Why the Resale of e-books Isn’t Evil

Recently there have been a number of alarmist posts made on the interwebs about companies (Amazon being one of the them, but Amazon is ALWAYS one of them…) planning to allow users to sell their second-hand e-books.

People have been really throwing their toys out of their prams over the issue. Or non-issue as I like to think of it. I know that some of you are you wondering what I’m on about here so I’ll do a quick recap on the issue:

  • All creators have the right of first sale, it’s part of copyright in that when their product is sold (for the first time) they get their cut.
  • Until recently there wasn’t the technology to allow the resale, or second hand market, for electronic goods.
  • It’s apparently a back-door for pirated copies (and we all know that piracy funds terrorism (!)).
  • The main argument, especially where DRM is used, is that the first purchaser is an “end-user” and so they are only licensing the product for their personal use, so resale is VERBOTTEN!!!!!! (yes I went over the top with the exclamation marks there, but it was for comedic effect).

Now I’m not going to go into any of those points because frankly, each of them is a choice for the individual copyright holder/publisher to decide on. Personally, I’m not going to put DRM on my future works (unless required by certain outlets…. Amazon) because I think it’s limiting and frustrating for the reader. “Surely you’re worried about piracy?” I hear you gasp. Well…. no. Not as much as I am about alienating readers in the first place.

So why am I not bothered about the re-sale of e-books? Or more specifically, why am I not worried about the re-sale of MY e-books? There are two reasons:

  1. I’ll have earned what I consider to be my entitlement via the ‘right of first sale’. I think it’s fairly obnoxious to expect to be paid when someone sells that book on. 
  2. I actually see the option to re-sell e-books as another revenue opportunity.

Wait! What? You heard me! Now put your brain in gear. As an reader, how many copies of an e-book do you legally own? That’s right, as many as you legally paid for. Now, as an author, how many copies of your e-book do you legally own?……. Okay, let me help you with that one. It’s somewhere between infinity and whatever comes after that.

See where I’m going with this yet?  These re-selling services operate by allowing you to sell any copies you legally own. With e-books (as long as you haven’t stupidly sold your publishing rights), as an author you own an infinite amount of them. You can create them at will, which means that you can also sell them at will. So why should a canny author be bothered about these services when he/she can use them as another revenue stream.  Log on, see how much your book is going for in the second-hand market, put a load of copies up for sale at a competitive price. A percentage of something is better than a percentage of nothing. Simples.

I’d love to read your thoughts on the issue.

Don’t forget, ‘Lament for the Living’ is out on May 10th – get a sneak peek at the first chapter for FREE!

Currently it’s .prc (DRM free for Kindle) or .pdf only.
Kindle/.prc – Download Here
PDF – Download Here

Download, read, enjoy. Let me know what you think.

While you’re waiting for ‘Lament for the Living’ to be released the following titles are also available:
Hannibal House by David Nicol   The Deluge of Elias by David Nicol
For more information and purchasing links please visit:

YouTube’s Content Matching

To save me time, this is pretty much how YouTube’s content matching works:

Spot the difference representation of YouTube's Content Matching Service

There are 8 differences....

YouTube compares existing content on the database against a reference copy from the copyright holder.

So here’s what happens. A copyright holder, or their representative, provides YouTube with a copy of their material. YouTube crunches it using a super secret technique that allows it to be cross checked against existing content on the database and any new material being uploaded.

The content is given a digital fingerprint which provides a number of pieces of data that can be searched against in a similar fashion to forensic fingerprinting. Anyone who’s watched CSI will have seen them search the fingerprint databases for a ‘match’.

Essentially when searching content the YouTube algorithm is not going to be set to only find 100% matches since usage of some materials may be small in the overall content of a video. This can create false positives (although rare) where legitimate content gets flagged for potential copyright infringement.

Content that is matched to the content match database on YouTube will either automatically have the artist name and a link to buy the track included in the description area:

How Content Matched content looks on YouTube

Some artists/copyright holders understand the power of free advertising (like Lady Gaga above) and so they allow their work to be flagged in the manner above. Others will instruct YouTube to automatically disallow their content from being reproduced – this will result in either the video having its audio stripped (in the case of an audio match) or the video being removed immediately and a Copyright strike made against the uploaders channel. A copyright strike can only be removed if it was implemented in error, that is, only in cases where an uploader has permission to use the content, or is the copyright holder.

