Amateur’s Counter-Notification on Viacom Results in Clip Returning

Remember that YouTube yanked Christopher Knight’s clip because Viacom complained? Well it’s back. Here’s the note he got from YouTube.

Dear Kwerky,

In accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we’ve completed
processing your counter-notification dated x/xx/xx regarding your video

This content has been restored and your account will not be penalized.


The YouTube Team

Clearly it was a result of my “Viacom is a Bully” video. 🙂

22 Replies to “Amateur’s Counter-Notification on Viacom Results in Clip Returning”

  1. “Clearly it was a result of my “Viacom is a Bully” video.”

    Dude, that video rocked! I watched it with my wife and we both loved it and were honored that you took up the cause like this. Thanks for your encouragement and good words and doing this video, it was greatly appreciated!

    Take care and God bless,

  2. “This content has been restored and your account will not be penalized.”

    Could Youtube write a more pecksniffian statement? Not exactly a profuse apology, is it? Way to pretend you did nothing wrong, Youtube! I know, I know. The Youtube editors were only being blindly obedient and doing what Viacom ordered them to do. Too lazy to check the facts. Just yank anything The Big Void tells them to. Just being good Germans. Who can blame them? But still….

  3. I would like to know more about fair use of content and music in videos.
    How does this work?

    Get permission from the copyright holder, or don’t use the music. Otherwise use music that is public domain. Got it? Or do you want more of an explanation?

    It’s clear as mud.

  4. Fair Use has been defined over time by various bits of case law, so there is no easy answer.

    The distinction between “fair use” and infringement may be unclear and not easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.

    In its most general sense, a fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose such as to comment upon, criticize or parody a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner. Another way of putting this is that fair use is a defense against infringement.

    In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—
    (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
    (2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
    (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
    (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

    The long & short of it is really – get permission from the copyright holder, or don’t use the music.

  5. too late, I already copy written righted wrote it, started a web site, grabbed all the popular web mail addresses, tubemogul it, myspace and face booked it, patented it, legally changed my name to it, stared a disease and forum about it!

    If you use it I get a percentage of your youtube partnership or your first born 😉

    are there any questions?

  6. Lol@ sukatra! Nalts said: “I’m more confused about fair use, now. But at least I can use the word pecksniffian in my next video.”……..Nalts,I wouldnt do that if i were you,marquis might file copyright infringement and have it taken down! Viacom finally proved they have no class whatsoever,when they had brittany spears perfom on the awards show( i forget which one),and she was obviously drunk,stoned and overweight,man thats gotta be a new low in television history! way to go viacom,promoting alcoholism/drug abuse to millions of young people around the world! BTW,i finally got my new JVC camcorder,it has a 30GB hard disk & 34 optical zoom!! Of course UPS delivered it to a guy named james on a different street,according to my tracking info,so i called ups customer service and asked why it was delivered to a “james” when it has my name on 3 shipping labels?,and i asked them to forward this to management:have the drivers match the name on the box with the signature,geez what a concept huh? so when the package was redelivered to me,the driver asked for my name.see it only takes one determined person to change a big companies policy! Right nalts?

  7. I wish there was an easy answer on this one guys, I really do.

    Heres a good example of how confusing copyright/fair use can be-
    “I shoot a lot of dance recitals and then sell the videos to the parents. The dance instructor has since informed me that her dance choreography is copyrighted and I can’t sell the videos without paying her a royalty and obtaining her permission. She says I’m covered for recording the music and I believe her because the dance studio has an ASCAP sticker on the window.
    The dance instructor is right in saying that the dance choreography is copyrighted. She is wrong in saying that you are covered for the music because she pays ASCAP or BMI fees. ASCAP and BMI cannot and do not issue sync licenses. Unless the music being danced to is Work For Hire composition, you cannot make reproductions of the dance recital, period, without a sync license issued by the copyright holder or their representatives.”

    Maybe this info. will help make things a little clearer-
    From –
    Fair Use is an extremely complex maze, but the predominant intent of Fair Use is to allow for social benefit of the masses without impinging on the rights of the copyright holder. Fair Use in itself is a monster novel in it’s presentation, so only the slight surface descripion is mentioned here. Fair Use almost never applies in a corporate, wedding, documentary, or feature film setting

    Specifically, Fair Use can never apply to a commercial venture of any kind. Fair Use provisions are in place to provide access and public display for purposes of:
    *News Reporting

    So, how do I get music into my videos after you’ve scared me with all the legal stuff?
    There are basically 4 levels that you can approach music for video.

    1. Buyout or royalty free library. Some of these come with use fees, where you can listen to a track for free, and even use as temp music, but you’ll have to pay a needledrop fee for each use of the song. Quality of sound and composition varies with price. One small hint, visit or and listen to the musical works found there, ask the composer of the works to make a deal with you to use the song. There are some terrific songs up there. You might just find a great song and a willing artist.

