Tech Tip: Not what I expected

I was eating my lunch at my desk today and thumbing through a new issue of a publication (yes, paper) that I subscribe to. One of the pages had a ‘tech tip’ listed, and predictably, this caught my attention. What I read in the ‘tech tip’ was not at all what I expected to read. The actual tip described in detail the steps to download, save, convert video formats and repost/upload the video content hosted on YouTube to additional websites. Yikes! My internal ‘alarm bells’ to follow the rules (terms of use etc.) and support copyright were going off, especially since the publication is education oriented.

The YouTube terms of use policy specifically states that “Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use only and may not be downloaded, copied, modified, produced, reproduced, distributed, transmitted, broadcast, displayed, sold, licensed, translated, published, performed or otherwise exploited for any other purposes whatsoever without the prior written consent of the respective owners.

In my mind, this is a great example of:  just because you can, and technology makes it easy, does not mean the activity is permitted and/or legal. I see this as a missed opportunity to enlighten the readership, promote ethical use of content and demonstrate digital citizenship. After work, I was sharing my ‘find’ with @hniezen and @rebrouse. We were debating whether or not I would point this out to the editor of the publication. I think we landed on yes, so I will craft an email to explore the situation further.

Related Reading

UK Guardian: digital economy bill
Digital Rights Management in Canada
Internet abuse and ISP liability
Internet Piracy Copyright Law in Canada
Canadian Journal of Communication: Bill C-60 and Copyright in Canada commentary

Enjoy the reading and learning.
~ Mark

2 thoughts on “Tech Tip: Not what I expected”

  1. Hey Mark,

    Youtube should allow owners of the content to specify the licence to use the content, much as Flickr does with its integration with creative commons.

    Of course, Youtube encourages the embedding of videos on other websites. That allows them to serve ads and retain the control over the content. That should be the approach people take for sharing videos on their sites.

    But I agree with you technology has made a lot possible. I am certainly in favour of following the law. But digital technology has advanced faster than copyright law, and I think there needs to be a discussion on how to protect owners rights over their content and enable sharing and exchange of information.


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