IP Problems, YouTube, and the Future: Crash Course Intellectual Property #7
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IP Problems, YouTube, and the Future: Crash Course Intellectual Property #7

Hi, I’m Stan Muller, and this is the final
episode of Crash Course Intellectual Property. Tackling such a huge subject in only seven
episodes has meant that we can’t go into quite as much detail as we’d like, but hopefully
we’ve given you a pretty good overview of the basics of Intellectual Property. We spent
the last six episodes talking about copyright, patent, and trademark laws as they currently
exist, but we keep running into a roadblock. Intellectual Property law is slow to change, and we’re living in a world that’s changing pretty rapidly. As we’ve noted again and again, our new digital
world has raised challenges for both consumers and producers of IP. So today, we’re going
to look at some of the problems that have developed in recent years with Intellectual
Property. We’re also going to talk about IP as it applies to everyone’s favorite internet
media hub, YouTube, and we’re even going to look into the future. I mean, we’ve got this
liquid-filled dye agitator containing a dye with raised indicia on the facets thereof.
This thing tells the future, right? It is certain! [Theme Music] So YouTube’s kind of a big deal. It has over
a billion users watching hundreds of millions of hours of video and generates billions and
billions of views. At the time we made this, over 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube’s
servers every minute, and in its ten year history, YouTube has become the audiovisual wing in Google’s attempt to build its archive of everything. YouTube is truly vast, and it’ll continue
to grow. It’s arguably the most important tool for speech and entertainment on the internet,
and we think it’s probably the world’s greatest and most transformative teaching and learning tool. But as great as YouTube is, in a lot of ways, it’s kind of a mess. When over 300 hours of video are uploaded
every minute, 24 hours a day, some of it’s not going to be that great. While it’s kind
of amazing and radically democratic that individual vloggers and makers of cat videos and those
videos where they just open the toys and look at them get to publish their videos side by
side with huge media companies, some creators are concerned that their creative work is
cheapened and becomes just another piece of content that gets lost amidst the junk, and
people aren’t just uploading their own content. Very often, people use this service to share
material they didn’t create, so for pretty much the entirety of YouTube’s 10 year existence,
it’s been getting sued. In early 2007, Viacom opened the floodgates,
served over 100,000 take down notices, and sued YouTube for $1 billion. Sports leagues,
music publishers, and other copyright owners all filed class action suits based on the
same theory: YouTube and Google should be held liable for the copyright infringements
committed by YouTube users. The issue here was whether YouTube complied with Section
512 of The Copyright Act, which was added in 1998 as part of the Digital Millennium
Copyright Act, or DMCA. The DMCA sets out safe harbors to protect Internet Service Providers
or ISPs from unreasonable liability. Basically, certain ISPs have to block or remove infringing content that it’s aware of, or for which it receives a valid notice. DMCA safe harbors protect Internet Service
Providers that comply with certain conditions when they’re engaged in one of four covered
activities. The first activity is when they’re acting as ‘mere conduits’, like the pipes
of the internet, for example, Comcast, Verizon Fios, or Google Fiber. The second activity
is caching content, like Google does. The third activity is hosting user-generated content,
like YouTube, and the fourth is acting as an information location tool or search engine,
like Google or Bing. The problem is, Congress came up with these
categories in 1998, which is like 80 years ago in internet years. The DMCA doesn’t fit
neatly with new categories of online services including peer-to-peer sharing, torrents, and
cloud storage. The DMCA is due for an upgrade. Let’s take a closer look at the notice and takedown provision of the DMCA in the Thought Bubble. So ISPs don’t have to actively monitor for
infringement, but they do have to act if they know about infringing content. ISPs know there’s
infringing content on their system when they receive a takedown notice or when they’re
independently aware of it through either actual knowledge or where it’s obvious infringing activity
is going on. This is called ‘red flag knowledge.’ Copyright owners and ISPs complain that the
notice and takedown system isn’t working. Rights holders complain that the system only
works for large corporate entities. Individuals and small businesses can’t afford to constantly
monitor for infringement and send thousands of notices. Also the DMCA requires that content
be taken down only from the specific location or URL identified in the notice. Once infringing
content, like Interstellar posted on YouTube, is taken down, it just gets reposted in a
different location. Copyright owners call it the whack-a-mole problem. ISPs complain
that the volume of takedown notices is overwhelming. Google started keeping track of the take down
notices over the past several years. The number has increased from about a 130,000 URLs per
week in 2011 to nearly 10 million per week in 2015. Lots of these notices are sent using
automated systems, which sometimes leads to erroneously removed content that doesn’t and
can’t take into account the fact that the use might be fair. Also, there is some evidence
that the take down system is being abused as a censorship tool, as in the case where
some candidates’ political advertisements have been targeted for removal during the
days leading up to a campaign, or as in the case of video game companies flagging unfavorable
reviews as infringing content. Thanks Thought Bubble. Now to get back to the Viacom v YouTube case,
the issue really centered around whether YouTube had knowledge that infringing content
was being posted to the site, and whether it induced users
to post such content. In 2012, the second circuit court of appeals
held that in order for YouTube to lose its safe harbor protections, it must have knowledge
or awareness of specific infringing activity. So although YouTube was probably generally
aware that infringing content was being uploaded because of the sheer volume of video being
posted and the fact they were being sued by a lot of people who were loudly pointing out
that a lot of this content was infringing, Viacom couldn’t show that YouTube knew about
specific infringing content and ignored it. After yet another appeal, Viacom and YouTube
settled the case in March of 2014. One big reason for that settlement may have been YouTube’s
2012 development of the content I.D. system. With content I.D., YouTube allows certain
copyright owners to upload their content into a database of protected material. YouTube
scans the uploaded content looking for a match in the database. When there is a match, rights
holders can elect to either block or remove the offending material, or monetize the video
by running ads against it. Though content I.D. seems to have slowed all
the litigation, it’s kind of really upset the YouTube user community. Critics point
out that the automated system can censor fair uses of protected content and sometimes unfairly
flag certain videos. Others claim that the system doesn’t go far enough, arguing that
YouTube gamed the DMCA in rapidly evolving markets to turn a billion dollar lawsuit into
a lucrative business deal, and that YouTube should be more proactive in ferreting out
infringing content. In any case, it appears that content I.D.
is here to stay into the foreseeable future, and there are probably several settlement
agreements that require its existence anyway. For the time being, content I.D. will continue
to chip away at some YouTubers incomes, which leads us to the issue of monetizing YouTube
videos. It’s not an incredibly easy thing to do. The difficulties inherent in generating income on YouTube become more complex when you talk about freebooting, which is the unauthorized copying of online content and rehosting it on another website. Unlike linking, sharing, or embedding the
file where the original creator is credited and paid for any views that take place, the
freebooted file is actually downloaded and reposted on another site where it generates
revenue. Our friend Destin at Smarter Every Day made an excellent video about it that
you should watch. Freebooting is kind of interesting; the companies
that are hosting these infringing videos have something of a perverse incentive to slow
down the DMCA takedown process. The longer the video is up of their site, the more views
and revenues it generates. While they’re observing the letter of the law and eventually taking
the stuff down, it seems a little fishy to me. In any case, the compensation structure of
YouTube is often at odds with the incentive structure of copyright law. Authors are granted
exclusive rights for a limited time so they may financially benefit from their creation
either through sale of copies or licensing access to the work. But this limited grant
of exclusive rights becomes less limited all the time as copyright term is extended and
extended further into the future. Speaking of the future, let’s wrap things
up with a little futurism. We’re gonna look at a few problems with current
intellectual property law, and we’re gonna talk a bit about what the future might look
like. We painted a pretty rosy picture of trademark law, and at its core it is a consumer
protection measure that really does function pretty well. We all have to buy things, but
trademark law makes sure we can more easily locate and buy the things we actually want and need, but owners sometimes overreach and abuse the system. Trademarks are everywhere, and for better
or worse, they’ve taken on such a level of importance to our day-to-day lives that it’s
impossible to Photoshop out every soda bottle or shirt logo in our videos. And by the way,
Photoshop is a registered trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated, not a generic term for
digital photo editing. And even if our old friend T-Swizzie registers
phrases like “this sick beat” and other lines from her songs, it’s not that worrisome. Trademark
registrations don’t give owners the right to dictate how a phrase or mark is used. Trademarks
become problematic when owners try to use them to restrain speech, like where a restaurant
threatens the author of a bad Yelp review with trademark infringement. So, patents are a little more of a mess. A
lot of recently issued patents are for inventions that are unoriginal, vague, over-broad, or
so unclear that bad actors can easily use them to threaten innovation. For example,
patents have been issued to basic technologies like sending and receiving of streaming audio
and video over the internet, voice over IP systems, and real-time multiplayer games.
To me, all of these seem like basic building blocks for other products. These bad patents
seem to serve no function besides generating license fees and curbing innovation. This
is really the case with software patents, where inventions can be as abstract as a single
