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Universal Sends DMCA Takedown On 1980 Report 189

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-see-what-you-did-there dept.
An anonymous reader writes "For many, many years, every time some new technology has come along, the music industry has insisted that it's going to "kill" the industry. The player piano was supposed to kill live music. So was the radio. And, of course, every time this happens the press is willing to take the industry's word at face value. In 1980, the news program 20/20 posted a report all about how "home taping is killing music," with various recording industry execs insisting the industry was on its last legs unless something was done. Someone posted that 20/20 episode to YouTube a few years back, where it sat in obscurity until people noticed it a couple weeks ago. And suddenly, Universal Music issued a takedown notice for the show. Universal Music does not own 20/20, and there were only brief clips of music in the show. It appears the only reason for Universal to issue the takedown is that it doesn't want you seeing how badly it overreacted in the past."
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Universal Sends DMCA Takedown On 1980 Report

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  • Or maybe (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MrEricSir (398214) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @07:07PM (#33954636) Homepage

    ...there's no "cover up" here at all, and the big media companies send takedown notices to just about every video on YouTube.

  • Re:Or maybe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by enderjsv (1128541) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @07:13PM (#33954702)

    Or maybe sending take down notices to ALL videos on youtube is just a way to cover up the ones they REALLY want to take down.

    We're through the looking glass, people.

  • Re:Or maybe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by enderjsv (1128541) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @07:21PM (#33954784)
    Only it won't work. I just learned about the Streisand effect from the recent article about officer Bubble, and I already have a situation in which to apply it. That's convenient.
  • by Stregano (1285764) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @07:22PM (#33954798)
    There is always something that is putting the music industry on its "last leg". As technology advances, they just continue bitching and it obviously has not stopped today. I do not think the music industry is hurting too bad. Have you seen an episode of MTV cribs lately where they have musicians on there? The musicians don't seem like they are very poor (except for Redman, but nobody can predict Redman, that guy is crazy).

    When you have an indoor pool and an outdoor pool, I highly doubt you are hurting from money. If the musicians are getting enough money to afford that, just think of how much is going to the company seeing as the musician only takes a small cut of what the industry makes (that is, of course the musician gets endorsements from Nike and Wheaties and stuff).

    Seriously, after mp3's and torrents have faded out and the new technology has come into play, the music industry will bitch and moan again about how they are, again, on their last leg, but then we get to see the newest episode of MTV Cribs where artists show off their new Benz and Ferraris
  • by DigiShaman (671371) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @07:24PM (#33954824) Homepage

    What do you bet they use a program to scour the net with the Shazam [] engine (or something like it), detect the music content, and automatically generate a form based takedown notice. All without ever needing a first person review.

  • by c0lo (1497653) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @07:27PM (#33954848)

    Seriously this isn't news, this is happening everyday to lots of people from lots of companies

    The fact that somebody else shits my underwear while I'm not looking is interesting to me.
    The fact that you keep changing your underwear and chose to not care who shits in it is is, indeed, of little relevance to me.

  • Go and download it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vivin (671928) <> on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @07:31PM (#33954880) Homepage Journal

    Go to and download [] a copy of that video. If YouTube does take it down, we can always post it again (on another note, I can't seem to find part 2).

    The Internet Never Forgets.

    Also, Universal Music are douchebags, but what's new? The douchebaggery and the lies are so obvious that it's not even worth going into it.

  • Re:Or maybe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HermMunster (972336) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @07:56PM (#33955110)

    The video that was DMCA'd down was the 2nd half of a 20/20 news segment about the issues befalling the music industry back in the 1980s.

    There's enough time between the "failure of the music industry's disdain for the player piano and the radio" as to make points on both sides moot.

    But, a DMCA notice to take down something that occurred in the 80s which pinpoints the exact same reasoning we have today for the alleged destruction of the music industry is telling. This segment wasn't even owned by the music industry, it was owned by 20/20 the news magazine. The content within clearly falls within the fair use doctrine, which, should be considered the default rather than the exception--meaning we should make them prove that it isn't fair use before they can prevail with a DMCA or in court, rather than the way it is now where fair use has to prove itself.

  • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @08:50PM (#33955590)

    There is always something that is putting the music industry on its "last leg". As technology advances, they just continue bitching and it obviously has not stopped today.

    And the retarded thing? Advancing technology makes them money.

