Universal Music Group has suggested it has the power to make YouTube take down any video it wants, even if it doesn't own the content or the copyright, thanks to a secret agreement with Google.
The world's largest record company apparently
exercised that power when it ordered the removal of a competitor's star-studded video, as well as a news report about the controversy. The video features a song and endorsements from a dozen celebrities, including Kim Kardashian, will.i.am, P.
Diddy, Kanye West and Chris Brown.
The movie in question is called Megaupload Mega Song , a promotional video created by the Hong Kong-based file-sharing service Mega Upload. Record companies aren't impressed by the service and claim Mega
Upload knowingly hosts pirated music and flouts international copyright laws.
For years, Universal has used the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to file take-down notices, requiring websites to remove copyrighted content owned by Universal.
But in this case Universal have no rights to the Megaupload video content. The song is original and does not belong to Universal.
So Mega Upload sued the record company, alleging it acted outside the bounds of copyright law.
responded with a brief saying that their agreement with Google to remove YouTube videos is not limited to copyright claims.
For the moment the video is back on YouTube, but the legal action is continuing.
Vivid Entertainment, one of the world's major adult film studios, has said that it will launch Vivid for Google TV, the first TV app designed to make sexually explicit content available through the new Google TV set top device. The new channel will
stream content in high definition to subscriber television sets and computer screens.
Vivid for Google TV will be available at no additional cost to subscribers to www.vivid.com, which currently offers a package of features such as streaming of
Vivid's award-winning adult movies, celebrity sex tapes, XXX parodies of popular superheroes, educational videos and other content. Access to the site is restricted to persons over 18 years old.
People with Google TV set top devices can now access
the new system.
Vivid for Google TV gives our fans a new way to enjoy Vivid movies in high quality HD and with other benefits that provide a very appealing, highly enjoyable, and user friendly experience, said Steven Hirsch, co-founder and
co-chairman of Vivid. It is a central part of our making Vivid available everywhere concept, which gives fans unified access to our content through their personal computers, mobile devices, tablets, television sets and DVD players.
said no other adult companies are currently deploying a true Internet system that includes 24/7 access and constantly streaming movie content. We spent more than a year developing a code base for a robust, standalone Internet-TV channel with a
friendly interface for the consumer that can be used with the current Google TV technology and other Internet protocol presentation methods now in development, he said.
Vanessa , a 70s sexploitation coming-of-age tale starring the exceptionally beautiful Olivia Pascal.
Dan Reed, Managing Editor of TLACult.com said:
We've been huge admirers of Severin's for years and, when they came to us saying they needed a VOD home for their legendary erotic exploitation movies, we knew right
away it was a perfect fit. We're large enough to have a platform for streaming rentals in place, but small enough to be free of the content restrictions against taboo materials and full-frontal nudity that the industry giants impose on themselves. Plus,
our customers have purchased quite a lot of Severin DVDs over the years, so making these films available for our customers to stream was an absolute no-brainer.
The initial batch of films is available now for streaming rental. Other
selections include films by noted exploitation directors Joe D'Amato, Gerard Kikoine and Lucio Fulci. TLA and Severin also plan to make more films available to stream in the next few months.
Each film is available to stream worldwide for $3.99
(for a 7 day rental) at TLACult.com and will also be available on TLA's adult site TLARAW.com.
SeeSaw video-on-demand television website has shut down.
SeeSaw once claimed over 2 million user visits per month before losing some of its content deals. The website had been online less than two years, offering content from BBC Worldwide,
Channel 4, Channel Five and several production companies.
SeeSaw was created by the media services company, Arqiva, in February 2010. It used assets from the aborted catch-up TV platform, Project Kangeroo, which had been rejected by the UK's
It offered a range of free-to-watch programmes supported by advertising, with an optional fee to turn the adverts off. It also had premium pay-to-watch shows.
Channel 4's former chief executive, Michael Jackson, was
announced as the firm's new chairman designate. However reports suggest he walked away from the post in September shortly after Channel 4 pulled its content. Channel Five removed its shows around a fortnight later.
In the end they didn't have
the backing they needed to make it - the kind of content that drives significant levels of usage, said Ian Maude, head of Internet at Enders Analysis: They were in a very competitive market. ITV wouldn't supply them content, and Channel 4 only did
for a while. With competition from Google's YouTube they just didn't have a chance.
US film and TV rental firm Netflix is to launch a streaming service in the UK and the Irish Republic next year.
Netflix said it would provide a subscription service in the UK offering unlimited TV shows and movie streaming over the internet.
The company said further details about the service, including pricing and content will be announced closer to launch in early 2012.
