Justin Bieber defends fan channel “bieberzone” from YouTube suspension–is copyright uncertainty to blame?

January 20, 2010

News: YouTube teen sensation Justin Bieber has entered the copyright fray. Apparently, YouTube suspended the account of a Bieber fan called bieberzone @bieberzone on Twitter,” who probably was reposting Justin Bieber videos. YouTube may have even removed some of Bieber’s own music videos (performing other people’s songs). All of this no doubt has something to do with copyright concerns–as the underlying music is copyrighted. But it’s not clear whether YouTube did this on its own, or whether some copyright holder complained. Bieber is working under Usher’s music label, so we’re guessing those in the music industry give Justin their blessing to create his YouTube videos.

Here’s what Justin writes on Twitter:

Dear Fans…IM ON THE JOB. you support me and I support you. fan sites like http://www.youtube.com/bieberzone should not be shut down!!
about 3 hours ago from web

Dear Youtube. I love u. U helped me start living my dream. But I want u 2 stop messin with my fans and let ’em post any vid of me they want!
about 3 hours ago from web

very upset that some of my vids and some of my fans vids are being taken down by youtube. working to fix this now. no 1 messes with my fans

Analysis: Somewhat reminiscent of YouTube’s wrongful termination of the PS22 chorus’s YouTube channel–which thankfully was reinstated. It’s a shame YouTube is not doing more with the music industry to promote user-generated music videos, including with cover songs. The music industry can benefit by discovering more Justin Biebers or teen idols, who can bring in millions more in revenues.

I’ve written about copyright and user-generated content in an article titled “Warming Up to User-Generated Content,” which you can download by clicking here.


Copyright 21st c., week 1: remix culture

August 26, 2009

I start teaching a new seminar tomorrow. It’s called copyright in the 1st century. This week, we discuss whether copyright law needs to be changed to accommodate remix. Above is a video I’ll be using from RIP: a remix manifesto. Also will be using the Lessig TED talk below. The class should be fun!


YouTube reinstates terminated channel of PS22 chorus

August 26, 2009

News: The saga continues, apparently with a happy ending. I’ve already chronicled here how, earlier this summer, YouTube terminated for “terms of use” violation the account of the PS22 chorus, an amazing group of 5th graders from Long Island who sang wonderful renditions of pop songs. The chorus is led by teacher Gregg Breinberg. Breinberg eventually persuaded YouTube that his music videos of the kids singing should not have been terminated. YouTube then allowed him to create a new channel and repost all of the terminated videos. Breinberg did — which probably took a lot of his time.

Well, finally, YouTube has reinstated PS22 chorus’s original YouTube channel, including the past 7 million plus views total for all the videos. Too bad YouTube didn’t do this sooner–and it makes you wonder why YouTube made Breinberg go through the rigamarole of uploading all his videos again. In any event, the PS22 chorus videos can be found here. Let the kids sing.


Larry Lessig on the 1st amendment victory in Golan v. Holder

April 6, 2009

Click here


Victory for First Amendment and public in Golan v. Holder

April 4, 2009

News: Great news from Tony Falzone of Stanford Center for Internet and Society:

We’re thrilled to report the Court has upheld our challenge to the constitutionality of the URAA’s restoration of copyrights in public domain works. Today, the Court granted our summary judgment motion, holding the URAA violates the First Amendment insofar as it suppresses parties’ rights to keep using works they exploited when those works were in the public domain.
Needless to say, this is a big deal. It is the first time any part of the Copyright Act has been held unconstitutional and the first time any court has held the First Amendment places specific limits on the government’s ability to raid the public domain. It is also the culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of CIS lawyers dating back to 2001, including myself, Larry Lessig, Chris Sprigman, Edward Lee, Jennifer Granick, Lauren Gelman, Colette Vogele, Julie Ahrens, Chris Ridder, and others.
I expect there will be more to come, including a return to the Tenth Circuit. Look for updates here. In the meantime, Judge Babcock’s order is attached below.

Click here for the opinion


Amazon caves in to Authors’ Guild: Kindle 2 won’t automatically allow text-to-speech

March 2, 2009

News: Lessig and Techdirt have excellent posts about the controversy caused by the Authors’ Guild over the new Kindle 2 by Amazon. The Kindle 2 had a cool feature that would allow it to read the text aloud. The Authors Guild objected, apparently claiming the new feature would cause infringement of its copyrighted works read on the Kindle. Amazon said there was no infringement b/c the Kindle made no copy of the work when the text is translated into speech. But Amazon still caved in to the Authors Guild by deciding to utilized the text-to-speech function on a per work basis for those authors who grant permission.


YouTube to allow some downloading of videos with Creative Commons licenses

February 14, 2009

News: YouTube announced this week:

“We are always looking for ways to make it easier for you to find, watch, and share videos. Many of you have told us that you wanted to take your favorite videos offline. So we’ve started working with a few partners who want their videos shared universally and even enjoyed away from an Internet connection.

Many video creators on YouTube want their work to be seen far and wide. They don’t mind sharing their work, provided that they get the proper credit. Using Creative Commons licenses, we’re giving our partners and community more choices to make that happen. Creative Commons licenses permit people to reuse downloaded content under certain conditions. “