So what about non-matched content, cover versions and live versions? Good news and bad news. You’ll be able to use those without any trouble…… until the copyright holder gives YouTube copies of those recordings to content match against.

All this relates to both video and audio content too. The fact is, YouTube is owned by Google. Google are very good at doing search related things. They’re also a business. Copyright infringement is bad for business so they’re not going to be interested in fighting your corner with regard to copyright issues.

If you’re a YouTube Partner, and you upload an infringing video, it’ll be set to private and you get a nice message telling you to sort your shit out. Everyone else gets the video removed and a copyright strike until such time as you can provide proof that you have permission to use the content.

My advice to anyone out there is to avoid using other peoples material altogether. Sure, there are a million songs that are begging to be used. And any forward thinking artist would love to have their material reach a wider audience, unfortunately business comes first, which means the copyright hammer hangs over everyone who uses other people’s material, no matter how apt or well intentioned.

(yes, there are exceptions and allowances within copyright law….. YouTube is not interested in those. If you want to argue points of law then you’ll have to set up your own ISP and host those vids yourself thanks to the DMCA and EUCD)

Peas and loaves.

Want to know how to comment on or subscribe to this blog? Click here.

Find me on PSN – MrCheapKills

David Nicol is Articles Editor for hupitgaming.com, YouTube gaming commentator and blogger based in the UK.

Why not check out my new gaming site: backslashgaming.com

New Stuff and Copyright Paranoia

Okay here’s the new stuff first. Dvotee (Paul) has added to his channel by moving in to the wonderful world of commentary and has become part of the exceptional BFBC2 community on YouTube, Twitter and here.

Here’s his vid:

Currently it seems that Paul is going through Beginner’s Doubt which is a stage that most commentators go through where they are unsure how they will be received by the viewers.

I’d like to assure Paul, and all other newcomers to commentating, that it is just a phase and will eventually turn in to IfYouDon’tLikeMyChannelYouCanStickItUpYourAss. Fact. On Twitter we were also talking about unlocking achievements on YouTube.

What? You don’t know about the achievements on YouTube? Donncha unlocked “Who’s an Ass now?” the other day on one of BlameTruth’s vids, but I’ve yet to unlock the ultimate accolade of “OMG u sound like a reetaaard”. That will be +50. (and I don’t want any of you lot thinking you’re helping by ‘boosting’ on my channel!) Sidenote: this whole “achievement unlocked” thing comes from Woodysgamertag so kudos to him for adding another layer of fun to the whole shebang.

And talking of the community. Redd_dragons has created a new Battlefield community here on the home of the best Battlefield bloggers – wordpress. Check out his blog at InBadCompany (that’s a brilliant name for a community site). Check it out! No.. not now, finish reading this first. There may also be a Battlefield Podcast in the offing from Redd_Dragons and friends (including the TeamDonkeyKong guys, Cards and the GLS and others).

Talking of podcasts (and tinfoil hats). Donncha and I will also be releasing a podcast based around general gaming and the community at large. So it’s a very exciting time for all of us.

And lastly – copyright paranoia. My new years resolution (the first I’ve made in about 35 years…) is to not get any copyright strikes. However, I’ve also been attempting to be as copyright compliant as possible by now creating my own music for my vids and not using any images without permission (which is why there are crayon – yes, real crayon drawings – on some of the recent posts). Technically, under fair use I can use images for the purposes of commentary, reporting and education, but I thought I’d go that little step further and ask permission from companies to be LIKE TOTALLY LEGIT.

However, after some recent comedy tweets using #copyright related tags someone called Copyright Guidelines started following me on Twitter. I’m not sure what side of the fence they keep their dogs on, so I’m playing it safe:

You'll never take me alive Copper!

For the majority of this post I should have just done this!

Peas and loaves.

Want to know how to comment on or subscribe to this blog? Click here.

Find me on PSN – evaDlivE

David Nicol is Articles Editor for hupitgaming.com, YouTube gaming commentator and blogger based in the UK.

Would The Real Copyright Holder Please Stand Up…

Before we get in to it, let me make my position abundantly clear as Ariel and “Sarah” seem to have missed the point: I fully understand that copyright holders can enforce their rights over unauthorised use of their works. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My issue with the two copyright strikes that I have received from YouTube is not that I have been ‘done’ for infringing copyright. It’s that I’ve been done for copyright infringement after having what I believed to be implied permission to use the material.

