13-year-old Pakistani Kid Trumps Bieber, Gaga, Rihanna & Shakira


A Pakastani kid cracked YouTube copyright-claim vulnerability. Is this him? No. Just a Google Images photo of how I imagine him/her/it to look.

AdAge reports that music videos vanished from YouTube on Monday because a 13-year-old Pakistani kid (using a YouTube Partner account called iLCreation) flagged VEVO channels with copyright claims.

It was widely reported this week that music videos for artists including Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Shakira and others were temporarily taken down. But how did one person allegedly remove such huge clips that already had hundreds of millions of views?

Apparently iLCreation’s YouTube account had been granted official YouTube Partner status, thus enabling the user to make the copyright claim. Once the claim had been flagged, YouTube automatically removed the clips for review. Although the clips were quickly restored by Monday afternoon, Universal Music Group (which represents Bieber, Lady Gaga and Rihanna) and Sony (whose artist Shakira was also affected by the copyright claims) have yet to hear back personally from YouTube.

What’s the endemic cause of this problem? I propose two issues:

1) YouTube has been sued so many times that it’s tried to streamline copyright claims, thus making it easy, fast and efficient for a copyright owner to identify and remove infringements.

2) YouTube has worked hard not to segregate “Partners.” So while top brands and major media companies enjoy distinct but quiet privileges over amateur creators, there are some equalities between a solo, independent artist and a studio… apparently the ability to “instantly flag” and remove infringements is equally shared.

Since YouTube can’t likely afford to change problem one, I’d expect changes in the latter category. I’d be surprised, for instance, if in 6 months I can auto-yank an unauthorized version of “Farting in Public.” In fact I didn’t even know I had that ability, assuming I did. We’ll probably see the top tier of studios, networks, producers retain the right to “shoot first and ask questions later” on potentially “ripped” content. But the rest of us, thanks to the iLCreation stunt, will likely suffer from a delay that validates the claims.

3 Replies to “13-year-old Pakistani Kid Trumps Bieber, Gaga, Rihanna & Shakira”

  1. Nalts as always I do enjoy your thoughts on the topics. I do hope you upload some more UncleNalts videos. Through YouTube’s content ID system, if you are enrolled in it, you can actually disable pirated versions of your videos, or you can chose to monetize them. Of course to get around this, the user would have to submit a content id dispute.

    Still it is pretty scary that anybody can file a DMCA on anyone and pretty much get away with it.

    I would like to read your thoughts on the Hungrybear9562 DMCA fiasco that is going on YouTube right now.

  2. more copyright junk
    Starting Today, Copyright Industry Demands Tax For Your Vacation Photos

    The copyright industry never seems to have had enough. Starting today in Sweden, they demand a private tax for external hard drives and USB memory sticks.

    The tax they demand is about 9 euros for an external hard drive, or 10 eurocents per gigabyte for USB memory sticks. They have previously demanded a tax for cassette tapes, which was how this private taxation right started, and gradually expanded it to blank CDs and DVDs, as well as media players with built-in hard drives. Yes, that includes the latest game consoles — Swedish kids pay about 15% tax to the copyright industry on a Playstation 3.


    Copyright laws threaten our online freedom

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