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Bob Bain

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More YouTube censorship ! [Mar. 11th, 2009|10:50 am]
Bob Bain
[Current Mood |groggygroggy]

Addendum: EFF on "Winter Wonderland" Copyright (Julia Weybret)

Using YouTube's new automated copright detection technology, Warner Brothers detected last month that 15 year old Juliet Weybret had posted a video of herself playing the piano and singing the 1934 song Winter Wonderland. This unrepentant little criminal might have thought that such a widely covered tune had entered the public domain, 75 years after it was recorded, but Juliet was clearly unfamiliar with legislation like the Sony Bono Copyright Extension Act, which extended copyright protection to 95 years or more after publication date.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is not happy with the situation. About YouTube's Copyright ID technology,

The famous Christmas song Winter Wonderland was first published in 1934. The composer was Felix Bernard (1897-1944) and the lyricist was Richard B. Smith (1901-1935).

source: carols.org.uk where it's possible to play an automated rendition to your heart's content.

Having - in my years of employment - dealt with Copyright issues for Reader's Digest (Australia) I seem to recall that (at that time) a musical composition entered the public domain 50 years after the composer's death (which in this case appears to be 1944). I did on occassion challenge the automated payment of Copyright and indeed obtained refunds under the Copyright Act in force at that time. All I got from the Digest for my efforts was a flea in the ear. If an item is subject to copyright it used to be normal to distribute a "prescribed notice" to all possible copyright holders. Now if Juliet had done this in a formal manner before sitting down to the piano..... (sigh)


By Yinka Adegoke in New York
March 10, 2009 08:25am

YOUTUBE will block all music videos from being viewed by users in Britain after it was unable to reach a deal with a royalty collection group.

The world's largest video sharing website said PRS for Music, a British collection society that collects royalties on behalf of nearly 50,000 composers, was asking it to pay "many, many times" more than the previous licensing agreement that expired.