    Consider the 90s, which they seem to conveniently peg as their baseline for normal. Putting their cries of poverty from today and the 80s together, they've been going out of business constantly from 1985 until now, except for the mid 90s. What happened then? The CD came out. And people replaced a helluvalot of vinyl and tapes with CDs. People did that because the product was significantly superior in nearly every way (with apologies to audiophiles who love vinyl).

    So what's different now? Well, they've been fighting digital distribution tooth and nail to combat privacy (ostensibly), preferring to stamp out piracy even if it means killing themselves. As a result they've made a lot less money than they could have, and have allowed a robust black market to blossom. That's bad for them, not just because of the lost revenue (let's concede they lose some money for the sake of argument), but they also lose control over distribution. This is completely different from their mistakes before.. Previously, people bootlegged tapes to make illegal tapes, but it was an inferior product to the legit copies, and probably made little dent in sales. Now, people can bootleg CDs to make digital copies, shifting media as well as creating a potentially superior product. The black market can now fill a market they've chosen not to compete in. Bad news for them.

    So what's the upshot? If they want to make money like in the 90s, they need to give people a reason to re-buy music. That will be very hard since the last iteration was digital and easily turned into other media - how do you improve on that? They need some way of adding actual value to the product that people bought or shared/stole. Otherwise, the level of sales growth seen now and in the 80s is the norm, and we shouldn't expect anything different.

  • by Karunamon (1845630) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @08:59PM (#33955650)
    Um... yes it is. Go look at any DMCA request form online (even YouTube's). You have to attest, under penalty of perjury, that you own or hold rights to the work that you're reporting as infringing. The only reason that Universal and the other MafiAA jagoffs can get away with this is because countersuing is long and expensive.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @09:12PM (#33955762)

    Mostly because copyright owners are in fact Cock-Sucking Assholes.

    I gave up on "being legit" yearsa go when they started this shit when they shoved their hands up the asses of metallica and proved to the world that they were the shittiest band ever.

    I now ONLY steal music. I record from radio, I record from Sattelite radio. I record from last FM. I download files. I SHARE THEM WITH FRIENDS.

    If I make a overpaid duchebag musician poor, I'm a happy guy. Make music, get paid performing. Fuck off and die if you think you deserve to make $90,000+ a year because you are an "artist"....

  • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @10:47PM (#33956362)

    The cool thing is their greed is being eaten away from the other side as well - home recording, powerful computers/software, and the internet is making it easier and easier for artists to get a quality product to an audience, bypassing the "music industry" altogether - at least for recorded music.

    Yup. Less and less reason for them to exist. With cheaper production and voluntarily electing not to make digital distribution work correctly, the only thing they have left is marketing. If the indie artists ever figure out some means of grabbing mindshare - if some indie online music finding service ever becomes both popular and legal - the RIAA is even more screwed.

    I don't think the **AA-type organizations have any coherent picture on what the future of media should be, other than "everyone should buy every release of the same shit over and over again".

    Oh, that's exactly it. And then they use those few good years when everybody is re-buying music as their projection going forward, and if they don't hit numbers it's those derned pirates.

  • by ericvids (227598) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @12:35AM (#33957086)

    As they say, hindsight is ... *gets shot*

    (Okay, the recording industry could be right... they claimed back then that "something MUST be done", but they never claimed that something "is NOT currently being done". After all, thirty years later, we now have all these stupid copyright laws...)

  • by IICV (652597) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @04:01AM (#33958066)

    So what's different now? Well, they've been fighting digital distribution tooth and nail to combat privacy (ostensibly), preferring to stamp out piracy even if it means killing themselves.

    Your rather humorous Freudian slip aside, I think this is something that is endemic to our culture.

    We are so incredibly terrified of the horrific thought of someone, somewhere, might possibly getting something they don't deserve that we spend an inordinate amount of time and effort hunting them down, and for no good (economical) reason.

    Yes, you do need some - maybe even a significant amount - of policing activities, in order to ensure that certain privileges aren't too abused. However, after a certain point (and this is a point I think we've far exceeded) the amount of policing required to ensure that one more person gets only what they are entitled to and nothing costs far more than the excess resources that person would have used. Even deterrence doesn't really matter - once it gets to the point that you can be sued for millions of dollars, who cares if you can be sued for millions + 1 dollars? Once it gets to the point where you can be put in jail for ten years, who really cares if you can be put in jail for 12?

    Basically, I think we've turned into a nation that is far too obsessed with crime and vengeance, when we should be concerned more with justice and silly things like actual, measured outcomes.

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