Life Long Learning in Action

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Internet Video and Copyright Infringement: Be careful!

I am least in the eyes of the music industry. For my evilness they have slapped my wrist.

1 year and 8 months ago I made a video containing short clips of my son's first four months. I also added in 5 minutes of Lynryd Skynrd's song "Simple Man" as a background track. I shared the video with family members and on a whim decided to add it to Youtube along with clips of my son's first Halloween and first words. This is where I messed up. It is a mistake many make, and probably do not realize they are making.

I foolishly thought my little video would be seen only by my own family and the friends they shared the video with. I knew the risks. I knew online videos are open to everyone unless the user makes their videos private. But I decided to fight the law and see what would happen. (In reality, I was just naive, and did not feel there was a threat to my video).

Even after I started learning more about content online and copyright issues, I did not take the video down because I was curious to see if it would be noticed.

Almost two years later my video has performed as I predicted...

YouTube - Noah Music Video.jpg

With 300+ views I can tell you that 90% were from my own mother showing the video to her friends. Regardless, this does not excuse my usage of protected works.

Today I received notification from Youtube that this video had been found to contain music belonging to Universal Music Group. Or at least, I assume "UMG" stands for Universal.

Here is a screenshot of the email that was sent to me...


As you can see my punishment is weak. Their claim allows them to include advertisements on my video page. At first I was relieved my little video could still stay up. This seemed very fair, until I visited my page and saw this...

YouTube - Noah Music Video-1.jpg

I have since removed the video and hope to hear from others. Has this happened to you?

How can we as educators share an experience such as this with our students as they venture out and create digital projects?

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