PDA

View Full Version : Legal and YouTube



m4a2000
09-25-2014, 12:35 PM
So I got this handed to me today and I wanted some input.

We just found out today that in YouTube's terms of service it's prohibited to access slash download their content via anything that is not an authorized YouTube player. Now as a school district we’ve, over the last three years, have been downloading videos from YouTube for in class use and in my program we download videos to use in our student news stories. I figure for the program I’m in we’re covered legally due to ‘fair use’ but seeing as YouTube is seen as a service I’m not sure if that would hold up. As for the district I’m not sure if it being a public education facility would give us a pass.

Any input before I get a hold of a lawyer?

Airwaves
09-25-2014, 01:04 PM
So I got this handed to me today and I wanted some input.

We just found out today that in YouTube's terms of service it's prohibited to access slash download their content via anything that is not an authorized YouTube player. Now as a school district we’ve, over the last three years, have been downloading videos from YouTube for in class use and in my program we download videos to use in our student news stories. I figure for the program I’m in we’re covered legally due to ‘fair use’ but seeing as YouTube is seen as a service I’m not sure if that would hold up. As for the district I’m not sure if it being a public education facility would give us a pass.

Any input before I get a hold of a lawyer?

Do you have a link to the terms of service you are looking at?

There are tons of links I could post but here is one I found. https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/56100?hl=en

m4a2000
09-25-2014, 01:20 PM
Do you have a link to the terms of service you are looking at?

There are tons of links I could post but here is one I found. https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/56100?hl=en

Starts around 4.C.

Airwaves
09-25-2014, 02:30 PM
I have my own youtube channel and I believe from what I am reading and what I read when I signed up that you probably cannot use it for that. If it is just a matter of showing the videos can you try to use youtube directly? I know schools block youtube but generally on instructors computers it is allowed if granted access.

I wish I had a better answer for you but I just do not know. Best of luck.

RebelHill
09-26-2014, 03:30 AM
USC 110: Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, the following are not infringements of copyright: (1) performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils in the course of face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction

However... thats copyright law, NOT youtube's own terms of service. Youtube put videos up for download by anyone and everyone (download acting through their site/player)... but the law doesnt distinguish one "method" of download from another, thus... it's a TOS agreement. The worst YT can do if you violate that, is cancel your YT account.

m4a2000
09-26-2014, 08:21 AM
USC 110: Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, the following are not infringements of copyright: (1) performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils in the course of face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction

However... thats copyright law, NOT youtube's own terms of service. Youtube put videos up for download by anyone and everyone (download acting through their site/player)... but the law doesnt distinguish one "method" of download from another, thus... it's a TOS agreement. The worst YT can do if you violate that, is cancel your YT account.

OK that does help me a bit... I just hate when I get asked legal stuff from my boss when he knows I'm just a tech.

raymondtrace
09-26-2014, 08:57 AM
YouTube prohibits downloading because you are avoiding the commercial advertisements that play each time you view the video. YouTube does not offer its service for free. What you are doing is not much different from taping broadcast television, editing out the commercials, and then redistributing to your students. That is most always illegal.

"Fair use" does give you some leeway as an educator but I bet the better lesson to teach your young content creators is how to respect the copyright of content creators and the legalities of content distribution. After working with too many adults that have no clue about copyright, we could really use the help of teachers to prepare the next generation.

spherical
09-26-2014, 03:55 PM
YouTube prohibits downloading because you are avoiding the commercial advertisements that play each time you view the video. YouTube does not offer its service for free. What you are doing is not much different from taping broadcast television, editing out the commercials, and then redistributing to your students. That is most always illegal.

I don't know that it's "illegal". YT and their advertisers just don't like it and will do anything that they can to try to force you into watching them. If they can make you think it's illegal, so much the better. It's the same thing as saying that my skipping through commercials on DVRed programs or Internet radio will get me jail time, a fine or my remote taken away for a month. Copyright law, in this case, doesn't enter into it. If it did, then the rebroadcasting of the commercials would be discouraged; and they certainly don't want that. If anything, by inserting commercials into created content, they are, in essence, altering said content. Otherwise, the creator would have inserted them into the original form.

A well known Internet radio station got into a battle with RIAA and just decided to still air the content but cut the commercials out of it; sending the content to the world for free. The fees are based upon distribution area and the local broadcast area fee was affordable; the entire globe fee was not. So, they supplant the commercials with local musician's creations for the duration. What makes the difference is not charging a fee for the distribution. But I digress.

