Does Content ID work for classical music?

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Beckmesser
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Does Content ID work for classical music?

Post by Beckmesser » Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:07 am

A few years ago, a poster on another forum that I follow was complaining about YouTube. It seems his son, a high-school student, had posted a video of himself performing a Beethoven piano sonata. YouTube took it down, claiming that it was a copyrighted performance, presumably owned by a record label.

According to this editorial, the European Parliament will soon vote on a proposal to force all online services to implement Content ID-style censorship, but not just for videos -- for audio, text, stills, code, everything.

The editorial cites this article by a German teacher to illustrate how faulty the content ID software can be, especially when applied to classical music.

YouTube has become a vast repository of classical music performances, some of which are, no doubt, copyrighted material. But not all of it is currently copyright-protected. It would be a shame if this resource were lost because of the technical limitations of software.

jbuck919
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Re: Does Content ID work for classical music?

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:27 am

When I was in my 20s in Maryland, I heard a radio performance of the winner of the Maryland State Music Competition playing the Beethoven Opus 111. (I am not making this up.) He played it as though he had composed it. I don't really understand the point of censoring YouTube content regarding prodigious performance, if that is what we are talking about.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

maestrob
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Re: Does Content ID work for classical music?

Post by maestrob » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:22 am

Said policy will surely cut advertising revenue massively: I can't imagine what will happen to the stock if this is implemented! :shock: :cry:

John F
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Re: Does Content ID work for classical music?

Post by John F » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:56 pm

This is about copyright. Nearly everything on YouTube is copyrighted; even if the music is in the public domain, the performance/recording is not likely to be. And most of it has been uploaded without permission from the copyright owners, though some (e.g. Naxos) have put some of their recordings online. In effect, we've been getting a free ride all these years at the copyright owners' expense.

The various official guides to Content ID that I've found so far say nothing about clips already on YouTube. They also do not say how Google/YouTube will or can verify the the uploader actually has permission to do it. Unless I've missed something, the system applies only to new uploads.

Content ID has been available at YouTube for years. Every now and then I'm blocked from viewing a clip, told that I don't have permission. More often than that, my friends in Sweden can't view a clip that I've seen and sent them the link. Whether these are Content ID in operation or some other system, I don't know. It does suggest that viewers in Europe and the U.S. may have different access or lack of it to the same material.

Maybe some clarification from Google or whoever may be provided. Presently we don't know where we stand.
John Francis

Beckmesser
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Re: Does Content ID work for classical music?

Post by Beckmesser » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:31 pm

John F wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:56 pm
Every now and then I'm blocked from viewing a clip, told that I don't have permission. More often than that, my friends in Sweden can't view a clip that I've seen and sent them the link. Whether these are Content ID in operation or some other system, I don't know. It does suggest that viewers in Europe and the U.S. may have different access or lack of it to the same material.
I would assume that is because copyright law varies from country to country. The article about the German music teacher notes that copyright protection for recordings made prior to January 1, 1963 has expired, meaning they have entered the public domain. Maybe YouTube is allowing one to see only what would be permitted under copyright law in the viewer's location.

I sometimes make use of a site called IMSLP which contains PDFs of music scores that can be downloaded for free. IMSLP ran afoul of copyright laws several years ago and had to shut down until they sorted it out. One's ability to download the scores seems to be determined by one's location. For example, Kenneth Gilbert's edition of Scarlatti sonatas doesn't seem to be available to U.S. residents but is presumably available in other locations.

John F
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Re: Does Content ID work for classical music?

Post by John F » Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:40 am

There's an international convention on copyright to which most nations subscribe, but each has to pass its own copyright laws, and these differ. In the U.S. this is extremely complicated; if you're curious, the Library of Congress's summary is here.

https://library.osu.edu/blogs/copyright/2013/05/15/198/

Briefly, recordings made before 1972, when the first American copyright protection of sound recordings took effect, may be protected by individual state laws - not by copyright but on grounds of property rights or unfair competition. It's a mess. For recordings made from 1972 on, copyright lasts 95 years, believe it or not. The duration of copyright has been extended here again and again under pressure from commercial interests such as Disney, which is why it's sometimes called the Mickey Mouse law.

All of which makes it unlikely that Google's Content ID system can possibly work, as we knew already. The European Parliament may do as it pleases, but its laws are not binding outside the European Union, least of all in the U.S. where foreign and international laws have no standing in American courts.
John Francis

John F
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Re: Does Content ID work for classical music?

Post by John F » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:33 am

The European parliament has passed the law referred to in Beckmesser's first post. The following explains what's in it and what effect it may have inside the European Union. Its effect elsewhere, if any, is not discussed but the possibility is mentioned briefly in the last paragraph.