In the US, the company has been losing customers since it increased prices for its US DVD service. The company
is trying to re-build its business from being primarily a US-based DVD rental service to a global film and TV streaming operation. It recently expanded its subscription streaming service to Canada and is reportedly looking to launch in other European
Video on Demand still a small part of British viewing
The viewing of television VoD comprises a small proportion of total online video consumption in the UK, according to new research from ComScore and Attentional. The findings showed that internet video consumption in the UK was broadly flat last year.
The research, from a consumer panel of hundreds of thousands of people, showed that only an average of 4.2% of video views were from services such as the BBC iPlayer and ITV Player.
The mainstays of video views are porn which provides 57% of
video viewed and YouTube like sites that provided 38% of videos viewed.
Overall, it was found that an average person in the UK spends 19 minutes a day watching internet videos on computers, compared with nearly four hours a day watching live
television, and a further 18 minutes watching recorded TV content.
Newspaper and magazine publishers face paying thousands of pounds in fees if they continue using video content on their websites, industry groups have warned.
ATVOD has ruled that short video clips on publishers' websites provide a TV-like
This means publishers must register with ATVOD and pay an annual fee - a ruling strongly opposed by the Professional Publishers Association (PPA) and the Newspaper Society. While last year's annual fee was
£ 2,900, the PPA claims that, depending on company turnover, that figure could rise to as much as £ 25,000.
PPA chief executive Barry McIlheney said: Essentially the disproportionate
regulatory fees being charged by ATVOD are damaging innovative digital businesses and putting them at a disadvantage compared to their European counterparts.
A number of publications - including The Sun, News of the World, The Sunday Times and
Elle magazine - are appealing the decision, after ATVOD ruled they were in breach of the Communications Act 2003 by failing to notify the watchdog they were operating video on demand services.
The Newspaper Society's political, editorial and
regulatory affairs director Santha Rasaiah argues that under the EU's Audiovisual Media Services Directive, newspapers and magazines should be expressly excluded from the regulation.
Arqiva is set to close online TV venture SeeSaw after failing to find an investment partner or buyer to keep the service alive. It is expected to close around 20 June.
[SeeSaw] no longer fits with the strategic direction in which we are taking
Arqiva and requires considerable investment to succeed in an increasingly competitive market, a spokesman for Arqiva said. We have tried to find an investment partner, however this has not proved possible.
SeeSaw was launched using the
assets of ITV, Channel 4 and BBC Worldwide's defunct VoD venture Project Kangaroo, which Arqiva acquired for about £ 8m.
At its launch in February last year, SeeSaw offered 3,000 hours of free programmes
including Skins, Kingdom and Doc Martin. Three months later it began offering paid-for content, with 1,000 hours of shows including South Park and Spooks, and struck deals with US broadcasters including MTV and NBC Universal.
internet TV aggregators have strugged to compete with broadcasters' own in-house on-demand services, and SeeSaw failed to gain a significant following compared to rival offerings such as the BBC's iPlayer, ITV Player and Channel 4's on-demand service,
SeeSaw's predecessor, Kangaroo, was originally conceived as a way for the BBC's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, to monetise the corporation's content. While iPlayer programmes are free, they are only available for a limited window after
Parental warning logos are set to be introduced before songs and music videos on services such as Spotify and YouTube that contain explicit material, following recent 'concern' about supposedly risque music content available to children online.
Music industry body BPI is to update its 15-year-old Parental Advisory Scheme. Updated guidelines will expand the scheme for the well known advisory logo to appear with songs and videos available to stream or download on UK digital music and music video services.
Most audio and video streaming services including Google-owned YouTube, Spotify, Napster and Vevo do not currently have a uniform parental guidance system, according to the BPI.
We think it is important for parents to get the same
standards of guidance and information online as they get when buying CDs or DVDs on the high street, said Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI. We are updating our scheme for the digital age to ensure that explicit songs and videos are clearly
It has emerged that You Tube is complying with thousands of requests from governments to censor and remove videos that show protests and other examples of citizens simply asserting their rights, while also deleting search terms by government mandate.
The latest example is You Tube's compliance with a request from the British government to censor footage of the British Constitution Group's Lawful Rebellion protest, during which they attempted to civilly arrest Judge Michael Peake at Birkenhead
Peake was ruling on a case involving Roger Hayes, former member of UKIP, who has refused to pay council tax. Hayes has embarked on an effort to legally prove that the enforced collection of council tax by government is unlawful
because no contract has been agreed between the individual and the state.
We then click through to learn that, YouTube occasionally
receives requests from governments around the world to remove content from our site, and as a result, YouTube may block specific content in order to comply with local laws in certain countries.