click to purchase a book or the idea of sorting your Facebook friends into groups. Patent trolls are non-practicing entities
that take advantage of these vague patents by filing vague legal complaints. Even if
you’ve closely read the patent and you know your stuff, it’s kind of hard to figure out
how you’ve infringed the thing. There is patent troll legislation currently pending in the
House that would require companies bringing lawsuits to use greater detail in their documents,
and there’s actually a good chance that this patent troll legislation is going to pass
next year. Okay, so we spend a lot of time on copyright
in this series because we encounter it so often in our day-to-day lives. It’s simply
inescapable, and judging from the comments you posted, a lot of you really hate it. Law
professor Jane Ginsburg has an idea of how copyright lost it, and got a bad name. She
attributes it to “Greed. Corporate greed and consumer greed.” Corporate owners trying to
increase earnings have lobbied for and gotten more protective legislation that extends the term of
copyright and interferes with the development of consumer-friendly copying technologies.
Consumers want to share content and get stuff for free, and they feel that any law or enforcement
mechanism that gets in the way of what they can do with their own equipment in their own
homes is illegitimate, and it’s a threat to the public interest. Copyright owners argue
that there are now so many creators that strong exclusive rights are the best way to promote
the public interest. So one thing I’ve noticed in the comments
is that you guys think copyright term is way too long. Well, there’s evidence to back this
belief up. Fewer than 11% of copyrights registered between 1883 and 1964 were renewed at the
end of their 28-year term. Even though renewing didn’t cost very much. So back when stuff
could move to the public domain, copyright owners let 89% of their works lapse, because
the works no longer had any economic value, or the authors just didn’t care anymore. In
our current system, the copyright term is automatically life plus 70 years with no renewal
requirement. But a similar percentage of today’s copyright-protected works will likely be neglected
and forgotten about within a few decades, or even a few years of their creation. The
only difference is that they’re still protected by copyright. This creates a huge body of
work that’s under protection, but where the author or owner often can’t be found to grant
permission for use. There are called “orphan works.” Good-faith users that want to make
use of these works can’t find the owner, can’t get permission, and therefore face the risk
that they’ll be sued if the owner does eventually step forward. The copyright office is advocating
for legislation that will limit liability for good-faith users of orphan works who’ve
at least made some attempt to find the owner. This legislation also might create a framework
for the private sector to develop rights clearance mechanisms that will make it easier for creators
to use copyrighted work. It’s possible that Congress may consider introducing legislation
along these lines in the coming years, but you know how Congress is. There are also some really interesting private
initiatives that have tried to address the super-long copyright term. Organizations like
Creative Commons and copyleft have attempted to let creators choose how their work can
be used by others, and these movements have gained some traction. It’s hard not to just
argue that the term should be shorter, but that’s really hard to do. Changing US law
requires the revision and maybe renegotiation of all these international treaties that further
entrench the life-plus-70 term, and the US is signing more of these treaties all the time,
so unfortunately, the life-plus-70 term is here to stay. So I may have given the impression here that
intellectual property law is a stinking cesspool of greed and confusion, but I’m going to argue
that there is some value here. The basic notions–that individual authors should be rewarded for
their creative efforts, that inventors should profit from their inventions, and that manufacturers
of goods should be able to market their products without fear that knockoffs will appear on
supermarket shelves–these are all good ideas. Maybe you think they’re not, but I believe
that we as a society can’t neglect our creators and innovators. We also can’t allow outdated
laws to prevent technological innovation and progress. The trick, as always, is striking
a balance, a combination of strong exclusive rights for authors and inventors, and equally
strong exceptions and limitations that allow for creators to build on work that came before.
Is this possible? “Reply hazy. Ask again later.” Well, there you have it. As usual on Crash
Course, there are no answers, only more questions. Next week, we’re going to start looking at
questions around the world economy with Crash Course: Economics. Thanks for watching. Crash Course: Intellectual Property is filmed
at the Chad and Stacey Emigholz Studio in Indianapolis, Indiana; it’s made by all of
these nice workers-for-hire. If you’d like to keep Crash Course freely available for
everyone forever, you can support the series at Patreon, a crowdfunding platform that allows
you to support the content you love. Speaking of Patreon, we’d like to thank all of our
supporters in general, and specifically thank our Headmaster of Learning, Thomas Frank,
and our Vice Principals, Kathy and Tim Philip, and Linnea Boyev. You can get awesome material
awards for your support, but I know that’s not why you’re in this thing, you’re in it
for the greatest reward of all, which is helping people learn. Thanks for watching. We’ll see
you next week.