Since Ariel Isabel of LoveCat Music, and the person “Sarah” posting from the same IP address, have been commenting here I’d like to ask everyone, LoveCats and non LoveCats, to please tell me who Dieffe Sas is.

The reason I ask is this: Dieffemusic.com or dieffemusicdotcom on YouTube aka Dieffe Sas claims to be the copyright holder of the video: Bubbles – Bidibodi Bidibu (thanks you all) Read on…! That video is still up on YouTube, but the actual Bidibodi Bidibu video count is now down to 100.

In the video Bubbles – Bidibodi Bidibu (thanks you all) Read on…! that Dieffe Sas claims copyright on it specifically says at 0:13: “Post your new videos of “Bidibodi Bidibu” on You Tube.”

Here’s a screenie to show what I mean (and under copyright law this is fair use):

Permission to use the track?

I’ve googled Dieffe Sas and the majority of the hits relate to Dieffe Sas claiming copyright of Bubbles – Bidibodi Bidibu. I had a look at Dieffemusic.com too and it all seems fairly legit. So where does LoveCat Music come in to it? I tried searching their site for either Bubbles or Dieffe Sas…. unfortunately it wasn’t pretty:

I can recommend a number of web professionals to fix that....

I couldn’t find a search result for Bubbles either…. or access the artist catalogue…. or much else due to many many php and mysql errors. Technology eh!?

Anyhoo, if anyone can shed some light on this then that would be dandy as I know I’m not the only person who’s been caught out by this.

Peas and loaves.

Want to know how to comment on or subscribe to this blog? Click here.

Find me on PSN – evaDlivE

David Nicol is Articles Editor for hupitgaming.com, YouTube gaming commentator and blogger based in the UK.

Consistency is the Root of all Awesomeness

When it comes to little things like the law, and rules created to reflect it, consistency is usually the cornerstone of its integrity. Obviously there will always be exceptions to the rule/law but in general we can all hope that everyone is dealt with fairly and objectively.

Which is why YouTube’s approach to copyright is somewhat less than awesome.

Copyright is actually very simple to understand. 1 What is infringing? 2 Remove infringing content.

On YouTube there are two things to consider, is the video content infringing/is the audio content infringing? As it’s a video site then it makes sense for the whole video to be removed if it’s the video content that’s infringing, but if the audio is the infringing part then that should be muted….. and this is not some far out concept:

A TRIBUTE band to rockers The Eagles have been left dumbfounded after the ’70s legends’ record company ordered their track to be taken off YouTube.

Swansea-based tribute group the Ultimate Eagles have so far received more than 750,000 views on the site for their rendition of The Eagles classic Desperado.

But the footage, made in Llanelli, has now been “muted” after the Eagles’ publishers stepped in with a legal challenge.


“The video footage was left intact, as that belongs to us, but the sound was muted even though it is us singing and playing, not The Eagles.”

In the meantime I’ve had a reply from those denizens of consistency at YouTube:

Dear David,

Thank you for notification.

Based on the information you have provided, it appears that you do not have the necessary rights to post the content on YouTube. As such, we will not be able to restore your video.

Please take some time to review our Copyright Tips,
http://youtube.com/t/howto_copyright, as well as the copyright-related
information available in our Help Center.

You may also visit YouTube’s Copyright School, a self-paced guide to copyright terms and tools, found here:

If we receive a retraction of the claim from the original claimant, we will be able to restore the video immediately.

Otherwise, we unfortunately are unable to assist further in this matter.


The YouTube Team

Hmm…. I create the gameplay, I edit the gameplay, I put a notice at the beginning of the video identifying it’s legal status but apparently (according to YouTube) that’s not enough. This is not actually the first time that I’ve encountered a complete lack of intelligence regarding the subject of copyright. Many many many moons ago I had a video deleted from my web host for copyright infringement….. even though it was an original track that I wrote and recorded, the video was filmed and edited by me, I was in it, and I had a copyright notice at the end.

The mind boggles.

I’ll take it that “If we receive a retraction of the claim from the original claimant, we will be able to restore the video immediately. Otherwise, we unfortunately are unable to assist further in this matter.” As the polite way of saying “Go jump off a cliff”.

I will reply asking them clarify at what point LoveCatMusic obtained ownership of my video content, but I won’t hold my breath for an answer.

Dear The YouTube Team

Thank you for your reply.