You can also search by country to discover that
Google, the owner of You Tube, has complied with the majority of requests from governments, particularly in the United States and the UK, not only to remove You Tube videos, but also specific web search terms and thousands of data requests, meaning demands for information that would reveal the true identity of a You Tube user.
Between July 1 and Dec. 31 (2009), Google received 3,580 requests for user data from U.S. government agencies, slightly less than the 3,663 originating from Brazil, reports PC World. The United Kingdom and India sent more than 1,000
requests each, and smaller numbers originated from various other countries.
The Authority for Television On-Demand (ATVOD) cleared Channel 4's video on-demand service for offering a 'controversial' episode of Frankie Boyle's Tramadol Nights.
When episode two of the series aired on Channel 4 in December, it
featured a range of pre-recorded sketches and Boyle making jokes in front of a studio audience, including derogatory remarks about celebrities such as Jade Goody, Heather Mills, Michael Jackson, Katie Price and Susan Boyle.
Ofcom received around
50 complaints about the programme, including one from Price, who accused Boyle of being a bully over comments made about her disabled son Harvey. Another complainant described the sketches and jokes in the programme as atrocious, demeaning and
degrading... [and] entirely reprehensible .
As Channel 4 made the show available on catch-up platform 4oD, ATVOD, which this week changed its name from the Association for Television On-Demand, was tasked with addressing the complaints.
Statutory rules for VOD content are significantly less strict than those for TV broadcasts, and do not currently prohibit programming that is deemed offensive. In cases where content might seriously impair the physical, mental or moral development of
persons under the age of eighteen , providers must make efforts to prevent young people from accessing the material.
After reviewing Frankie Boyle's Tramadol Nights, ATVOD ruled that the programme would not seriously impair the development of
under-18s and so decided not to take any further action. The regulator also noted that Channel 4 had run a warning around the programme on 4oD, despite not being obliged to do so.
Commenting on the decision, ATVOD chair Ruth Evans said: Many
viewers may regard the material as highly offensive, including to people with disabilities, and unsuitable for under-18s, but providing such content to under 18s is not a breach of the rules set by parliament if it does not fall foul of the 'might
seriously impair' test.
Offsite Comment: Nutters of Mediawatch-UK Unimpressed
The way we are watching television is changing and many of us are now choosing to watch online; this is particularly popular with the under twenty-fives. In this brave new world neither the watershed nor Ofcom's broadcasting code
It is bizarre that broadcasters are, quite rightly, unable to broadcast certain material on air until after the watershed but are quite free to broadcast the same
material over the internet at any time without there being adequate protection mechanisms in place.
We submit that post-watershed material should only be available to viewers who have been subject to a more rigorous
age-verification check than the current tick box system on offer. We would like to see a PIN number which could be provided by the viewer's internet service provider, telephone company or the TV licensing body each of which need to paid for, in the vast
majority of cases, by an adult. We believe that there are feasible steps that can and should be taken by broadcasters to control access to post-watershed material by children.
The Dutch Media Commission (Commissariaat voor de Media) said it will now begin registering audiovisual media services on the internet. The commission will also extend its monitoring of mobile services.
The regulator began last year with an
inventory of web content. Web content providers must also abide by rules for, for example, advertising time, or forbidding the broadcast of certain age restricted programmes at certain times of the day.
The commission noted the difficulty in
monitoring RTL Netherlands because of its statutory registration in Luxembourg. A something situation applies to monitoring a number of porn channels registered in the Netherlands, but which are aimed at other countries.
This is the first time
some media companies have come under Dutch government regulation. The commission last year created a new registration licensing and monitoring department, as well as a new enforcement division.
The Dutch ministry of education, culture and science
will have to modify certain rules in order to determine which web radio stations should be regulated and how much the monitoring duties will cost.
The BBC's Director General, Mark Thompson, has revealed that the international version of the BBC iPlayer will definitely be available before the end of this year, and will likely cost less than $10, or approximately EUR7.
Thompson is quoted as
saying that the international iPlayer would cost, a small number of dollars per month, definitely fewer then 10.
The BBC iPlayer has huge potential internationally, with a strong BBC brand boosted by shows like Top Gear , and has the
capability to earn significant revenues from the international iPlayer that could be re-invested back into the BBC to produce a greater number high quality shows.
On February 4th, Youtube deleted a documentary about the Spanish artist Juan Francisco Casas from the channel belonging to the magazine cafedada.tv . According the company, the video was withdrawn because it violated company policy relating to
nudity and sexual content.