Yes, I get that YT's TOS with the creator has clauses that state, in essence: "If you don't agree with our altering your content in order to insert whatever we want into it, whether you like what we insert or not, or you don't get to publish", makes this "local law". But, as RH says, doesn't make it "illegal"; just violates their TOS, that you agree to or not, and if you don't they can refuse to allow you to publish, or watch, if they so choose.

That there is now the ubiquitous "option" of paying a fee to "listen to Internet radio without ads", is a serious bending of the law. What it really amounts to is legalized extortion. Like organized crime, pay us "protection money" and we won't bother you. They make the ads so loud and jarring that you're forced to pay them to buy them off; because your eardrums are being blown out by the periodic yelling. If they made the ads with any care for the consumer at all (if you want to get someone's attention... whisper), their ads would be more likely to be listened to. Do that, treat me as if I have some value, and I'm more inclined to buy your product. Instead, it has the opposite effect. That they are so rude causes people to find ways around them. They think they're being so clever, but people end up actively disliking the product that they are trying to sell because the "target" is treated poorly. Same thing goes for YT inserting ads into your content. It's crossed the line, which is why many choose other video services that treat creators and consumers with respect.

ncr100
09-26-2014, 04:55 PM
USA:

http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ21.pdf

N

sami
09-27-2014, 12:32 AM
USC 110: Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, the following are not infringements of copyright: (1) performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils in the course of face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction

However... thats copyright law, NOT youtube's own terms of service. Youtube put videos up for download by anyone and everyone (download acting through their site/player)... but the law doesnt distinguish one "method" of download from another, thus... it's a TOS agreement. The worst YT can do if you violate that, is cancel your YT account.

Not exactly true - or at least not true for long. The T P P A agreement soon to be signed (and I'm sure other legislation already in effect) gives corporations the right to essentially enact laws in their EULA / TOS agreements. Meaning that in theory, breaking a EULA/TOS is essentially breaking the law. All kinds or dumb and crazy things like "Using an electronic system for other than its intended purpose" etc. So, while I agree with you in principal, the laws are rapidly changing providing corporations with the discretion to target/harass/prosecute anyone who rubs them the wrong way. Will you fly under their radar? perhaps. Who knows with laws as stupid as these being enacted.

Edit: Trying to think of examples courts have ruled in favor of EULAs... Apple vs Psystar, Aereo? Here's what the EFF has to say:
https://www.eff.org/wp/dangerous-terms-users-guide-eulas

spherical
09-27-2014, 02:57 AM
Statutes on the books notwithstanding, any contract that, in and of itself, does not break laws but sets its own rules, makes what can be termed a "local law". If you agree to it, that is what you are bound by. My rights as a creator are protected by Copyright law. However, if I sign a contract that states that I give away some of those rights, the Copyright law will not save me. So, by creating any EULA or TOS, and you agree to it, whatever new law may be written is essentially moot. They can do it already, as long as you a) don't mind, b) don't know enough to care.

raymondtrace
09-29-2014, 07:21 AM
I don't know that it's "illegal".

It has just been settled again recently in a court of law. One cannot take content from a service and redistribute it.

https://www.aereo.com/

YouTube contributors consent to a shared copyright with the YouTube service. YouTube determines how the content may be distributed. Taking that content outside of the agreed terms is effectively a breach of contract, and is illegal... regardless of any other pending legislation.

Can you fly under the radar? Sure. You can also teach your students to smoke outside so their parents do not catch them.

RebelHill
09-29-2014, 08:38 AM
That however is REDISTRIBUTION... not ACQUISITION...

YT allows acquisition of content via download, and whilst their TOS makes a distinction between a download enacted through their website/player/app, and some thrid party method, the law does not (contract law and its binding agreements notwithstanding, but if you've not actually signed up to a YT account in the first place, you've not entered into any agreement either, and you DONT have to enter such an agreement to access videos on YT in the first instance).

If you were however to redistribute such content, then yes, that may be illegal... for instance if you filmed YT playing on your screen and broadcast that out in some fashion.

