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INTEREST: Virtual YouTuber Agency Hololive Apologizes For Uploading Videos Without Copyright Permiss




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Kougeru



Joined: 13 May 2008
Posts: 5131
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:02 pm Reply with quote
. " and a number of them have been removed. ". As far as been told to us, the deletions were accidental. Specifically for Subaru's videos. I checked hundreds of videos across other channels and every single one was set to "private", not deleted, so it seems like only very few have been deleted. Dozens of videos were restored within 24 hours, so it's looking pretty good so far.

What amazes me is how people think video game streaming is actually a legal right they have. People don't understand that game developers still own the rights to the footage of their games and that most just allow people to stream with no issue. They can change their mind at any time. Streaming is not "fair use".

Lastly, another major bright side to this story is that Cover was approved to stream Nintendo games after negotiating with Nintendo. https://cover-corp.com/2020/08/01/任天堂株式会社の著作物に関する、包括配信許諾/

I'm really looking forward to all the Nintendo streams that will no doubt pop up in the next few weeks
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Saury



Joined: 23 Feb 2019
Posts: 15
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:24 pm Reply with quote
Kougeru wrote:
.
What amazes me is how people think video game streaming is actually a legal right they have. People don't understand that game developers still own the rights to the footage of their games and that most just allow people to stream with no issue. They can change their mind at any time. Streaming is not "fair use".


This is what I stress to folks all the time in online debates about the subject. Fair use (and copyright laws in general) is extremely messy because the criteria are rather subjective, and streaming content don't line up well with the criteria at all.

On top of this, there are multiple countries in the world (including JAPAN) that basically don't have fair use in its copyright laws.

On another note, poor Subaru Sad I hope they have backups (though I doubt they do).
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VerQuality
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Joined: 01 Oct 2016
Posts: 83
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:25 pm Reply with quote
Given all the trouble Cover had with Nintendo just a few months ago, it's disappointing they've been caught so thoroughly unprepared here. It feels like the recent subscriber growth hasn't really sunk into their corporate culture - they're not a small company anymore, and given that video-game streaming is so central to their business, their should have made sure to get their legal ducks in a row ASAP.

On the plus side, the new agreement with Nintendo bodes well for the future (hopefully we can finally see Suisei tetris streams again), and the fact that the song covers all seem to be back means that they weren't completely ignorant of the copyright minefield they're operating in.
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samuelp



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 2128
Location: San Antonio, USA
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:14 pm Reply with quote
Saury wrote:

This is what I stress to folks all the time in online debates about the subject. Fair use (and copyright laws in general) is extremely messy because the criteria are rather subjective, and streaming content don't line up well with the criteria at all.

I wouldn't say that's so clear. It really depends on how you interpret the previous case decisions. For game streaming specifically, you can't argue that the added commentary, plus the actual gameplay itself (dependent on the actions of the streamer) aren't producing new, significantly transformed media all the time.

Like take for example a stream of say, Mario 2 (the original Japanese one that's super hard). I watch a streamer play that because of how they rage or fail or otherwise go insane from the stupid difficulty. That isn't really part of the game itself, that's really part of their added value to the content. It's in the spirit of the fair use exception for "criticism and commentary" I would say.
But you can also say that since a full playthrough is not just a small excerpt for the purpose of said commentary but the entire thing, I could also see that maybe not qualifying.

And, like you said, there are plenty of countries like Japan with no legal precedent for any fair use at all (even in the context of criticism or commentary), making it even more complicated globally.

Further muddying the waters is the relatively large number of game developers and publishers which actively encourage streaming or at the very least do nothing to stop it. Can we really blame kids who grew up on Minecraft Let's Plays for thinking that it's fine to stream any game online?

I think there needs to be some new paradigm of copyright law passed to address this directly, because right now it is too fragmented an ill-defined, both in the law and in the minds of the public.
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samuelp



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 2128
Location: San Antonio, USA
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:17 pm Reply with quote
VerQuality wrote:

On the plus side, the new agreement with Nintendo bodes well for the future (hopefully we can finally see Suisei tetris streams again), and the fact that the song covers all seem to be back means that they weren't completely ignorant of the copyright minefield they're operating in.