Everything You Need To Know About The Law The EU Just Passed That Could Change The Internet As We Know It
Ryan Broderick
September 12, 2018

The European Parliament voted to adopt an extremely controversial copyright reform on Wednesday that could have profound ramifications for how the internet works. (And, yes, maybe make memes illegal.)

The reform is called the Copyright Directive and it was first proposed in 2016. On Wednesday, members of European Parliament voted 438–226 in favor of adopting the directive. The law is meant to be an overhaul of copyright rules, aimed at making sure publishers and artists are compensated by platforms like Google or Facebook. The directive has been in the works since July, when it was announced that parliament would move forward with the copyright legislation. Wednesday's vote was the last chance for any amendments.

The controversial directive contains two articles that open internet and free speech advocates believe could fundamentally alter the way the internet works. Here's what they mean.

Article 11, or the "link tax"

In the simplest terms, Article 11 requires sites like Facebook, Apple News, or Google News to pay news publishers for sharing their content. You go to Google News, you click on a Le Monde story, Google has to pay Le Monde.

The way Google operates now is by no means perfect, but critics of the Copyright Directive worry that Article 11 could have serious effects on smaller publishers that depend on Google News for traffic. For instance, in 2014, when Spain tried to get Google to pay publishers for indexing their stories on Google News, Google just closed Google News in Spain, arguing it was financially unfeasible to pay publishers for linking out to them. Ever since, Spanish users have had to go to news websites directly, which didn't really affect large publishers, but has had a huge impact on small publishers in Spain.

Article 11 also allows EU member states to make their own adjustments to it.

This article has been criticized by German Pirate Party politician and member of the European Parliament Julia Reda, who has been a vocal opponent of the Copyright Directive. She told BuzzFeed News that the Copyright Directive is basically unworkable."What we do every day on the internet would become illegal — sharing news articles with each other," she said. Reda said that under Article 11, a user would need a news publisher's permission to share a news story's full headline.

Article 13, the "upload filter" that could make memes illegal.

Article 13 of the Copyright Directive requires platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram to be legally liable for the content their users upload. Essentially, if you were to upload a copyrighted song to your YouTube channel, YouTube would be responsible for it. Not only would they be responsible for it, but platforms would also have to have filters in place to police the sharing of copyrighted content before it goes live.

Critics of the article argue that algorithmic filters wouldn't be able to tell what would be considered parody. They could also be used for surveillance or the curtailing of free speech.

"The Parliament squandered the opportunity to get the copyright reform on the right track," Dutch MEP Marietje Schaake said in a statement Wednesday. "This is a disastrous result for the protection of our fundamental rights, ordinary internet users and Europe´s future in the field of artificial intelligence. We have set a step backwards instead of creating a true copyright reform that is fit for the 21st century.”

Unsurprisingly, Article 13's biggest supporters have been members of the music industry.

"The proposed Copyright Directive and its Article 13 would address the value gap and help assure a sustainable future for the music ecosystem and its creators, fans and digital music services alike," Paul McCartney wrote in a letter to parliament in July.

So what happens next?
After Wednesday's vote, the European Parliament will go into negotiations. The European Commission and member states will have to reach a compromise before legislation becomes effective. And even then member states would have flexibility in how they enact the regulations.

Reda warned that negotiations will still include Article 11 and Article 13, meaning that whatever happens before the final vote on the Copyright Directive in January, the two most controversial pieces of it will remain intact. "The problem is the negotiations will take place on the basis of this parliament text," Reda said. "The only thing that could push a compromise is public pressure."

Who is behind the Copyright Directive?

German MEP Axel Voss has been leading the charge for the directive. The 55-year-old conservative is a copyright absolutist who sees himself as someone who is defending artists and journalists in Europe against huge American tech companies. "Members of the house, a heartfelt thanks for the job that we have done together. This is a good sign for the creative industries in Europe," said Voss after the vote on Wednesday.

Gus Rossi, the director of global policy at Public Knowledge, a nonprofit research initiative promoting an open internet, told BuzzFeed News that the Copyright Directive isn't about giving power back to European content creators, but actually about aligning with more traditional media institutions. "European Parliament decided to align with the entertainment and publishing industry, and it’s harming copyright to try to defend those interests," Rossi said. He also pointed out that the only companies that currently have the technology and resources to implement upload filters and pay link taxes are the same Silicon Valley companies MEPs like Voss claim they're trying to fight back against.

"We will end up with an ineffective legislation that will break copyright, and less entrepreneurs and innovators in Europe," he said.

What will a post–Copyright Directive internet look like?
After January, Google could decide that linking to news sites is too costly. Which means if you googled, say, "EU copyright vote," there would be no news stories about the vote. The first page of search results would probably be a few government websites and maybe a Wikipedia article about what the European Parliament is. (Although this law will seriously affect Wikipedia as well.)

