(For those who say I just don’t get it…Get this!)

As I have written earlier thoughts or warnings on such subjects, now what I warned others about once again gets proved prescient by way of yours truly.

I have instructed StreetCry to remove any and all videos and content from YouTube™ and to close any and all accounts with Google®. In an amazing show of shoot before looking we had a copyright claim made against one of my videos.

For someone like myself whom actually has written, and spoke on the subject of copyright it is to my amazement someone filed a complaint that is a down right frivolous. Not that I lifted or used any of their content, but that I coincidentally used a theme and transitions similar in a manner that they did. Which coincidentally is exactly how Apple® created and designed them to be used so that anyone, anywhere, from me, you, to Santa Clause may use them . This infringement rationale gives way to the premise that if you were to make a project using the same tools I can, then I have a right to file notice or complain regardless of the content. If that were true millions of videos using purchased software would be in violation. And while the claim may be out right frivolous, before you have a chance to state your case, ads or restrictions can now be placed regardless if you want them or not because you just lost control of your own copyright protected material.

It appears that YouTube™ places some form of algorithmic signature that alerts if similar content is posted. Although this is an attempt in good faith to protect copyrights the algorithms are keying off flawed data because the two parties made entirely different material but used free use software and graphics in a similar manner. Because the formats were similar in length, had music and text, it set off some alert. Here’s an example using this platform as an example:

This blog uses a page, text, and color that is available to anyone using WordPress. If you write a blog and use the same theme, color, fonts, and place your widgets in the same spots as mine there is nothing that is available for protection under copyright by me. Only my content that I created is protected. Your page could look near identical however If I want to convey ownership of the look and tools used to create it. I must buy the rights or license for that exclusivity of use. Only then would I have some form of right to dispute. WordPress makes these materials, formats, and graphics free for use to anyone however they see fit. Just the ability for more than 1 person to access these tools gives chance that similarities will take place. Hence why people buy custom themes or tools for exclusivity. I only have a claim if you are lifting my actual content no matter where or how you’re displaying it. Which is what copyright is intended to protect. Or here’s another example:

I write these words:

I Like Grapes

You write:

Moving My Car

I’m discussing farming, you’re singing about cars.

You can’t claim copyright protection against my headline  because I used the same software to boldface the content that are similar in the amount of words, and posted on an electronic platform that you use also. The graphics and their use is made available to anyone for free use by the provider of these graphics. Just because it may look similar to something created by someone else doesn’t mean anything. Coincidence in creating something similar happens because of the very nature of availability of use to anyone. It might not even be protected if I used the exact same words on a billboard, and you used it on TV unless you have a registered trademarked ® for the exact look, size, and scope or use. And even then it’s questionable at best.

So since the StreetCry channel on YouTube™ was only used for previewing material as we developed I have decided not to have my work subject to frivolous claims where I can lose control of my own copyrighted material because of a shoot first ask questions later policy.

This subject will definitely be addressed in my seminar on “The Business of Writing” when I’m presenting for the Carnegie Center in August!

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr