09 April 2008

google video censoring general petraeus iraq senate armed services committee testimony video

yesterday, we recorded a portion of general david petraeus and ambassador ryan crocker's testimony before the senate armed services committee.

the file is one gigabyte in size so we set it to upload to google video over night.

this morning when we checked our email we had an email from google video:

Dear member,

This is to notify you that your video "petraeus_1_08april2008.mpg" from your Google Video account has been disabled because it has been identified by our Content Identification tools as potentially lacking the necessary copyright authorization for use on the Google Video site. Content Identification is a program that analyzes similarities in audio or video between user videos and a library of reference content provided to us by copyright owners. When a video matches a reference file, that video is automatically disabled.

If you believe that this identification is a mistake, please click on the following link to learn how you can dispute this http://video.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=82442

Please note: Repeat incidents of copyright infringement will result in the deletion of your account and all videos uploaded to that account. In order to avoid future strikes against your account, please delete any videos to which you do not have all rights, and refrain from uploading additional videos that infringe on the copyrights of others.

More information about Content Identification can be found at this link http://video.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=82734


The Google Video Team
since we recorded the video from c-span, the first thing we did was go over to c-span.org to reread their copyright policy -- the pertinent part states:
Although C-SPAN is the only news media organization that regularly televises the legislative proceedings of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, it does not hold a copyright in that video coverage. That government-produced video is in the public domain which means that it belongs to the American people and may be used without restrictions of any kind.

As part of its mission to make the activities of the federal government more broadly available, C-SPAN has established a copyright policy that allows the public to use C-SPAN's video coverage of federal government events for their own purposes. Those who want to use C-SPAN copyrighted video will be able to do so without concern about further copyright restrictions as long as they adhere to the following policy:

C-SPAN permits non-commercial use of its video coverage of federal government-sponsored events so long as C-SPAN is identified during the use as the source of the video.

Keeping a "C-SPAN" logo on the screen during the use is sufficient to identify C-SPAN as the source.
when you click the second link in google video's email to us to learn more about the "content identification tool" you learn that "The tool creates ID files which are then run against user uploads and, if a match occurs, the video is disabled and not viewable on the site."
What are "ID files"?

The digital content identification file which corresponds to a reference file (a piece of content like a movie, music or other audiovisual material). This file is generated using Google software and is also known as a "fingerprint."

Where does the reference library come from?

The reference library is generated from copies of content or from ID files that are submitted by content owners.
so if c-span already acknowledges that this content is in the public domain to begin with...then how can google video claim that they have "a reference file" presumably submitted to google video by c-span?

we immediately filed a dispute to google per their instructions. google video claims that "Once your dispute email has been received, your video will be restored and your dispute will be reviewed by the alleged copyright owner."

however, google video has not restored our video like they say they would, nor have they responded to our repeated emails for an explanation.