Juan Francisco Casas (Jae'n, 1976) is a hyperrealist artist known for his portraits of young Europeans drawn with a BIC pen. These portraits are highly valued in art markets and can fetch prices of over 10,000 dollars.
His work reflects a new carefree and hedonistic European generation that thrives organizing parties and exploring their sexuality. His style is classed by art critics as domestic hedonism and as a reaction against boring modern nihilism
The video, censored by Youtube, is a documentary about his work made by the website cafedada.tv .
Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey, has welcomed the BBFC's new Watch and Rate scheme, which provides classifications for straight to download content, as good for the industry and good for the public.
Speaking after seeing a demonstration of the new scheme, he said:
The Watch and Rate scheme is a welcome addition to the work done by the BBFC.
The internet has completely changed the way we access videos and music so it is good to see the BBFC adapting to meet the demands of the online world.
The BBFC is providing industry with
a quick and cost effective classification system for straight-to-download content and the public with an age rating system they trust and understand.
Age ratings will help parents protect their children from
inappropriate content and provide people with more confidence about the content they and their families are watching.
Since 2008 the BBFC has been working with the UK video industry to provide a
content labelling system for film, video and TV content supplied by internet, wireless or mobile signal which the public can trust and understand. By giving over 200,000 titles a digital classification the BBFC has provided consumers with access to
labelling and content information for a massive back catalogue of films and television programmes which are available through video-on-demand, digital rental/sell through, streaming, mobile platforms and connected TV.
Platforms and e-tailers using the BBFC's classifications for their online content pay a licensing fee under the BBFC.online service. As well as the back catalogue all their new content classified by the BBFC is given an online
certificate for digital distribution.
For material which is going straight to online the BBFC has developed a brand new classification service, known as Watch and Rate which provides digital e-tailers and
platforms with a robust labelling and child protection system for the online world at a cost and speed which reflects the needs of digital distribution.
David Cooke, Director of the BBFC said:
Our new service for straight to online content will provide the industry with a service which will ensure that they can get their content, along with BBFC labelling, out into the rapidly moving digital space. For parents it will
offer labelling and content advice they know and trust in what is, for many, an unfamiliar landscape.
We have an exciting part to play in the film and video industry's digital future. For almost 100 years, we
have supported innovation in the moving image industries, and our latest service is designed to support the ever-increasing technological development in our second century. Issuing 200,000 certificates at a stroke is a major step towards this.
Lavinia Carey, Director General of the British Video Association said:
The BBFC's act of issuing 200,000 'online' certificates has shown a major commitment to
the digital development of home entertainment. At a time when the film and video industry is reinventing itself, the BBFC's role and contribution to the digital future is hugely appreciated and supported by our members .
Stephen Joy, Production Manager of Entertainment One said:
Watch & Rate enables us to distribute certified works digitally without the costs of marketing a physical DVD. Having
their trusted symbols attached to our products in the digital space has allowed entry to key on-demand platforms fast, and at low cost.
Eric Stevens, Head of Independent Distribution for Independent
Film Company said:
BBFC's Watch & Rate provided us with a cost effective way of certifying products for use in the On Demand space. Licensing and sign-up was quick, service costs were cost effective,
for a content owner of our size and online submission was straightforward and streamlined.
A group of Ukraine lawmakers has drafted a bill proposing to end the licensing and censorship of internet video
I very much hope that our committee (the committee for freedom of speech and information) will support this bill, and it will be
considered this month, one of the authors of the bill, MP Olha Bodnar of the BYT-Batkivschyna faction, said at a press conference.
According to her, the bill proposes amending some laws, in particular, to stipulate that the distribution of
video on the Internet is not subject to licensing and censorship by the public authorities. T he responsibility for disseminating Internet child pornography and materials that are a threat to national security interests, would lies with the owners
of the Web site.
The culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has been speaking about increasing censorship requirements for the internet and in particular, internet TV
He spoke after addressing media industry executives at the Oxford Media Convention.
that while he did not believe it was possible to introduce blanket regulation for the internet, he was keen to put online content rules under scrutiny.
TV content on the internet is subject to lesser regulation than broadcast TV, in particular,
that there are no taste and decency or impartiality requirements.
Hunt told reporters: I do want to look at what can be done to strengthen child protection on the internet and whether the structures we have in place are the best way to give
reassurance to parents that their children are not going to have easy access to unsuitable content.
In his address he announced a review of media and communications that will lead to new Communications Act. He explained the timetable:
Over the next few months we will be coming to talk to you; asking for your answers to the key questions that need to be addressed. I want to hear how a new Communications Act can create regulatory certainty.