    2. Sonic Fire Pro. This is the next best thing to a buyout library. The only one designed specifically for video folks. No musical chops needed; just a video, a knowledge of the length of the song, and the ability to insert pieces of pre-recorded compositions. Musical creative ability is more limited than say, looping software, but flavorful compositions abound with this tool. Zero royalty in use of this material. Compositional quality and sound quality are very good. To my knowledge, this is the only application of it’s sort. In some ways, better than a buyout, because it’s a buyout with no royalty, but the ability to edit the music with ease.

    3. ACID® or Soundtrack™. Sony’s ACID and Apple’s Soundtrack tools allow compositions to be created from libraries of over 2 million sounds. A small amount of musical knowledge is helpful here, such as knowledge that banjos and classical strings rarely go together, but then again, it’s creatively free. Quality of sound is beyond compare or question, but the compositional quality really depends on the user. ACID and Soundtrack are easily the most-used compositional tools in the music industry today, but don’t require a background in music to use. It’s like building a song with Lego™ blocks. A loop is like a sentence, and then sentences are formed into paragraphs. Because of the nature of the tools, all spelling, syntax, and grammatical errors are repaired for you, if I may use the simile of a word processor. Both of these tools will display full motion video during the creative process, and allow music to be synced to markers on the timeline.

    4. Hired composition. Hire a musician or learn to create/compose music on your own. This is harder than it sounds, but may be cheaper, and certainly allows for greater creative expression. This will probably take longer to achieve than the other options held above.

    I think Apple’s Soundtrack is what they call Garageband today???

    Oh, and in case you were wondering, I may have potentially violated the copyrights of the people who posted all of this information on the web by cutting and pasting the information in to this blog. I’ll stick with the ‘it was for educational purposes’ defense.

  8. thanks Matt for that thorough explanation, very helpful 🙂

    I still don’t see how youtube can get away with all the copyright stuff on their front page. How hard can it be for them to monitor that and just click delete?

    not that I think all the laws regarding copyright are a good things – If you give credit and make over $100 in a years time (or some minimum) then I think it becomes an issue, otherwise seems silly to sue someone for the rest of their lives over an idea.

    It’s all worth some sort of discussion.

  9. And oh what a discussion we could have, if Nalts would ever get that forum working at his oh so shiny new website 😉

    jischinger, you’re welcome. I’ve been interested in the whole copyright/fair use thing ever since YouTube removed a couple of videos from a New Years eve party on an account that I maintain. The videos in question were of folks dancing to the electric slide, and apparently the guy who invented the dance steps doesn’t have much else to do so he goes around looking for violations of his copyright (yeah, he copyrighted the dance) and files complaints and even lawsuits when he can. At the time, I didn’t know much about the whole matter and wasn’t really aware that I could have filed DMCA counter-claims, so I just let the decision YouTube made to pull the videos stand.

    As for the whole getting away with thing, it seems that YouTube makes good faith pledges to copyright holders to work with them on fixing any violations, but the official policy from YouTube still seems to be they won’t remove a video unless the copyright holder or it’s approved agents file a complaint with YouTube to have the violation corrected. Hence part of the reason for the Viacom suit, Viacom wants YouTube to go out and police the site, instead of paying people themselves (Viacom complained they had to have their own department for monitoring YouTube) to browse through YouTube and send violation complaints. It’s an interesting dilemma; if the copyright holder doesn’t complain, should YouTube do anything about the violation?

  10. “if the copyright holder doesn’t complain, should YouTube do anything about the violation?”

    That’s a very good question and could be argued from both sides.
    I suppose the court will decide the out come of that. In the mean time, it looks like they are ruling in favor of the alleged violators, meaning it’s your job to go out of your way to catch people stealing your stuff and provide details on how they committed the crime.

    As far as ViacoN boo hooing about a new department created to deal with you tube, perhaps they should have thought about that before they converted all their copy righted media to digital and made the entire public go out and buy new technology and replace all our LPs, cassettes and VHS tapes with CDs and DVDs. Every three to seven years they are making a killing revamping old media with new tech. I some times wonder if they won’t stop until we all have computer chips in our heads and they try and control our thoughts through copy right laws. So if by chance you get an ear worm, you’ll have to pay a copy right fee as you try to eliminate the malady. I hope I never live that long. At the Co Pa, Co Pa Ca Ba Na… (cc)

  11. Dear Nalts,

    I had one of my videos removed but I sent a counter-notification and got it restored BUT I think CBS’s falsely claiming copyright infringement put me at the bottom of the list of those considered for revenue sharing and I really need the revenue. Please ask YouTube to make me a revenue sharing partner. Can you tell me how you were able to do your campaign to get yourself revenue sharing when you were originally passed over? I have 6,794 subscribers and it is really unfair that some flunky working for Viacom has screwed up my chances for revenue sharing.

    My video which was removed and restored:
    Bush is Ignorant and Extremely Dangerous

    My video where I talk about what happened:
    Killing Free Speech: Fair Use Video Removed by YouTube

    I can post the text of my counter-notification on my blog once I get my crashed hard drive restored (data recovery costs a lot of money, another reason I need help getting revenue sharing with YouTube)

    -Tom (RepresentativePress)

    PS Nalts, you might be interested in seeing my shmenetto channel, I make some light hearted videos too on my shmenetto channel:
    for example: Greg Solomon’s Sad Saga

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