One part of copyright law that Japan is maybe further ahead on than the US is music and karaoke rights. You can pretty much do anything as long as you pay JASRAC, and karaoke rights are something basically all music publishers have tons of experience with in Japan.
It will be far easier for them to double check the cover song rights than the gameplay ones.
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Nroxy



Joined: 05 Feb 2020
Posts: 11
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:49 pm Reply with quote
Fix it YAGOO
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DRosencraft



Joined: 27 Apr 2010
Posts: 377
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:37 pm Reply with quote
samuelp wrote:
Saury wrote:

This is what I stress to folks all the time in online debates about the subject. Fair use (and copyright laws in general) is extremely messy because the criteria are rather subjective, and streaming content don't line up well with the criteria at all.

I wouldn't say that's so clear...


So there's several things to unpack here.

First, the law is blind to arguments of lack of knowledge. The law assumes you are a fictitious individual called a "reasonable person" who has read the ToS for games, understand at least broadly what copyright law is, and know or should know that certain action will violate the law. Using the example of one game that was indifferent or permissive to an action that would ordinarily violate a copyright only allows cover from that copyright holder going after you based on the rationale that the copyright holder failed to adequately protect their rights. And even then you have to go into a court and make a jury believe that.

Specifically noting your example of the Mario 2 stream; I don't know of any specific case particularly similar. However, a close allegory would be a case I briefed about a year ago where a teacher photocopied about five pages from a textbook not used by the school, but had information she wanted to use for her class. It wasn't a continuous set of pages, it was snippets of several different pages of that section of the several hundred page book, and contained a lot of remarks and highlights she made for her lesson. She made only enough copies for her class (about 20 something). Supreme Court case, so was appealed a ways. Was found to not be fair use. And this is even in light of the fact that educational material is given greater weight in terms of fair use than anything that is for a commercial purpose. Fair use is far more restrictive than people seem to think, and many times instances people think as fair use are actually settled on other grounds, or like the case here with Hololive, end with an agreement where the violation is swept under the rug by a fresh agreement.

Many nations are party to a number of international agreements on copyright usage, but these are based of the U.S. model. The U.S. model leans heavily on common law - law made by court decisions - which obviously will not be as effective in places lacking a ton of legal precedent. So while Japan does have Fair Use laws, they aren't as robust as U.S. laws, so it gets murky. Worse yet in dealing with properties owned in one country, with potential violators in another, with a third party (YouTube for instance) in the middle.
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AmpersandsUnited



Joined: 22 Mar 2012
Posts: 238
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:38 pm Reply with quote
I know Game Center CX only do games they get explicit permission from the copyright holder to do. Even with games from defunct companies from the 80s they'll reach out to the person who designed the game and ask permission to cover them. Whether it's out of respect to them or an actual legal issues, there's definitely a huge attitude difference between the west and Japan.

Not that the west doesn't have their own issues when it comes to copyright. The amount of companies that send out phony DMCAs to stifle criticism or negative press is disappointing. YouTube especially has a 'copyright strike first then ask questions later' mentality which is annoying.
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Kougeru



Joined: 13 May 2008
Posts: 5131
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:58 am Reply with quote
Saury wrote:

On another note, poor Subaru Sad I hope they have backups (though I doubt they do).


I know of several fans that I have archived every single video of Subaru at least...But I doubt Cover would care to get the footage even if the fans offered it.

AmpersandsUnited wrote:
YouTube especially has a 'copyright strike first then ask questions later' mentality which is annoying.


At the risk of sounding like I'm defending YouTube, they kinda don't have a choice. If they don't act quickly in the case of a REAL copyright strike, it could cost them a ton of money. If they just allowed things they'd obviously be shut down pretty fast. Luckily we can "Dispute" claims so MOST the time they seem to be BS....
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Q4000



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 18
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:09 am Reply with quote
AmpersandsUnited wrote:
I know Game Center CX only do games they get explicit permission from the copyright holder to do. Even with games from defunct companies from the 80s they'll reach out to the person who designed the game and ask permission to cover them. Whether it's out of respect to them or an actual legal issues, there's definitely a huge attitude difference between the west and Japan.

Any legitimate company in any industry and anywhere who use material that they do not own or hold rights to, do exactly that. It's less out of respect and more of a legal requirement.

Tom Scott did an informative video where he explains copyright in the context of YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Jwo5qc78QU
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Sparvid



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 225
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:29 am Reply with quote
DRosencraft wrote:
However, a close allegory would be a case I briefed about a year ago where a teacher photocopied about five pages from a textbook not used by the school, but had information she wanted to use for her class.

But copies of pages from a book are for all intents and purposes identical to the actual pages from the original book. Same with digital copies of for example a movie or a song, or distributing a hacked, illegal copy of the playable game.

