Wednesday, December 19, 2012

esquibeth and the troll

BFM Digital (no, i am not providing you with a link to them) are a notorious copyright troll. i had up until this point only ever heard about them through articles and stories.

apparently what they do is scan youtube uploads for close matches to any sounds in their catalog and then file copyright claims on the youtube videos.

that would be awesome, except that BFM digital files claims on sounds and music it does not own.

YouTube’s Content ID Flags Filmmakers Completely Original Film

YouTube birdsong goof shows copyright problems

even so, i was a little surprised when BFM got their hooks into me.

on the last day the game glitch was open, a tinySpeck employee reset my account so i could make a screen video of the last pilgrimage of esquibeth, a beautiful ingame quest.

as soon as i got it uploaded, i got this message from youtube:

"your video may include the following copyrighted content: 'nature ambience- strong underwater bubble background', sound recording administered by: BFM digital"

i was then presented with the choice of either acknowledging that i had used BFM material without permission or else trying to claim why my use of BFM content was legal.

there was no option for me to state that BFM does not hold claim to that content and their claim on it is fraudulent.

just to be certain i wrote to TinySpeck, the company that DOES own the copyright just to confirm BFM digital is trolling using property it does not own and does not administer or represent.

within a matter of hours employees at TinySpeck were able to state firmly that BFM digital owns NONE of the content they claimed in my video.

this is where the real fun begins, though.

because when you dispute a copyright claim at youtube, they are very heavy handed.

just to fill out the form, you have to work under the assumption that you are using music belonging to the claimant and you are obliged to show why you may use music under administration by the claimant.

tough luck if the principal reason you're disputing the claim is because the troll doesn't own the rights to the property in the first place.

so this is what i wrote:

the holder of copyright on this soundtrack is not the notorious copyright troll BFM digital, but TinySpeck.

i have correspondence with tiny speck just today to confirm this.

tinySpeck have authorized its users to make and post recordings of gameplay video.

BFM digital are famous for filing claims on live recorded nature noises as if they own the digital rights to birdsong.

what we want to know is why BFM digital is claiming to have administration over this soundtrack that it does not in fact own.

this claims dispute in no way recognizes that BFM digital even has rights to this soundtrack. the sounds in this recording belong fully to tinySpeck and BFM digital's claim is in itself fraudulent.

and then for good measure, i sent a copy of my response to TinySpeck, who, as i think i've mentioned, DO hold all the rights to the soundtrack.

it's a little nervous-making, disputing a fraudulent troll claim on youtube, because you have to click through no fewer than three pages on which they warn you that making fraudulent claim disputes is grounds for having your youtube accounts deleted.

my only hope here is that BFM digital will release claim to a thing they DO NOT HOLD RIGHTS TO IN THE FIRST PLACE.

apparently there are no penalties for making claims on other people's work, because BFM digital is still at it.

here's the video. please enjoy it while i still have a youtube account.


Riceball said...

This is outrageous...I sincerely hope Youtube will look into the whole thing carefully and let the troll stay away from your precious videos. These videos preserve the memories of us players...How dare they ever target on you and TS.

GDad said...

I might suggest contacting Ken at the Popehat blog. He is a lawyer that loves to help people when companies or individuals make heavy handed legal claims like that.

flask said...

reisball, it's not so much a targeting; but they have automatic software that scans videos for content they own. the problem with this particular company is that they make claims to content they do not own as a matter of course and bully people into acknowledging their nonexistent claim so they can monetize other people's content.

flask said...

thank you, Gdad. i'm waiting to see if the claim is removed at this time. this company has a habit of making false claims and then withdrawing them when confronted with too much fact.

i will keep it in mind, though.


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