But even there, it gets murky, because YT freely give away the ability to EMBED videos into other webpages... which in effect ALLOWS redistribution, and once again, there's no requirement to enter any agreement with YT before you're allowed to access this feature, and again, since the law doesn't make any distinction between the particulars of how a redistribution is performed (without a specific contract), that can easily be assumed to be a free ticket to redistribute anything you like, any way you like.

Also again... go back to the OPs purposes... for student use, within an educational environment, and for student news story purposes... There ARE exemptions in the USC for the use of copyrighted material in such circumstances which it specifically states ARE NOT considered an infringement.

raymondtrace
09-29-2014, 09:09 AM
That however is REDISTRIBUTION... not ACQUISITION...

The topic here is redistribution because the OP is giving the files to his students. And those students are using those files in their video production. That is double redistribution.



...but if you've not actually signed up to a YT account in the first place, you've not entered into any agreement either...


Not quite. The YouTube terms refer to anyone who uses or visits the site. A registered account is not required to be bound by terms of service. https://www.youtube.com/t/terms


But even there, it gets murky, because YT freely give away the ability to EMBED videos into other webpages... which in effect ALLOWS redistribution...

True, but "embedding" is redistribution according to YouTube's terms. By embedding, YouTube maintains control of the presentation. YT may push advertising through the embedded player or acquire traffic to the main YouTube site.

RebelHill
09-29-2014, 09:40 AM
The YouTube terms refer to anyone who uses or visits the site. A registered account is not required to be bound by terms of service.

Nope... If when first landing on YTs page (without having an account), you had to click some "agree to TOS" before proceeding, you'd be bound by them... in absence of that you are NOT so bound because you've not entered into any agreement to be so.

You CANNOT just impose some "contractual obligation" upon someone without their consent... else you could just open a shop/outlet who's "terms of entry" were that you had to pay $100 if you left without making a purchase, and impose this "clause" without having to inform people of it before they chose to enter.

And again, you're also ignoring the EXEMPTIONS from claims of infringement for certain uses, which the OPs arguably fall into.

raymondtrace
09-29-2014, 10:22 AM
I'm not ignoring exemptions. I stated in my first post that he was likely safe under the fair use clause of copyright law.

And even YouTube makes an interesting (if not entirely contrary to its TOS) exemption in its guidelines for "re-broadcasting videos" on television. https://www.youtube.com/yt/press/media.html

My main concern is that copyright and licensing are important topics that should be taught. Students should be taught how to behave in the real world, not for an eternity in education, with all its inherent "fair use" exemptions. Even if this download practice continues at the school, I recommend that students are taught why they are allowed to use the videos in their lessons.

My favorite ironic YouTube search is https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=no+copyright+infringement+int ended

raymondtrace
09-29-2014, 10:35 AM
Nope... If when first landing on YTs page (without having an account), you had to click some "agree to TOS" before proceeding, you'd be bound by them... in absence of that you are NOT so bound because you've not entered into any agreement to be so.

You CANNOT just impose some "contractual obligation" upon someone without their consent...

This type of TOS is called browser wrap and it is both held up and struck down in court, depending on whether it is reasonable to the court. Your example of a $100 charge in a browserwrap TOS would not be held up. In the case of YouTube and downloading videos, the browserwrapped TOS would most likely be held up because the user who wants to download is doing something that is outside the normal operation of the web site. A reasonable person would seek information from the site to confirm whether their unusual use of the site is possible and/or permitted.

RebelHill
09-29-2014, 10:45 AM
This type of TOS is called browser wrap and it is both held up and struck down in court, depending on whether it is reasonable to the court.

Yes, and the only examples of it being held up (that I can see) are cases where there has been some explicit statement on the site that use/activities are subject to some TOS agreement. In every case where there has been no such headline to clearly inform users of the existence of the TOS, it has been struck down, even if a link to the TOD were provided on the page itself.

The only obvious link to "terms" on a regular YT view page is in small font, at the bottom of the screen (below the comments section), as such, it's not unreasonable to ignore them if you've not explicitly agreed to them.

Plus... I might choose to do the downloading via a site such as this... http://keepvid.com/ Downloading a link to a video Id received via email, on facebook, or any other way. In such a case, I would have acquired the video without ever going near an actual YT page, thus it couldnt be reasonable to expect that I should ahve seen or agreed to YTs terms.


I stated in my first post that he was likely safe under the fair use clause of copyright law.

