Technology. YouTube. Terms.

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You Tube and Technology.

Terms. YouTube.

Terms. YouTube.

I love technology. It’s a wonderful tool, which makes our lives easy, fun, and more efficient. We use technology to communicate, to market, to create, to learn, and to share with others. It’s hard to imagine what we would do without it. Yet, with all the many advantages that come with our use of technology, there are a plethora of challenges, and terms and conditions that must be followed.

Whether driving your car on the freeway, negotiating traffic on a local street, or knowing what’s yours for the taking and what’s not, there are terms and conditions—rules that must be followed. You can choose not to follow those rules. You can choose to outright break them. But regardless of your reasons, if you break the rules, if you don’t abide by the terms and conditions, you’ll have to pay. Look at it this way, if you are adult enough to do whatever you feel like doing, then be adult enough to accept the consequences.

Internet.

Like it or not, those rules also apply on the Internet, especially social media venues, such as Second Life, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.  Not everyone uses technology in the same way. Nor does everyone have the same value system when it comes to the use of cool technology devices and platforms. For example, what’s one person’s porn is another person’s art. And while we all have our own opinion as to where the line gets crossed, there are rules we must follow, at least on the Internet. Regardless of our personal views, we all have to follow the rules or pay the price.

My advice, if you want to fight and can afford litigation—go at it!  On the other hand, as always, my suggestion is think preventatively. READ and UNDERSTAND everything BEFORE you sign (or agree to the contractual Terms of Use). Once you sign, you are bound. And while you absolutely have the right to fight, you will have to pay to play.

Until next time, I’m Attorney Francine Ward helping you make better choices. Join the conversation on Facebook Fan pageTwitter Legal PageGoogle+, or in one of my LinkedIn Groups.

YouTube sets up $1 million legal fund for certain creators

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Copyright symbol. YouTube.

Copyright symbol. YouTube.

YouTube, the world’s largest video sharing site is no stranger to copyright controversies, including lawsuits. This is not surprising considering that approximately 82 million videos have been uploaded to the site since its inception in 2005.

Realizing that copyright law needed to keep pace with technology, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA) was passed and signed into law in 1998. The intent of the law was to update copyright law in regards to e-commerce and electronic content providers, and to make illegal the circumvention of digital and electronic copyright protection systems.

Viacom. YouTube.

Back in 2007, Viacom, a global media company which owns the rights to a vast array of television shows and movies that air on approximately 170 networks that the company operates, sued YouTube for $1 billion. Viacom accused YouTube of facilitating “massive intentional copyright infringement,” naming approximately 160,000 clips on the service for which they held the copyright.

YouTube countered by claiming protection under the “safe harbor” provision of the DMCA. This provision shields certain companies that are indirectly involved in the distribution of content from liability. After nearly six-years of legal battles, a judge ruled in favor of YouTube in 2013.

Still, YouTube uploads continue to be removed from the site under DMCA guidelines. And YouTube and other content-sharing sites continue to straddle the fine line between copyright infringement and “fair use” law, which allows for copying content in certain limited situations.

This past week YouTube announced it would be helping content creators who are “unfairly targeted” for DMCA infractions. Fred von Lohmann, the legal director for YouTube wrote in a recent blog post on the company’s copyright page that the company will pay the legal bills for only a “handful” of creators, to start. The cap the amount of this legal fund is set at $1 million. “While we can’t offer legal protection to every video creator – or even every video that has a strong fair use defense – we’ll continue to resist legally unsupported DMCA takedowns as part of our normal processes,” wrote von Lohmann.

Meanwhile, internet advocacy groups such as The Electronic Frontier Foundation are not completely satisfied, claiming YouTube should be doing more to protect the fair use on their platform. On their website they wrote “while we would like the program to do a little bit more—for example, given that the main criteria is that a video must be clearly lawful we’d like YouTube to provide any user that meet that criteria the option of enrolling their video into the program, rather than hand-selecting which ones gets to participate.”

Legal Battles. Copyright Holder. 

The question is what will be the affect of these legal battles on both copyright holders and the public’s demand for information and entertainment. And what does the future hold for video and information sharing websites such as YouTube? Only time will tell.

Feel free to join my conversation on FacebookFacebook Esteemableacts Fan Page, or my Facebook Law Page, you can also interact with me on my Twitter Esteemable Acts pageTwitter Law Page, or on LinkedIn.

Ruined by the Hiccups!

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Baseball Game. National Anthem.

Challenges. Baseball. Hiccups.

Challenges. Baseball. Hiccups.

A 7-year-old boy who sang the Australian National Anthem before a baseball game had his performance “ruined” by the hiccups, or so say, more than a few TV broadcasters, including my very own broadcaster in San Francisco.

Wow! No wonder folks are afraid to make mistakes, because everyone around them makes sure to point out the mistake, and in the process, ruin people. I, on the other hand, thought it was a momentous moment. Why? Because even though he hiccupped all the way through the song, he never stopped singing. He did not miss a beat! How many people would have given up because you believed someone would say that you made a mistake?

On a positive note, the crowd at the baseball game did give the kid, Ethan Hall, a rousing ovation when he finished singing.

Hockey Game. YouTube. 

Back in 2006, a Canadian woman attempted to sing the American National Anthem at an NHL hockey game. She forgot the words and walked off the ice two times to compose herself, and when she came back for a third try she slipped on the ice and fell. She then rushed off the ice for a third time and didn’t return. The video of this unfortunate incident is now on YouTube and has hundreds-of-thousands of views.

We like to see folks triumph over the odds, or so we claim, but we do very little to support them in making that happen.  If success occurs, we love and admire them after the fact because everyone loves a winner. Just take, for example, how many folks hated the Golden State Warriors for years while they were at the bottom of the NBA heap. Now that Stephen Curry and an oh-so-cool young team are in the money, everyone loves them.

Mistakes. Risk.

As we see, it can be difficult when we make mistakes, especially with all the naysayers out there who never even bother to take a chance or risk something, but it only becomes a failure when we give up. People will always love you when you are on top or when you are successful, but it’s the people who believed in you while you were struggling and making mistakes who are the true friends.

Feel free to join my conversation on FacebookFacebook Esteemableacts Fan Page, or my Facebook Law Page, you can also interact with me on my Twitter Esteemable Acts pageTwitter Law Page, or on LinkedIn.