  • Djungelurban

    Copyright should be a hard cap of like 25 years max. Same with IP. Mickey Mouse and Mario should be public domain by now…

  • pyrotheevilplatypus

    I wish Stan had addressed First Sale Doctrine and how digital IP has basically tossed that out the window.

  • theeutecticpoint

    Oh boy, Brady Haran is going to get a big(er) head from this. I suppose that's good for freebooting though too.  Really looking forward to Econ!

  • Jonas Glerup

    I would argue that a trademark holds I right in this world, more than a patent. Patent are a restriction tool for innovation. You simple can't prove that would have gained a profit. Example: I want a Tommy Hilfiger shirt and they hold the patent for its shape. Let say someone else create a shirt for equal shape and form, but its not a TH. I'll buy the TH because of the trademark. But if someone would buy the "knock off" you can't prove that they would have bought the TH shirt in first place. So no lost sale, the only thing you left with I a patent lawsuit and a restriction on innovation. This issue becomes bigger and bigger all the time because of the information speed and the rapid development of new ideas. More the once have I seen great ideas for great innovations been abandoned because of patent issues and the rigid system patents. It's simply a to old fashion system for this day and age…

  • James A. Lancaster

    Despite a preference to lower copyright terms, I'd be content with 70+life for original creator if as soon as the rights were sold, the content was then in the public domain by default after only 5 years (arbitrary). This keeps the creator hungry to keep creating, the buyer can't just sit on a work, they must maximize it for gain, and then it's available for everyone else in 5 years.
    This would be especially helpful with corporations that buy other corporations simply for their works. Buy it, make your money, and then buy the next best thing in a few years. Force a demand of new tech from the IP side to drive innovation. That creates new wealth and new ideas and allows tinkerers and startups to work on old technology without fear.
    Or something like this…

  • R. Rod.

    FUCK U USA and u stupid laws ABUSE!! , there are wonderfull people with magical powers called hackers (mostly russian) that keep us providing us good stuff to fight your shit.

    But you know what me personally day to day buy things apps and books and videos I EVE GOT SUBSCRIPTION PLANS FOR GAMES rather than looking for the pirate version if the price and the benefices are good and i really need it , well ill BUY IT. But let me point to something i grow i an shitty country and i don't had opportunity to buys stuff like books and software in the university, pirate stuff was the ONLY alternative , but now i cant afford a lot of things and i thing that is the POINT businesses had to realize that they must offer other alternatives like Jetbrains they offer 1 YEAR free for students and Microsoft very cheap software and EVE FREE for students. I am very happy to SEE day to day more of these alternatives and i looking forward to pay. But if business dont change well USA is not the whole word and you stupids shits laws cant reach any one and you will continue to loose money or some on is going to over a better option 😀

  • Main Akkount

    Fuck this lukewarm critique.

    Copyright doesn't help small artists (who arguably need a source of income the most) even a little bit. It's only a protectionist measure for gigantic publishing labels and unless you are one of the assholes who works for them or contracts with them, you should be opposed to copyright law in its entirety. 99% of people have nothing to gain from it and everything to lose, even though they are the ones paying the bill.

    Crowdfunding is undeniably the future. Copyright laws are just holding us back. If it means, we won't get as many 100+-million dollar blockbuster movies, that isn't just an acceptable loss but in fact desirable. Jesus Christ, just look at all the crap Hollywood puts out every year! If consumers were able to save the money they spent on overpriced, copyrighted entertainment and instead donate it to creators of their choice, we'd have much more diverse content, happier consumers, more efficient content creation, and perhaps most importantly a culture of respect between content creators and consumers, rather than the mistrust and violence created by copyright law and its enforcement.

