- Posted July 20, 2010 by
Major Youtube Security Flaw Leads to Suspension of Top Youtubers
A major flaw in You Tube’s security has led to the unfair suspension of some of Youtube’s biggest personalities. Due to the way YouTube handles the laws of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, any user can currently file a false copyright claim against a video, and YouTube’s automatic system will let it right through without distinguishing between true claims and false ones.
Why, though, is this happening? The answer is simple: Fear. YouTube’s has had major copyright issues in the past with companies such as Viacom, and large corporations such as the RIAA have a long history of suing everybody from wild teens to deceased grandmothers to halt the illegal downloading of music. It is perfectly fine for these corporations to protect what's theirs, and for YouTube to retaliate and protect their company with similarly aggressive means - but the process begins to show its flaws when the consequences of false copyright violations begin encroaching upon the freedom of legitimate users of the site to upload as they please.
It is exactly this exploit in YouTube's copyright claims system that a recent internet terrorist group wishes to take advantage of. These malicious users make false Digital Millennium Copyright Act claims against users, and continue making false, often ridiculous claims against legitimate accounts until YouTube suspends the victim for copyright investigation. Over the past several weeks, these malicious users have sent advance notices to popular YouTube users warning they would be banned - and each user has subsequently met their demise on the popular video sharing site.
One such user, Chuggaaconroy, who enjoys a fanbase of more than 120,000 subscribers and whose channel is within the top 100 viewed director’s channels of all time, was hit with his suspension just today after having been warned his account would be the target of attacks earlier in the week. The perpetrators of the attack claimed to represent Nintendo in owning the Pokemon franchise, and even made the lofty claim that they owned the copyrights to Chuggaaconroy's voice, which is prominent in his own videos. As ridiculous as these claims may sound, that makes no difference, to Youtube’s automatic system, which does not distinguish between true claims and false ones.
YouTube's philosophy about how to deal with DMCA claims has always been shoot first and ask questions later - but is it time for this to change? When legitimate users are saddled with the burden of dealing with the legalities of false claims against them, it might just be time for YouTube to reconsider the way it handles these troubling situations.
You can learn more about the suspension here: http://bit.ly/aEYwS0