Most photos and videos on places like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube would either have such aggressive filters that people would stop trying to use them, or they would no longer allow people in the EU to upload content. Already, large swathes of YouTube are blocked for regional copyright reasons in the EU. Apple's App Store does this as well. Most likely this would just increase. It could very quickly create two internets, one without the Copyright Directive and one with it.

But perhaps more alarming is the idea that social media platforms might decide it's easier to make all users play by EU regulations. "The closest example is the GDPR [General Data Protection Regulation]," Rossi said. "What happened was because of scalability and ease of compliance, tech platforms decided to implement the GDPR outside of the EU."

In May of this year, the EU triggered the General Data Protection Regulation. Overnight, new data protection rules were unleashed on the internet. You may have casually noticed more of your favorite websites asking you if you wanted to opt in to them tracking your cookies, or asking you to manage your privacy settings. Which means upload filters and link taxes won't stay a European problem for long. "We may see that for some internet platforms to comply for a worldwide operation than a European operation," Rossi said, "it’s easier for them to comply to one law than many laws."

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ry ... w-european
John Francis

maestrob
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Re: Does Content ID work for classical music?

Post by maestrob » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:37 am

Holy cow! Thanks, John, for that article. If our dysfunctional Congress ever passes something like this, it could mean the end of youtube as a resource. With my library of CDs, I'm not lacking in music to listen to, but for those who rely on "free" music online, this would be a disaster. Copyright vigilantes have already made it impossible for me to make DVD copies of movies off the air (including TCM's old movies dating back to the silent era!). Our rights as consumers are slowly being eroded.....

John F
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Re: Does Content ID work for classical music?

Post by John F » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:24 pm

At last!

Sorry, Sony Music, you don’t own the rights to Bach’s music on Facebook
Public shaming forces publisher to abandon ridiculous claim to classical music.
Timothy B. Lee
9/14/2018

Sony Music Entertainment has been forced to abandon its claim that it owned 47 seconds of video of musician James Rhodes using his own piano to play music written by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Last week, Rhodes recorded a short video of himself playing a portion of Bach's first Partita and posted it to Facebook. Bach died in 1750, so the music is obviously in the public domain. But that didn't stop Sony from claiming the rights to the audio in Partita's video. "Your video matches 47 seconds of audio owned by Sony Music Entertainment," said a notice Rhodes received on Facebook. Facebook responded by muting the audio in Rhodes' video.

But whereas Facebook's formal appeals process didn't work for Rhodes, public shaming seems to have done the trick. Rhodes' tweet on the topic got more than 2,000 retweets, and Rhodes also emailed senior Sony Music executives about the issue. Earlier this week, Sony finally released its claim to Rhodes' music—though we've still seen no sign of an explanation or apology. We've asked Sony Music for comment and will update if they respond.

To be fair to Sony Music, everyone—and every institution—makes mistakes. Presumably, this takedown was initiated by automated takedown software rather than a senior Sony executive deliberately trying to claim ownership of 300-year-old music.

But this kind of mistake is a predictable consequence of automated content filtering. And the Electronic Frontier Foundation points out that the European Union is currently debating whether to mandate the use of these filters on all major technology platforms that host user content. If that proposal becomes law—it was approved by the European Parliament on Wednesday—we can expect users to suffer from more mistakes like this in the future.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/201 ... -facebook/
John Francis

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Re: Does Content ID work for classical music?

Post by living_stradivarius » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:46 pm

John F wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:24 pm
But whereas Facebook's formal appeals process didn't work for Rhodes, public shaming seems to have done the trick. Rhodes' tweet on the topic got more than 2,000 retweets, and Rhodes also emailed senior Sony Music executives about the issue. Earlier this week, Sony finally released its claim to Rhodes' music—though we've still seen no sign of an explanation or apology. We've asked Sony Music for comment and will update if they respond.
Twitter seems like the only effective outlet these days for public outrage over copyright take-downs.
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Belle
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Re: Does Content ID work for classical music?

Post by Belle » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:14 pm

living_stradivarius wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:46 pm
John F wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:24 pm
But whereas Facebook's formal appeals process didn't work for Rhodes, public shaming seems to have done the trick. Rhodes' tweet on the topic got more than 2,000 retweets, and Rhodes also emailed senior Sony Music executives about the issue. Earlier this week, Sony finally released its claim to Rhodes' music—though we've still seen no sign of an explanation or apology. We've asked Sony Music for comment and will update if they respond.
Twitter seems like the only effective outlet these days for public outrage over copyright take-downs.
I've been reading about Beethoven again today (finishing the Swafford bio) and pirating of Beethoven's music was quite common in his lifetime. Beethoven had lots of arguments with Artaria and others over pirated music. Today it's just on a different order of magnitude.

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