    And don't even get me started on patent law. It has been nothing but a gigantic drain on the global economy and must have cost tens if not hundreds of trillions of dollars of lost productivity over the last couple of decades alone.

  • Jim Engström

    What episode take up Copyright snatching, ie when a company claim Copyright on something that is (or should be) belonging to the public domain like "Happy Birthday to You" and most of the Disney's stories that are based on older works and often inspired by other artists works.

  • VeganGains'SlightlyLessRetardedTwin

    Ugh, I can't stand seeing the sweat on this man's face, and his extra nasally voice. It's frightening, for his sake. Clear signs of unhealthiness and a body clogged with mucus (due to poor diet habits).

    You're a beautiful soul, and a bright mind with a lot to offer. Don't let it go to waste by leaving the world before your time. Get healthy man.

  • realmenchangediapers

    What about international licensing? I live in Israel, and there is a TV show in the US I want to see. No Israeli TV channel wants to buy it (even if they did, I dont have a TV). If I go to their website, they post the episodes for the US only, blocking the rest of the world. So yes, I find an illegal copy on youtube and download it before it is taken down. I would be happy to pay the creators a few bucks, or watch some commercials, but they are not making that option available to me. A similar thing happened when I tried to by an e-book in English. Available in the US only.
    And I keep thinking – imagine a Russian living in Israel who wants to watch an American show dubbed to Russian. There's a Russian production company that has made the dubbing and published it online – for viewing inside Russia only. Because they only bought license to show it withon Russia.
    These international borders really need to be erased on the internet. I dont know how, but the current situation is simply ridiculous!!

  • Miguel D

    I don't really know if you mentioned it in this video as it went so fast, but I heard a company put a copyright on the word Pixels (I think it's the company that made the movie Pixels) and so apparently all the indie games that had Pixels in their name had been taken down. Here's where I found that: https://torrentfreak.com/anti-piracy-group-hits-indie-creators-for-using-the-word-pixels-150808/

  • anonymus021

    "But in the majority of cases in software, patents effect independent invention. Get a dozen sharp programmers together, give them all a hard problem to work on, and a bunch of them will come up with solutions that would probably be patentable, and be similar enough that the first programmer to file the patent could sue the others for patent infringement." – partial quote from John Carmack

  • UncleFap

    "Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck went to Disneyland. It was awesome"

    I've created and shared this creative writing online yesterday. Have I infringed any copyright and should I fear Disney???

  • Sugar~n~Spice

    Does anyone know if the people who post the videos playing Candy Crush and Soda Crush monetize their videos or if you can monetize those? I've looked it up and have found nothing.

  • Darkstar1484

    My issue with the long term holds on copywrite is linked up to the problem of a few large companies owning large amounts of major amounts of intellectual property. Disney is actually a good example, at current they have of course the full disney franchise but also the Muppets, Star Wars, and the Marvel Canon. Not to mention the films owned by their subsidiaries. Look at all the things that exist between Marvel Star Wars and Disney, it would be very easy for them to stamp out any new intellectual property simply because so many things could be analagous. While this may not be an issue for a large corporation for smaller groups it is likely to have some major consequences.

  • Melissa Kerr

    Fun fact, Jane Ginsburg, who is mentioned in the video as the provider of the corporate greed and consumer greed quote, is the daughter of everyone's favorite Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

  • mackdmara

    The better the internet, the faster ideas can travel. This includes these properties. The ease of taking implies consent. When I go to look at a video it is hard for me to know who gets the ad revenue, assuming anyone does. How do I know you have permission to display the logos that you do. Should I check if your official video was allowed by the owner of the content? Often the footwork needed is to great to expect of a viewer. Like TV, I feel that is between the shows staff and the owner of the properties. If you provide the material, regardless of who gave it to you, then you and the person posting are responsible. But, I don't know if that is reasonable to up hold. Hope we work it out in time so that things like crash course can exist. Thanks

  • MadMage86

    You talk about the 'life plus 70' term being so hard to change, but it was extended to 70 years in 1998… that's really not that long ago as far as the legal realm is concerned. This kind of explanation seems akin to the 'too big to fail' line of thought that if something is difficult to do, we pre-ordain the path of least resistance.

