Romantics Anonymous Copyright Dispute

Romantics AnonymousAm I pissed off? Yes, I am extremely angry. But did I hide it well? I think so.

Our copyright system is totally fucked up. But it is made far worse by YouTube’s pathetic policy that any corporation can claim copyright to anything and it is up to people like me to prove that I’m not breaking the law. We may be innocent until proven guilty in a criminal court (although that’s mostly a crock too), but in the modern world, that only applies to corporations. They are innocent basically in perpetuity. We individuals are guilty until proven innocent.

I just got an email from YouTube:

Dear Frank Moraes,

Your video “My Favorite Scene from Romantics Anonymous“, may have content that is owned or licensed by Studio Canal, but it’s still available on YouTube! In some cases, it may be blocked, or ads may appear next to it.

This claim is not penalizing your account status. Visit your Copyright Notice page for more details on the policy applied to your video.

– The YouTube Team

I posted this video 10 months ago. At the time, there was one of those automatic claims. I had used 38 seconds from the film Romantics Anonymous and the computer complains. One would think that the program would only balk if it were longer than say two minutes. But no. I assume if you put in two seconds it would balk. Anyway, I was kind of looking forward to the whole thing because I had been through it with Fox over a clip from Arrested Development. Fox agreed with me and that was that. But in the case of Studio Canal’s claim, it just disappeared. So when I got this email, I was angry. I’d already filed a dispute. And I love Romantics Anonymous. It really bugs me that the owner is being such a dick about this whole thing when my only inclination is to make them more money.

Here is my official dispute, cleaned up for publishing here:

I went through this before when I first posted the video! And then it was just dropped as far as I could tell. I never got confirmation as I did from Fox about another video. The basics are that this is a short clip inside a longer video that was used as part of one of my many articles about the film:

Romantics Anonymous
My Favorite Scene from Romantics Anonymous
Humanity Over Art
American Myth and Escape Plan

This is all advertising for the film, which I gush about at the slightest provocation. I have used 38 seconds of the film as part of my continuing effort to get people to watch it. Studio Canal does itself no favor by questioning my right to witness on behalf of its film.

Finally: make a decision! I hate the idea that anyone can accuse me of infringing on copyright. I take this stuff very seriously. Look at my other videos! I don’t post large blocks of videos. My point is never to deprive copyright holders of payment; it is to provide them with a greater audience. But if the answer is no, so be it. Let’s take it down! I don’t want to be a copyright infringer in France but not America. It’s either legal or it isn’t. This little video should not be so close to the legal line that different countries have different opinions. And if it is, our copyright system is even more broken than I had thought.

Anyway, they are fucking assholes the lot of them at Studio Canal and YouTube. But I am going to try avoid letting it spoil this wonderfully sweet film for me.

5 thoughts on “Romantics Anonymous Copyright Dispute

  1. Wow.

    Thank goodness soon government will be eliminated and all decisions affecting everyone will be made by businesses. Because they really know what they’re doing. No brainless, self-defeating bureaucratic idiocy there.


  2. @JMF – That’s one of the big delusions of libertarians, "Companies can’t oppress you because they don’t have armies!" Even if that were true, have these people never read William Gibson?!

  3. Aargh, we have so much stuff to watch right now. Getting the Netflix streaming service to see "AD" opened up so many new shows and old movies for instant viewing. But, yes, I put "RA" on my library list.

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