The is no such thing as a "fair use" clause in US copyright law... it doesnt exist. Fair use is a doctrine that has come into existence by the actions of courts alone, not the legislature. The exemtions noted are part of the written law, and have nothing to do with fair use.

Edit... sorry, scratch that... it IS partially codified in sec 107, though not for all cases which may be deemed fair use.

raymondtrace
09-29-2014, 11:05 AM
What you've described with keepvid is known as deep linking, which has its own legal issues. See "Linking to Circumvention Technology Proscribed by the DMCA" at http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/linking-copyrighted-materials

Thanks for updating your note about Fair Use. But if anyone needs the location for more info: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/107

RebelHill
09-29-2014, 11:15 AM
What you've described with keepvid is known as deep linking, which has its own legal issues. See "Linking to Circumvention Technology Proscribed by the DMCA"

Sure... but its also arguable that its not a circumvention. YT videos arent encrypted in any way (they're just plain mp4)... so you're not really breaking any kind copy protection measure. The only thing you're circumventing is the fact that a YT page/app/whatever doesn't have an actual "download for keeps" button/function... which Im not sure would really constitute a copy protection measure for the purposes of the DMCA.

Either way... we seem to agree that the strong liklihood by far is that the OP is in the clear with regards to their specific requirements... so all's good, really.

raymondtrace
09-29-2014, 11:37 AM
Sure... but its also arguable that its not a circumvention. YT videos arent encrypted in any way...

It is arguable in that one can argue that there are unicorns on Mars. :D It is a "circumvention" if you have to circumvent the normal operation of YouTube, as you described, and go to a third party to download the video from YouTube.

The DMCA is not about encryption. It is about copyright.


(a) Violations Regarding Circumvention of Technological Measures.—
(1)
(A) No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title.

This may be the most contrary legislation ever written: if anyone circumvents protection, that protection is certainly not effective. :devil: But there is no mention of encryption. The fact remains that YouTube employs a system where users (without third party circumvention tools) are technologically prohibited from downloading videos.

RebelHill
09-29-2014, 11:42 AM
Technological meaure... commonly interpreted to mean encryptions, locks, licence keys, etc. Failing to put a "handle" on an otherwise unlocked door is not the same as putting a lock on that door. A third party providing access to an un-included method of access is not the same as circumventing a protection against such access.

raymondtrace
09-29-2014, 12:28 PM
Technological meaure... commonly interpreted to mean encryptions, locks, licence keys, etc.

Tell your beliefs to the courts that just found Aereo in violation of DMCA and copyright law for rebroadcasting unencrypted, unlocked, license-keyless broadcast television.

Saying that you're not circumventing YouTube's technological download restriction by using a third party tool to circumvent YouTube's technological download restriction sounds more like a need for a therapist than for an attorney. :D

The handle on that door is locked by copyright law, YouTube's TOS, and the technological restriction that prevents anyone from downloading from YouTube's native interface. The video download helper programs are crowbars to break into YouTube's system to acquire content in a manner in which the copyright holder does not intend and for which the service was not designed.

RebelHill
09-29-2014, 01:05 PM
Tell your beliefs to the courts that just found Aereo in violation of DMCA and copyright law for rebroadcasting unencrypted, unlocked, license-keyless broadcast television.

Not the same... In that instance the action is against the aereo company, not the end users. If YT brought an action against savevid or whomever, that'd be one thing... but against a user who acquired a video through that service another.


Saying that you're not circumventing YouTube's technological download restriction by using a third party tool to circumvent YouTube's technological download restriction sounds more like a need for a therapist than for an attorney. :D

Yeah... not providing a facility is NOT the same as applying an actual protection measure (lock/whatever) on the content itself... You dont seem to be getting this very simple distinction.

By all means, if you can find a case, or judgement which sets a precedent otherwise, by all means, cite it. Else its all just hot air.

raymondtrace
09-29-2014, 01:52 PM
Yeah... not providing a facility is NOT the same as applying an actual protection measure (lock/whatever) on the content itself... You dont seem to be getting this very simple distinction.

Your debate is going in circles. Yes, YouTube does employ a lock. YouTube does not make apparent any download link because it wants to lock its content to only streaming from its web site. You are not simply downloading MP4 from YouTube. YouTube offers multiple formats in multiple bit rates and resolutions to deliver playback quality suited for the device and connection speed of the user. This is done via a technological measure. There is not a single video file at a static location that you can download. The files that third-party downloaders grab are from temporary locations based on temporary session ids that YouTube intended to only offer through a web browser and their own player. This is the technical design and it is the intent of the copyright owner as described in their TOS.

