GEMA Takes Down Mega Launch YouTube Videos, Because They Can

The German music rights group is known for its abuses

By Lucian Parfeni on January 24th, 2013 10:14 GMT

You'd think that, by now, the entertainment industry would have learned not to poke a hornet's nest or, in this case, Kim Dotcom. Their great plan to strike fear into the hearts of pirates everywhere by taking down MegaUpload and Dotcom in a spectacular fashion backfired in a big way.

They got MegaUpload killed, but they also turned Dotcom, a man with a massive and expensive car collection, inflatable tanks in his yard and gaudy extravagant taste, into an internet freedom activist into the eyes of many.

But if there's one thing labels and Hollywood are keen to show, is that they don't learn anything from their mistakes, explaining the miserable state of the recording industry.

GEMA, the notorious German music rights group, the same one that is preventing all Germans from watching music on YouTube, has now taken down videos from the Mega launch.

To give you an idea of how ridiculous this is, the songs were actually owned and even sung by Dotcom himself. The other artists allowed Dotcom to put their performances online.

There is nothing in there that could possibly be claimed by GEMA, yet the video is taken down. Once again, the music industry is shown to be either incompetent or malicious.

Dotcom has filed a counterclaim with YouTube and had the videos reinstated, but it's still ridiculous that companies and industry groups can take down any YouTube video at a whim with no fear of retribution.

Because, even if Dotcom proves GEMA abused its position and had no right to request the videos be taken down, nothing will happen. YouTube won't remove its right to block videos, not when it's locked in a heated battle with GEMA over music on YouTube in Germany.

And since YouTube makes it possible for (some) rights holders to remove videos via Content ID, a voluntary system, the abuse is not a matter for the courts.

The Mega launch event
   The Mega launch event
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