Looking at footage of someone playing Mario (or Monopoly, or baseball) is not equivalent of playing that game yourself, unless the game is so badly designed that you basically just press "play" and then everything plays out automatically, like a movie.
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Blanchimont



Joined: 25 Feb 2012
Posts: 2186
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:04 am Reply with quote
DRosencraft wrote:
However, a close allegory would be a case I briefed about a year ago where a teacher photocopied about five pages from a textbook not used by the school, but had information she wanted to use for her class. It wasn't a continuous set of pages, it was snippets of several different pages of that section of the several hundred page book, and contained a lot of remarks and highlights she made for her lesson.

If it was only 5 pages scattered and not something like literature quoted verbatim, wouldn't the easier solution to be to process it all in a word processor, ie write down the specifics things you're after, preferably to try to find and compare to other sources, rewrite and compile those specifics to an easily digestible sheet, print THAT document out, and hand that to the students.

Facts can't be copyrighted, expression can but never the facts themselves, so unless those 5 pages were something that absolutely required verbatim quotes, that's a LOT of money wasted on a law case...
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Pandsu



Joined: 16 Sep 2017
Posts: 69
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:58 pm Reply with quote
HUGE WALL OF TEXT INCOMING!

The thing that I don't get about a lot of people who talk about this stuff online and cry "fair use" all the time without knowing what they're talking about (for the record: I am also very ignorant on the subject but I don't claim otherwise) is how many of the same people have repeatedly screamed bloody murder when it comes to the same kind of use of streamer/youtuber clips, art by small-time artists or music by small-time musicians.

One of my go-to pet peeve examples of this that I keep bringing up just for how beautiful of an example it is, was when there was all that drama about compilation channels. I remember a video that was extremely critical of the fact that there were people making money off of streamer and youtuber clips that they cut together and uploaded because their argument was that it was their content and that people who watch highlight compilations have no reason to watch the full videos anymore and that it's not right that someone else is making money off of your work.
The video had a bunch of streamers and youtubers give their two cents about it and some people were mercilessly shitting on the people who made such compilations and refused to acknowledge any of the counter arguments.

The reason why it's my favorite go-to example of this stuff is the sheer hypocrisy shown by some of them because I checked out their channels and a lot of them were making a ton of money playing linear, story-heavy games in their entirety while adding only very little on top of the average reactions of "OH NO" and "I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!".
They knew full well that many people who were interested in some of those games were okay with simply watching them instead of buying and playing them but wouldn't see how that was in any way the same as them (the streamers) saying "well, if they can just watch the highlight compilations, why would they even check out my channel anymore???" and how hypocritical it was for them to make money off of years of hard labor by tens, if not hundreds, of people that they were distributing across the internet for free.

To make matters worse, some of them even streamed Persona 5 in its entirety, even though Atlus went out of their way to ask (and threaten to enforce) that people wouldn't stream or Let's Play the game past a certain point of the game and those streamers, those who whined about others using clips of their streams, completely ignored that and even threw a tantrum about Atlus DARING to try and stop them.

Same thing, though to a lesser extent, is sometimes happening with people using drawings and/or characters by small creators as profile pictures without permission while those complaining run around with game- or anime-based PFPs themselves.


For me personally, like many things online, streaming and youtube has always spent most of its time either in grey areas or in literal outlaw wild west land and that's how I like it best but I don't really blame any company or person for trying to protect their rights, as long as they seem to respect the rights of others themselves.
It sucks to lose some of that online freedom and in a perfect world we could just all easily share any bit of information and experience we'd like to. But that's a bit of a utopia and online creation has grown up and is playing in the big leagues now, so of course they can expect to be held to some of the same rules and standards that TV, movies, radio, print and video games had to abide by for ages. After all, you can't just have any music or artwork or movie clip in your TV shows all willy nilly without permission. So why would youtubers or streamers, especially those who see themselves as professionals and have professional-level protections and make professional-level money, be treated any different? It's honestly a miracle that stuff like Twitch was ever allowed to get as far as it did while blatantly disregarding all that all the time.
But I'm thankful for that, don't get me wrong.

I do wish, however, that lawmakers would reform the whole system a bit to basically "get with the times".
I wish it was easier to find an actually fair compromise where all parties can most easily benefit from each other no matter how successful they are and how much money they bring to the table. And I wish intellectual property would enter the public domain much earlier than it currently does.

tl;dr:

People scream "fair use" when they do it to others, no matter whether or not they do any damage and how much the IP holder invested into the thing. But they often throw a tantrum when someone does it to them or their favorite online personality.

Reform of the whole system would be nice though.
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