You are failing to read the full DMCA's section "1201. Circumvention of copyright protection systems", which does not limit a copyright holder to exclusive copyright protection only if they encrypt their content.


(A) to “circumvent a technological measure” means to descramble a scrambled work, to decrypt an encrypted work, or otherwise to avoid, bypass, remove, deactivate, or impair a technological measure, without the authority of the copyright owner; and

(B) a technological measure “effectively controls access to a work” if the measure, in the ordinary course of its operation, requires the application of information, or a process or a treatment, with the authority of the copyright owner, to gain access to the work.

The download tools you speak of are not the tools used in the ordinary course of YouTube.com's operation.

raymondtrace
09-29-2014, 02:00 PM
By all means, if you can find a case, or judgement which sets a precedent otherwise, by all means, cite it. Else its all just hot air.

tubefire.com, for starters. Keep googling.

RebelHill
09-29-2014, 02:14 PM
tubefire.com, for starters. Keep googling.

Sigh... Thats THE SERVICE... not THE USER (which is exactly what I said before)... also, its a copyright suit brought by the owners of the content itself, NOT a "circumvention" suit brought by youtube.
That only confirms exactly what I already said.

raymondtrace
09-29-2014, 02:54 PM
I'm lost why you are trying to distinguish users and services. It does not matter if it is a service or a user, it is still a violation of copyright and the TOS. Copyright owners go after targets they can hit, but that does not mean the individual users are blameless.

Nothing goes to trial because nobody wants to go up against Google's legal resources after they receive a cease and desist letters. All this happens in the background without fanfare.
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/06/google-threatens-site-that-rips-youtube-music-videos-into-mp3s/

Google can also employ further technical limitations to protect its content.
http://www.droid-life.com/2014/05/27/google-to-shutdown-chrome-extensions-not-installed-from-the-chrome-web-store/

spherical
09-29-2014, 02:59 PM
I'm not ignoring exemptions. I stated in my first post that he was likely safe under the fair use clause of copyright law.

Then why do you keep arguing?

No one ever wins an Internet argument; a complete waste of time.

raymondtrace
09-29-2014, 03:21 PM
Then why do you keep arguing?

Because despite the ability to use YouTube video in an educational environment, it is important to understand why it is allowed. When I see nonsense from RebelHill suggesting that there "is no such thing as a "fair use" clause in US copyright law" and that YouTube is not entitled to copyright protections under the DMCA because it does not lock or encrypt its content, it makes me sad that even content creators have little clue about protecting their work.

The "winner" of this discussion is neither RebelHill nor myself. The winner is the person that stumbles on to the discussion and learns more about the intricacies of copyright law, even if they have to sift through rumor and nonsense.

m4a2000
10-01-2014, 08:25 AM
The "winner" of this discussion is neither RebelHill nor myself. The winner is the person that stumbles on to the discussion and learns more about the intricacies of copyright law, even if they have to sift through rumor and nonsense.

Which hopefully will be me once I can process and understand everything that was said.

raymondtrace
10-01-2014, 10:41 AM
I'm sorry... in the volley of posts I lost track of who was asking. I just realized there is a way to be more specific: your school's YouTube channel. As an example, this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nK7EWt5uZ0k

As an educational setting, it could be considered fair use to have students practice editing the video you snag from YouTube. They could edit or alter the video in a derivative work much like the Hitler videos ( http://downfall.jfedor.org/create/ ). It is also considered fair use if you utilize another's video in your production for commentary, parody or instruction (like Jon Stewart playing Fox News clips). But this particular video shows general duplication of entertainment as filler. The self-produced portion does not really comment on the initial Jimmy Fallon segment and the latter "auto-tune" news. Those clips fall outside of fair use.

spherical
10-01-2014, 02:51 PM
Agreed on fair use. We get hit with it inappropriately from time to time. People trying to expand it to include whatever they want to do with our creations without fair compensation or any at all. They think that they're the first to come up with this approach and that we'll not see it coming. Gets tiring after a while. Then there's the not-for-profit angle; where we're supposed to fork over repro rights for free, because it should be perceived that they're not making any money. But I digress...