However, I do have the necessary rights to post the VIDEO content on YouTube.

The video content of the alleged infringing video was created, recorded and edited by me. At the beginning of the video there is a very clear copyright notice which states that the VIDEO content is covered by the EUCD and DMCA.

The audio was ‘Bidibodi Bidibu’ by Bubbles which LoveCatMusic are apparently the copyright holders. As such the audio content was allegedly infringing, not the video content (to which I retain copyright as creator). It would make sense that in the event that the audio was deemed to be infringing copyright then it should have been muted as has been the case on numerous other videos.

The situation is further confused by the fact that numerous other videos use the same audio but are not deemed to be infringing copyright, for example:

Or just use the search: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Bidibodi+Bidibu&aq=f

To recap – LoveCatMusic do not own the copyright to the VIDEO content and as such it should be reinstated with the audio muted.

If you require that I do this via the legal challenge then I require you to inform me as to which jurisdiction the claim of copyright was made.


David Nicol

….not holding my breath. But it’s all a bit of fun in the meantime. Dance monkeys! DANCE!!

New channel: http://www.youtube.com/thecheapkills

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cheapkills

Peas and loaves.

Want to know how to comment on or subscribe to this blog? Click here.

Find me on PSN – evaDlivE

David Nicol is Articles Editor for hupitgaming.com, YouTube gaming commentator and blogger based in the UK.

Goodbye Mr Cheap Kills

And Hello! to ‘TheCheapKills‘!

I received an email this morning from YouTube/Google informing that a video had been removed for infringing copyright and how naughty I was as this was my second strike:

Dear MrCheapkills,

We have disabled the following material as a result of a third-party notification from LoveCat Music, claiming that this material is infringing:

(MUSIC) BFBC2 Empty Server Shenanigans

This is the second copyright sanction against your account. A single additional claim against your account will result in the termination of your account. To avoid this, delete any videos to which you do not own the rights and refrain from uploading additional videos that infringe the copyrights of others. For more information about YouTube’s copyright policy, please read the Copyright Tips guide.

If one of your postings has been misidentified as infringing, you may submit a counter-notification. Information about this process is in our Help Centre.

Please note that under Section 512(f) of the Copyright Act, any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that material was disabled due to mistake or misidentification may be liable for damages.

Yours sincerely,

– The YouTube Team
© 2010 YouTube, LLC
901 Cherry Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066

Uh-oh, just noticed the copyright notice at the bottom of the email…. maybe I’ll have to face a firing squad if they find out.

My second strike….. well regular readers might remember back to March(?) when I got a strike which I posted about when I thought I was taking part in a legitimate viral advertising campaign for a Robert Rodriguez film – Twentieth Century Fox thought otherwise. But on top of that YouTube IGNORED subsequent emails about the issue so I just decided to take the hit and let it go.

This meant that there were certain things I could not do on my account such as put videos as ‘unlisted’. Not a major issue, but a little niggle as it meant that I couldn’t do any exclusives for you guys. But there we are, I was building the channel and had to live with “my” mistake.

Now then, the video that has been removed (and I’ve already contacted YouTube about it) should not have been removed. Fair enough strip the audio if LoveCat Music have issue – after all they ARE the copyright holders of the MUSIC but not of the video itself. So where’s my video?

And what was the music? It was this (and I’m using another copyright infringer’s video to illustrate how inconsistent copyright enforcement is):

I fully admit that I used copyrighted material in my vids. However, they should really be covered by fair use in most cases (not necessarily in this case, but in general). This was always going to be a risk, and it is not unexpected so I’m not particularly bothered about it. I’ll be archiving a couple of vids (Geoff’s and MrDazzyBee69 in particular) but all the rest will either just sit there ad infinitum, or get terminated with the channel when someone else decides to be grumpy.

So that’s that. MrCheapKills will no longer be updated. I’ll post a bulletin on there a couple of times over the next couple of weeks, but there will be no new videos on that channel. For all things cheap and teabaggy then you should now visit: http://www.youtube.com/thecheapkills. The new channel will be copyright infringement free (mostly).

Thanks everyone for your support, contributions and general e-hugs and I look forward to seeing you all on the new channel.

New channel: http://www.youtube.com/thecheapkills

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cheapkills

Peas and loaves.

Want to know how to comment on or subscribe to this blog? Click here.

