Copyright: To protect or to harm?

We all do it, breaking copyright laws, chances of you doing it increase when you are more active at social media, there’s no denying of this.
We, the regular society, will always be looked down upon doing so, we gets harsh fines, sometimes even jail-time.
Why are companies able to avoid this, knowing that they actually in general do it even more, but unlike the regular society, always have commercial purposes?

When I look at myself, I don’t break copyright.. often.
I am in general someone who supports copyright, yet, that is not always the case.
In my case, it means that I buy my music, also have monthly subscriptions to Spotify, Deezer and Google (play) Music, and watch most often my movies through Netflix.
Still, I don’t always do so, yet, the thing you should ask yourself is whether I should be punished for not doing so…
As the fact is that many companies are bigger problems…
Yet, I will keep my focus on just one of those companies, the one that is made up by many websites, including the previous Google Play Music, yes, it is Google.
However, more specifically YouTube, and not really Google in general.

YouTube remains the best of all video-hosting websites, and has enough content to keep you busy from when you were born, until far after you already died.
Still, YouTube has slowly been getting less visited, and that is not without a reason…
The reason of YouTube’s problems are at 2 things, one of them is automation, which I will explain soon at another blog post, and the other is copyright.

Currently there are many checks in place to keep Google out of troubles of getting sued, as they are the ones who could break copyright when you upload something you should not.
Most of these checks are at sound, though there are also some checks for video fragments, which is most often used by the huge companies, like the German Sat.1 is a great example of.
The simple fact is that copyright holders could state whether they want something to be removed or restricted, in certain ways…
So, everything is fine?
Well, I quite obviously didn’t state the “in certain ways” without having a reason behind it.

More of Copy-Me: http://copy-me.org/

One of the ways YouTube’s platform is protecting the copyright holders by giving them the chance to forcefully monetize videos when they are the owner of the copyright of content…
Which is actually at almost every country at the world, including the United States of America itself, unlawful…
While it actually makes you able to sue YouTube when they do this, many are unaware of this fact, as who knows law that well apart of those actually active at justice?

This is the point were the troubles start, as that is the actual problem behind copyright, the fact most people are unaware.
Fact behind the act of YouTube giving the ability to forcefully monetize others video’s, is that it just made the usage go from non-commercial to commercial, and this the moment copyright is broken at almost all of the world, not at the moment you would publish something without any way of earning of it. (Does not apply at all countries!)

However, the interesting part is that at many countries YouTube, and also you, actually get permission to share the content when a copyright holder requested for their content to be monetized when someone else uploads it, this because they actually made the request themselves for the content to be commercialized in the way you published it, meaning that in terms of law and justice, they basically gave non-exclusive license to their copyright, which officially makes the monetized money through Google’s advertisements not belong to them, but to YouTube and you…

There are examples of this being stated, and judges agreeing with this indeed validly giving the right to publish, and therefore copyright not applying to these uploads.
This remains a tricky one though, and this may be seen differently on judge-to-judge basis…

But let’s get back to what I just said a moment ago, the problem is at most not being aware of copyright laws.
It ain’t that strange that people are unaware of them, the basics are often the same, but because of the laws not being international, they tend to still be different at each country, and it is even a bigger mess when it comes to the Internet.
Important to know at this moment there are several agreements on which the copyright protection at countries are based.
The Universal Copyright Convention, the Berne Convention, the TRIPS Agreement, and the WIPO Copyright Treaty.
“4 agreements, so what is the problem?”
Well, it is the fact that not all countries are participants of all of them, but more importantly, that about 10 countries are not part of any of the 4 agreements.

The reason why you often hear scams coming from basically islands, is because most of the places where no copyright, or limited copyright, exists are either islands, or small countries.
The simple fact is that you could set up websites at these countries and request people to connect to these websites with (proper) VPNs of the same locations, and it is close to impossible for legislation to do anything.
And yes, this happens, extremely often even, with actually increasing number of servers getting set up at these locations to get around the copyright laws.

