Very long headline that will shock you with one way YouTube will spend up to $1 million to defend ‘borrowers’

Article Creator website
Article Creator

YOUTUBE IS taking initial steps to defend a handful of creators who are embroiled in copyright disputes by pledging up to $1 million (in each case) to defend "some of the best examples of fair use" on its platform, wrote the company's copyright legal director Fred von Lohmann.

Fair use is the repurposing of copyright-protected material in instances including criticism, remixes and commentary - or, as von Lohmann puts it, "in new and transformative ways that have social value beyond the original."

Not us, guv

If the above text falls below the standards you expect of the Freelance, it's not our fault. We came across a website called "Article Creator" that claims that it "will automatically grab fresh new article, blog or news which then will be rewritten to make them unique and better" - for the purposes of attracting search engines to your website. So, naturally, we asked it to create us an article about "Article Creator copyright".That's what it produced.

We were planning to write about that story anyway. What's actually going on is that Alphabet, the corporation formerly known as Windscale, we mean Google, put out a press relase to encourage an idea that copyright - " your legal right to determine who uses your work, at what price - is an obstacle to "free expression". It was lapped up by, among others, the Guardian and Fox News - on whose report the above seems to be closely based.

Clearly, this has nothing to do with the Google/Alphabet business model of taking bits of your work and selling ads alongside it. Nor with the specific financial advantage to it of getting volunteers to re-arrange videos, for free, and sell ads alongside them on YouTube. This was not unconnected with the then-imminent announcement from the European Commission (see here).

Don't try this at home...

If you are engaged in the dark arts of "Search Enging Optimisation," the Freelance recommends strongly that you stay away from this "generator".

The above extract is pretty much word-for-word from Fox News and reproduced here for the purposes of reporting meta-news and current affairs). When we asked Article Creator to tell it about itself alone, one of the results was word-for-word from an interview with XKCD comic creator Randall Munroe, behind New Scientist's paywall. Their lawyers are being informed.

Investigating further, it seems that they want money from us before they agree to mechanically rewrite the articles to be - they claim - no longer covered by the copyright in the original.

Last modified: 08 Dec 2015 - © 2015 contributors
The Freelance editor is elected by London Freelance Branch and responsibility for content lies solely with the editor of the time
Send comments to the editor: