Next New No-No

Sigh. No one “owns” Sita Sings the Blues, or any of my Free works, but things like this fraudulent copyright claim keep happening:

false copyright claim
false copyright claim

I’ve never had any problem with Next New Networks. I like its founder Fred Siebert. Since I believe the folks at Next New Networks are cool, maybe they could assist with a “teaching moment” and figure out where along the chain of bureaucracy this happened. It would be helpful and enlightening for many to see just how easy it is to make a false copyright claim in YouTube’s hair-trigger content ID system.

Since Sita Sings the Blues is now CC-0 “Public Domain”, I can’t go legal over things like this, nor do I want to. I do wonder what happens with fraudulent claims over other Public Domain material. Do different entities just randomly claim PD works and then duke it out with each other? If PD material can be claimed by big corporations, that will exclude small players from using it because they don’t have the resources to challenge said false claims. But don’t get me started.



Update: Mike Schmitt, who took the screenshot at top, says,

“BTW, the copyright claim flags the 0:34-second mark in the trailer, which is the exact point at which the percussion-heavy song starts. So AFAIK it’s a content claim against the song (since there seems to be some confusion here). The same entity holds a copyright claim against the other Sita trailer on my channel, which starts with a different song.
ETA: the video in question is here: “


Author: Nina Paley

Animator. Director. Artist. Scapegoat.

4 thoughts on “Next New No-No”

  1. Hi Nina, I was wondering if it was possible to take a work that is fully in the public domain (eg “Sita”) and remove all the credits, and replace them with new credits, and market this as a new product? Could I could take “Sita” and put a new title and credits, and sell DVDs at Wal-Mart? It may not be ethical, but is it legal under CC-0? Thanks


  2. I had a recent situation with something like this. There is a German website with photos and information on museum objects. I’m pretty sure I know where the text is from, and I recognize many of the photos of items that are in other countries. The German site give no attribution at all, and some people even assume this is a museum in Germany with all this stuff!
    Someone else decides to make an informational PDF and grabs all the images and text from the site, and credits the German “museum” for everything. I advised the PDF author to look up the original sources of things. I also find it odd that he decided to make the PDF rather than just directing viewers to the German website (which is in English).
    The assumptions apparently are:
    1. They are old objects, so there is no need to credit the institution that owns and preserves them.
    2. If it’s on the internet, it’s ok to grab it.
    3. Especially if you’re “helping” people.

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