Find me on PSN – evaDlivE

David Nicol is Articles Editor for hupitgaming.com, YouTube gaming commentator and blogger based in the UK.

Why Does YouTube Ignore Copyright Queries?

Back in May I received a copyright strike against my account. Ironically it was from 20th Century Fox (allegedly) and was due to my mistaken belief that I was uploading a Robert Rodriguez trailer as part of a viral advertising campaign. So I now have what would appear to be a permanent strike on my account that I can do nothing about. This appears to be the case as copyright@youtube.com is ignoring my emails to them. It’s not as if I’m sending them abuse – I’m only after the information that THEY say I should request in the event of a strike against an account.

So here’s the history so far in case you missed it:

(I’ve since reuploaded one of the “infringing” works and counter filed….but not received a response on that either!)

My first email to YouTube:

8th May 2010

Dear Copyright at YouTube

Can you please inform me as to which jurisdiction the copyright claim against video ID: 26nKRtaTbNQ

I would also like to dispute the sanction against my account. Although I do not claim any ownership of the video I did upload it in good faith under the impression that I was participating in a “viral” campaign with the permission of the copyright holders. This was due to it’s inclusion and message here – http://www.aintitcool.com/node/44943

Obviously I now know this is not the case and have deleted the infringing video.

I would appreciate it if you would reconsider the copyright strike on my account, or at the very least acknowledge that you have received and understood my reason for uploading the copyrighted material (without prejudice).


David Nicol

Autoresponse received the same day, and the on the 13th May 2010:

Dear David,

Thanks for your inquiry. We’re glad you take copyright laws seriously —
YouTube does too. In general, you must be certain that your video doesn’t
infringe someone else’s copyright before you upload it to our site. We
cannot make this determination for you, as it’s your responsibility to
know the rules. To help you, we suggest you refer to our Copyright Tips at
http://www.youtube.com/t/howto_copyright. There, we’ve provided some
guidelines and links to help you determine whether your video infringes
someone else’s copyright.


The YouTube Team

Okay…. thanks for the response ‘YouTube Team’…. how about you actually answer the query?

Sent the same day in response:


I’d appreciate it if you answered the specific question in my first email:

-Can you please inform me as to which jurisdiction the copyright claim against video ID: 26nKRtaTbNQ was made

Additionally, can you check to make sure that the copyright claim was actually made by someone on behalf Twentieth Century Fox and not some random Steve Jones type person.


David Nicol

May gives way to June and still no response…. at all. So:

4th June 2010


I have still not received a response regarding this query. As we both take copyright very seriously it would seem pertinent that these queries are resolved.

I’d also like to know at what point a copyright “strike” can be removed from an account – and under what circumstances this can be done.

David Nicol


June becomes July and still nothing, no automated responses, nothing!

9th July 2010

It is now two months since I first contacted you and have so far received no reasonable response to my queries – in fact I have only received one response so far and that was in May! This is wholly unacceptable.

I now require you to answer the following questions without further delay/dismissal:

– in which jurisdiction the copyright claim against video ID: 26nKRtaTbNQ made
– who actually made the claim (were they actually someone with authority to make the claim, or simply someone masquerading as a copyright holder(e.g. “Steve Jones”)?
– is a copyright strike permanent, and under what circumstances can it be removed?


David Nicol

The thing that gets me is that the Machete Trailer is STILL up – the version from aintitcool, the version I uploaded is still available on YouTube from many different uploaders. In fact here it is here:

codaddict1000 has 76,656 views on it at the time of writing and states in the description: “I do not own the rights to this youtube video , this is a trailer strickly ment to show everybody what mechete is . i again do not own the right to “machete 2010 trailer

So what’s going on? On my channel it was up for a couple of days until it got about 5000 views and then it got hit. TheShape031 managed to get to 10,000 views before his was yanked and I’m sure there are others with similar stories. But the issue is YouTube not being forthcoming with the information I’m requesting so that I can decide whether or not to bother challenging the strike.

If Fox made a boo-boo and stuck the boot in in error then surely I, and everyone else, should be able to have their strikes removed. If it wasn’t Fox then the strike should definitely be removed. But I can only find this out if YouTube actually fulfil their remit!

To be honest, I’m confused. Usually if a company is not going to respond on certain email account you receive nothing. Sometimes you get an automated response and nothing else. But to get a fairly coherent if pointless response and then nothing is really odd…..

Peas and loaves

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Find me on PSN – evaDlivE