    My problem with it isn't even necessarily that the term itself is ludicrously long or that wildly vague concepts have been allowed such protections – my problem is the non-viable nature of these protections in a digital age in the first place. A physical product is one thing, but information is a much murkier proposition and I think the efforts meant at one time to be consumer friendly have become very anti-consumer. Simply put, there need to be far more consumer end protections and rights (such as trial use for software due to the complex and often uncertain nature thereof or rights to create or obtain copies of products legally held in various forms. I would also argue that performance pieces such as music, movies and television should not receive protection and monetization should focus on a specific presentation, such as concerts or theater showings, rather than attempting to control all reproductions and distributions thereof).

  • Phuong Anh Nguyen

    Anyone can explain what the phrase "a perverse incentive" dose mean at 6:56'? I'm using this video for studying but not the native English speaker so it's quite hard to understand clearly even though i googled it. Thanks guys 😀

  • Econael

    So if a bunch of governments don't want to change a particular law, they just sign international treaties with each other and whenever a citizen questions said law, they throw their arms in the air and say "sorry, treaties!".

  • Canoz Cankin

    It is simply impossible to prevent this situation. And it shouldnt be stopped. If someone cares about something to the extend to pirate it, let him be. world is big and now 1 more mind working on the subject (tadaaa progress). Have few less bucks and let the idea spread. With digital age, we can almost always credit creators of contents. But noone will cry about monopolizers gaining extra millions. And like i said, everyone related to topic propably knows no matter how hard these monopolizers try, pirates will get you free stuff. Numbers u mentioned will grow faster faster muuuch more faster and at some point, those who gain unfair with little effort will have to give up that wealth and be humble creators who just create for the sake of humanity or themselves. not money.

  • Fredrik Dunge

    Trademarks are problematic when they are used to replace expiring copyrights. Can't keep the copyright to franshise, make the name a trademark.
    Copyright is way to long, it needs to be 70 years or the lifetime if the creatore whichever is longest. Companies should have to pay exponetielly rising costs to retain copyrights, unlike people companies are immortal and thus can abuse these things in way people cannot.
    And patents need to be more expensive to renew, or perhaps need to be renewed more often.

  • Fredrik Dunge

    No it's not here to stay, europe want's to change it too. The developing world certainly wants to change it. The US are the ones blocking any suggestions to change the life + 70.

  • Rachel Evans

    I'd love to see more episodes of this! I'm an artist, publisher and general creator of things, and all of this is really applicable to me, and will probably become even more applicable to everyone in years to come.

  • NotAGoodUsername360

    There is something fundamentally wrong with giving so much power to a law that wasn't even written in the millennium it was designed to control. It's like it was written knowing it was going to be out of date within a few short years and so they just got the most over-broad definitions they could to allow major corporations with deep pockets to troll the system for as long as possible.

  • Floris van der Breggen

    Awesome. Thanks for the videos. 1 question: how do you think social entrepreneurs should go about intellectual property? There are people that say social impact is maximized if social entrepreneurs keep stuff open source. Other people say that social entrepreneurs should use IP anyway in order to stay financially healthy, and to attain credibility among partners and investors. Any thoughts? (Anyone?)

  • Aris Zabidi

    Watched the whole series and i really like it, was wondering how intellectual property applies to magic illusion (illusions Micheal, tricks are what whores do for money).

  • lamcho00

    While I do agree that inventors and content creators should get a profit of their work. Especially when house hold 3D printers are around the corner. I do still think that copyright and patent laws as they are now are impeding progress, especially when it comes to software development. And after I've finished the IP series, I'm still not entirely convinced, IP is actually contributing to the number of useful inventions or creative works.

  • Jenn Eiland

    This has been an awesome course and I really enjoy the host, which is critical in a complicated topic like this one.

    Also, having stared at Mr. Muller for 7 episodes, I have great admiration for his excellent skin. Whether that is the stellar work of a makeup artist, a reflection of his own dedication to good skin care, or simply excellent genetics, it's awesome and should be said.

  • UrbanWizard

    I was still confused as to which extent I am able to take copyright material, transform it, and use in a monetized youtube video

  • Moisés Guerra

    Thanks for all your great content and work, it makes a big difference when people want to learn and find answers to many things in life. 🙂

  • Kei Ouji

    IP law makes a lot of assumptions. 1) That it is impossible for two people to share the same idea. 2) That no valuable IP can be gained without express consent from the owner. lets take a look at free software. why are these creators giving it away? Which invalidates that people will not create without incentive to do so. I would rather have a society that only people created if anyone could use their ideas; than be stuck with IP law and only a few could use the ideas.