More of Seeker Daily: https://www.youtube.com/user/TestTubeNetwork

The fact behind copyright is that it does not work, that is a given.
However, eventually only consumers are getting hurt, as extremely large companies like Google, but also smaller companies, are able to avoid getting punished because often the copyright holders are either unaware of them being the ones who could be sued, or, even more to the point, should get sued, or are afraid suing them backfires.
This does however not take away that in general a fine for breaking copyright laws tend to be 100 to 1000 Euros for even just downloading 1 movie, song, eBook etcetera illegally, causing most people who are getting fined to easily get a fine of 10 thousand Euros or even more…

Let us be clear that this is a huge amount of money, wherever we would look around the world, obviously converting it to the amounts of the local currencies.
Eventually there currently is a huge difference when we look at rich and poor, and let us be clear about these kind of ridiculous laws are only making that gap worse.
Or does anyone really would like to state that we should punish the poor for not having the money to buy copyrighted materials, while the rich do exactly the same, while they easily could buy it?
Yet, maybe that is not about copyright in the first place, but rather about human decency…

I didn’t use Google’s YouTube without a reason, as it actually continues.

As a translator of songs, I don’t want to break copyright, hence most of my published videos at YouTube are with authorization by either the authors, or in case of the Hebrew video, because the local copyright laws allow me to share them without breaking laws.
So… No problem, right?
Well, that is what you would suppose, but you are far from being right.

When it comes to YouTube and copyright, YouTube will no longer allow you to download the video that you uploaded when there is made a copyright claim, even when you made the video yourself.
In general, that would be no problem, but there are exceptions, like when the only part that is copyrighted is a part of the video, and not the whole video.
Apart of that, they look only at the American copyright laws when it comes to the claims at their website, while they should actually be looking at the local copyright laws of the copyright holder, as the copyright holders themselves are protected by their local copyright laws, not the ones of YouTube…
Eventually this causes currently a majority of the claims to be unlawful themselves, yet, who notices except of… yes, once again, the society…

But… does it go deeper?
Yes, of course it does.

The fact behind copyright is that in general publishing something with copyrighted material is actually not unlawful, as long as it has no commercial purposes, at least, that is the way it officially works at the majority of countries around the world.
So what are commercial purposes at YouTube?

Well, that is really simple, when a video, in any form, causes, or could cause, a profit, that is a video with commercial purposes, also it is a video with commercial purposes when it is related to any form of business, whether it is an actual company, or just an organisation, which also actually includes non-profits.
So, when I upload something to YouTube myself, think for example of a translated song, and there is no way of making any profit, so that includes no URL to my blog for example, then it would be non-commercial, as I am also not a business…
However, the moment it would get commercial is when I for example have an URL, that is not of the author, at the video or description, or would state something in words or written text that could make someone do something, even when it is actually buying the author’s work, or most notably, when I would activate monetization. (There are some more examples though!)

The fact behind this is that YouTube is breaking the copyright law(s) by forcefully monetizing when they find content that is copyrighted, as they do just that.
And even worse, when you would dispute these claims, even if you do this for demonetization, and a copyright holder chooses to forcefully remove your video, copyright laws are yet again broken… This time actually by the copyright holders themselves, as they force you to choose for either commercial usage or removal, which is, in general, also unlawful, this time for it being most often seen as a way of fraud…

Now there are more problems, like the “exclusive right” scams that trick authors into giving away their copyright because like the right says, it gives exclusive right.
Yet, authors of content apparently don’t see this as a problem, even though this is a far bigger problem, as it is basically a way of stealing the copyright, and it could be done in such a way that the author is unable to get back their own rights…
Still, that is not a problem for the general society.

The problem to all of us is however that many companies are breaking copyright laws to get money, like YouTube does with forceful monetization, and eventually don’t get punished…
While they are the ones who force you in these situations to break copyright laws, even though you didn’t do anything to be punished over yourself…
The choice was not yours, it was the act of a third party that causes the problems…
And we get shipped off with a statement that “it is your own fault”…

It is time that law is actually doing what it should be doing, stopping people from doing bad things, instead of just targeting those who have it worse in life, like they do now…
And copyright is one of the examples that needs attention, as it has become just a way of getting people punished for sharing content, instead of protecting the works of people, which copyright should be about.
Are copyright holders truly only about the money, or are they are about sharing the talents they have gotten to the world?
They can only answer themselves, but I know that I would not support works that are only about profit, and, apparently, nothing more…

Owner of this blog. Ukrainian-born Jew of Polish and Russian descent and of Crimean Karaite heritage. Currently living in Poland. Generally impartial at politics. Political syncretist. Opinionated but willing to listen to anyone's opinion. Certified mastering of 51 languages. Works in service of Sony. Active in support of orphans, foundlings, and other children without parental care in Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Moldova, Poland and Kazakhstan. Supporter of adoption and foster care. Mentor of 9 children. Previous foundling who now has been adopted. Diagnosed with health and mental health issues, but not disabled. Has a great love for anime, gaming, and TV series. Philanthropist. Social pedagogy graduate.