The certainty that people need to continue to develop and invest in the high-quality technology and content that is made here but enjoyed by consumers all over the world.
I am prepared to radically rethink the way we do things.
To take a fresh look at what we regulate, whether we regulate, and how we regulate. To consider whether there are areas we might move out of regulation altogether. And to think hard
about what we mean by public service content.
As parents we want programmes to be suitable for our children. As citizens we want impartial news. And as consumers we want high-quality programmes we know and trust.
watching a broadcast live or though catch-up services, via a TV or a computer, it’s the content that matters, rather than the delivery mechanism.
So should it continue to be the case that the method of delivery has a significant impact on
the method of regulation? Or should we be looking at a more platform-neutral approach?
What do we need to do to help our businesses grow and evolve between now and 2025? Where can regulation help and where is it a barrier? What can we do
collectively to enhance the whole UK market?
This is not about tweaking the current system, but redesigning it – from scratch if necessary – to make it fit for purpose.
On the basis of what we hear from you, we will publish a
Green Paper at the end of the year that will set out the full scope of a Bill.
One that will be put in place in 2015 and that will last for at least a decade.
And to make up for all the banned sexy, fun and opinionated
internet content. Hunt proposes to bore us to death with his pet project of a new local TV channel.
In the latest move to bring the BBFC's widely recognised and trusted classifications to the world of digitally distributed content, every VHS, DVD and Blu-Ray title classified by the BBFC since 1985 has been given a digital
Since 2008 the BBFC has been working with the UK video industry to provide a content labelling system for film, video and TV content supplied by internet, wireless or mobile signal which the public can
trust and understand. By giving over 200,000 titles a digital classification the BBFC has provided consumers with access to labelling and content information for a massive back catalogue of films and television programmes which are available
through video-on-demand, digital rental/sell through, streaming, mobile platforms and connected TV.
Platforms and e-tailers using the BBFC's classifications for their online content pay a licensing fee under the
BBFC.online service. As well as the back catalogue all their new content classified by the BBFC is given an online certificate for digital distribution.
For material which is going straight to online the
BBFC has developed a brand new classification service, known as Watch and Rate which provides digital e-tailers and platforms with a robust labelling and child protection system for the online world at a cost and speed which reflects the needs of
David Cooke, Director of the BBFC said:
Our new service for straight to online content will provide the industry with a service which will ensure that they
can get their content, along with BBFC labelling, out into the rapidly moving digital space. For parents it will offer labelling and content advice they know and trust in what is, for many, an unfamiliar landscape.
We have an exciting part to play in the film and video industry's digital future. For almost 100 years, we have supported innovation in the moving image industries, and our latest service is designed to support the ever-increasing technological
development in our second century. Issuing 200,000 certificates at a stroke is a major step towards this.
Lavinia Carey, Director General of the British Video Association said:
The BBFC's act of issuing 200,000 'online' certificates has shown a major commitment to the digital development of home entertainment. At a time when the film and video industry is reinventing itself, the BBFC's role and contribution to the digital
future is hugely appreciated and supported by our members .
Stephen Joy, Production Manager of Entertainment One said:
Watch & Rate enables us to distribute certified
works digitally without the costs of marketing a physical DVD. Having their trusted symbols attached to our products in the digital space has allowed entry to key on-demand platforms fast, and at low cost.
Stevens, Head of Independent Distribution for Independent Film Company said:
BBFC's Watch & Rate provided us with a cost effective way of certifying products for use in the On Demand space. Licensing and sign-up
was quick, service costs were cost effective, for a content owner of our size and online submission was straightforward and streamlined.
Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports that the Italian Authority for Communications has passed two resolutions on internet video and internet radio respectively, that classify YouTube, Vimeo and other sites whose content is entirely user generated as
The reasoning is that if a site in any way curates their user generated content, even with automatic algorithms, this amounts to editorial control, and the site should be held to the same rules that apply to Italy's
broadcast television stations. This would subject these sites to a small tax, would require them to take down videos within 48 hours of the request of anyone who feels they have been slandered, and to not broadcast videos unsuitable for children at
certain times of day (whatever that would actually mean for a completely online service).
Most importantly, however, the new resolutions would make YouTube and other sites legally responsible for all of their content.
Italy has been trying
for a while to pin YouTube and Google employees for videos uploaded on to YouTube by parties who had nothing to do with any of the companies' employees.
Another dispute with Google is that Mediaset, a company owned by Italian Prime Minister Silvio
Berlusconi, is currently suing YouTube in Italian courts for about €500 million because it allowed users to upload copyrighted video taken from their broadcasts.