  • André Neves

    I actually liked the "introduction" for the matter, but there are two related things I wanted to say…
    First, a mention of "linux weirdos" was kinda… unnecessary, to say the least. Many Linux users actually know more about copyrights than the average proprietary OS user (yes, some are "weirdos", but which group doesn't have these?). Generalizing like this, since this was the only mention to this group is unfair to say the least.
    Second, Copyleft was only barely mentioned. I think that they do make valid points whether you agree with the ideas or not and I think these "alternatives" to copyright should have at least an episode to make a just counterpoint. In the end, I don't think that the criticisms to the system and the proposed alternatives were suitably addressed in this series, just pinpointing individual challenges that the current system has to overcome to keep things running as they always ran.

    But again, good work. Just trying to be constructive with my criticism.

  • Heather Calun

    Here's my solution. If you don't like it, please give constructive criticism. If you do, please perpetuate this idea and try to change the laws: In the future, I predict that the vast majority of IP will get its start on crowdfunding websites. Therefore, creators should 1. Decide ahead of time the net money necessary for their project, including how much profit they want to generate. 2. Describe their idea on their page in enough detail to prove that they can produce a creative work, but not so much so that any plagerizing parallel projects could make a completely identical product (and if they still do by accident, that means that only one design was ideal and therefore no one can cry foul) 3. Immediately release every aspect of their creation to the public domain the second it hits the market. Now understand, there would still be regulations in place; here are a few that I've come up with: 1. Intellectual Property can still be considered "stolen" if the theft occurred before the creation was officially unveiled to the public. Until that moment, the idea is still private, and creators should be able to develop their idea in peace without worrying about a competitor beating them to the punch if a blueprint got leaked. 2. Anti-plagiarism laws would be beefed up. Copying off of someone, even directly disseminating their work, would be all fair game, but only when doing so at least partially serves as guerrilla advertising for the entity that produced the original work. In the digital world, attention is valuable capital – we often overlook that fact – so copying someone's work with the appropriate citations is still valid payment. Only assholes have a problem with giving credit where credit's due, and users would actively benefit because – well – how frustrating is it when there's no way to find out where that piece of music came from? Everybody wins! 3. There would be institutions for moderating the exchange of money for creative works, by which I mean the websites supporting this model. Technically, they are the ones holding the money for the time in between the customer funding the project and the project being released. If a project is announced aborted, the money is automatically refunded to the supporters. Any money that is taken out of the pot during the development process must be declared to the supporters. Finally, a ratings system would be implemented to hold creators accountable across multiple projects. Now I am aware that what I'm describing is essentially money lending, and that practice has plenty of its own problems, but hopefully you'll agree exorcising IP from this tangled web is a step in the right direction.

  • Josue

    How can we register products from copyright or trademark? Is copyright law the only way to protect video games and computer programs?

  • D Remi

    You guys make great informative and educational content. But, would you guys consider making an updated Crash Course on Intellectual Property with any changes or updates since the last time this series ended. I'd be interested in knowing where things currently stand now. Thanks.

  • Jimmy Ramos

    The principle is not copyright, Negative transform + positive= power to success (changes or transform) the big data.

  • Raymond

    It's so easy: You created something, you have worked, so you have the right to earn something for it.
    You want to consume something you can get it for free if the creator does so or you pay for it.

  • wickedshizuku27

    Hi Crash Course, greetings from Alabama. I've been a big fan since I stumbled upon this channel, last semester. (I'm returning to college after a 15 year sojourn, and my skills are shamefully rusty in everything but reading. )
    The American Government series was so useful while I was taking PSC100. Thanks Craig, I got an A!
    Can Craig or Mike possibly make an English grammar series? Possibly cover Essays and Research Papers? The thought bubbles have been what has given me the 'a-ha' moments, for me. (example: structure, citation, the difference between typing format methods, over coming Southern dialect in writing. )
    My daughter is also struggling in 7th grade AP Math, and said that she understood how Hank explained elements. Maybe if he or someone over at Crash Course Kids could cover it?
    She got a B on her science test, thanks Hank!
    Lots of love,

  • Steven Dx

    Auto license is a better option and generate more revenue for people, and more transformative content would be created, instead of removing content people write profit sharing checks (assumining you nail the original owner issue with block chain or similar method).

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