Nothing happened. Zip. Nada. In the end, I removed the video, as I'd rather no one got the advertising revenue from my work, than someone who had copied it from me in the first place.

As of next Tuesday, C will be flushed in favor of COBOL. Please update your programs.