21 votes

Officer plays copyrighted music while being filmed

17 comments

  1. moocow1452
    Link
    Welcome to the infopunk future, everyone.

    By the time Devermont is close enough to speak to him, the officer’s phone is already blasting “In My Life” by the Beatles — a group whose rightsholders have notoriously sued Apple numerous times. If you want to get someone in trouble for copyright infringement, the Beatles are quite possibly your best bet.

    Welcome to the infopunk future, everyone.

    26 votes
  2. [2]
    joplin
    Link
    So couldn't you counter this by simply playing royalty-free music out of the same device you're recording on (or another one if that doesn't work) at the same time? It would be closer to the mic...

    So couldn't you counter this by simply playing royalty-free music out of the same device you're recording on (or another one if that doesn't work) at the same time? It would be closer to the mic so would likely drown out their music. (Or for that matter, just turn off recording of audio.) It does make it less likely you'll get what they say recorded, but you can still show what they're doing live, at least.

    4 votes
    1. aphoenix
      Link Parent
      You could, but at least some of the point is to capture what is being said; with masks on and music going, that would not be possible.

      You could, but at least some of the point is to capture what is being said; with masks on and music going, that would not be possible.

      10 votes
  3. [14]
    FishFingus
    (edited )
    Link
    Interesting. Would music or social media companies start making exceptions to the rules in cases such at this, do you think?

    Interesting. Would music or social media companies start making exceptions to the rules in cases such at this, do you think?

    3 votes
    1. Whom
      Link Parent
      Really, it doesn't matter. Regardless of whether this would be considered an acceptable case to share the audio, caught in the filter is caught in the filter. In the article itself, it mentions...

      Really, it doesn't matter. Regardless of whether this would be considered an acceptable case to share the audio, caught in the filter is caught in the filter. In the article itself, it mentions that this is probably a case that should get by instagram's rules, but that isn't the point. We can have reasonable and nuanced rules all we want, but as long as there's an algorithm nuking anything that contains copyrighted music, assholes like this win by default.

      21 votes
    2. vektor
      Link Parent
      German law's got you covered: https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_urhg/englisch_urhg.html#p0413 You would have an (in my opinion) very easy time arguing that someone deliberately blasting...

      German law's got you covered: https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_urhg/englisch_urhg.html#p0413

      It shall be permissible to reproduce, distribute and communicate to the public works if they are to be regarded as works incidental to the actual subject-matter being reproduced, distributed or communicated to the public.

      You would have an (in my opinion) very easy time arguing that someone deliberately blasting copyrighted music to make your recording unpublishable would constitute merely an incidental work. The subject-matter being distributed is the officer's behavior. This means that music companies can't hurt you anymore.

      However, rigorous application of this doctrine is completely absent from the internet. ContentID etc. don't care about german laws. Same issue as with e.g. fair use.

      The eternal problem with government-mandated internet "censorship" (quotes because it's not actual censorship). If you can't reasonably moderate your own platform, you'll just end up deleting everything even moderately spicy.

      7 votes
    3. [10]
      Rez
      Link Parent
      If the next George Floyd situation is caught on camera with the Beatles blasting, I'm sure the exception will fly through. All it does is (potentially) stop the livestream, it doesn't get rid of...

      If the next George Floyd situation is caught on camera with the Beatles blasting, I'm sure the exception will fly through. All it does is (potentially) stop the livestream, it doesn't get rid of the recording itself. The recording will still be spliced up, sound mixed and subtitled as needed and spread from there. If something actually controversial happened and the social media companies did nothing to allow an exception from their automated algorithms, that would only make the story blow up even more.

      The music blasting would make the police look even worse as it'd be evidence of premeditation. You can claim "whoops, my body camera stopped working", but you can't claim "whoops, I accidentally took my phone out and played Santeria". But in this case it was an officer on clerical duty inside a police department where the civilian initiated the interaction (not sure what was going on outside though) - the officer wasn't attempting to exercise any kind of police power or authority over the streamer or anyone else.

      So I'm sure this will escalate at some point, but for now the story is that someone being rude to an officer was treated rudely in turn.

      4 votes
      1. [9]
        MimicSquid
        Link Parent
        Filming an interaction when you have reason to expect the need for documentation is not rude.

        Filming an interaction when you have reason to expect the need for documentation is not rude.

        13 votes
        1. [6]
          Rez
          Link Parent
          Are you saying you wouldn't consider it rude for someone to walk up to you and try to interact with you while streaming it to thousands of others? I know I would be made extremely uncomfortable...

          Are you saying you wouldn't consider it rude for someone to walk up to you and try to interact with you while streaming it to thousands of others? I know I would be made extremely uncomfortable even if I wasn't doing anything wrong at all.

          Though I'm not clear what you mean by documentation. The streamer was just going in to file a form. He had no reason to be filming besides doing it out of principle - it wasn't a traffic stop, the officer wasn't trying to exert authority, etc., so none of those concerns apply of trying to preemptively document the interaction if that's what you mean. There was no reason for him to preemptively livestream the interaction beyond "As a principle I livestream all interactions with cops". Being extremely principled unavoidably goes with being rude, as you buck social conventions to enforce that principle. Rudeness is often necessary. But it's still rudeness, and we're not doing anyone any favors to pretend it's not rude to interact with the police like that under this specific context.

          It's the police's job to deal with horrible, rude people. So I think he should've just dealt with it instead of being rude in turn and playing music. But I'm not going to be partisan and pretend that streamer wasn't being rude.

          7 votes
          1. [4]
            MimicSquid
            Link Parent
            It's clear you've never been given the runaround by administration. There's dozens of ways to mess with someone who's just trying to fill out a form. If you're working with an untrustworthy...

            It's clear you've never been given the runaround by administration. There's dozens of ways to mess with someone who's just trying to fill out a form. If you're working with an untrustworthy institution recording them is an eminently reasonable action. It would be rude if they deserved the benefit of the doubt, but given that the person in question was attempting to get documentation regarding the police's prior unjust actions it seems like the benefit of the doubt has already been lost.

            11 votes
            1. [3]
              Rez
              Link Parent
              That's just justifying the rudeness. It's still rudeness. And often necessary as I said. But genuine police reform means you need buy-in from cops too, and being from punk rock scenes, I've seen a...

              That's just justifying the rudeness. It's still rudeness. And often necessary as I said. But genuine police reform means you need buy-in from cops too, and being from punk rock scenes, I've seen a lot of unnecessary antagonism towards cops. Cops are in the wrong most of the time, but maybe don't start off your interaction with them by screaming that they're pigs or livestreaming them to thousands when they aren't even doing anything? Cops need to meet us about 90% of the way, but it still falls on us to be that 10%. There's been a lot of talk about deescalation and escalation, and it applies to how we deal with the police as well. Our responsibility in the matter is considerably less than the responsibility the officer has given the legal powers they have, but it's still practical to recognize that the police officer is a human and not some cop robot. Nothing is accomplished by making an officer miserable for no good reason.

              2 votes
              1. [2]
                MimicSquid
                Link Parent
                To me, filming an interaction is a statement that you believe documentation is or may be needed, and possibly an attempt to dissuade others in the situation from engaging in actions they wouldn't...

                To me, filming an interaction is a statement that you believe documentation is or may be needed, and possibly an attempt to dissuade others in the situation from engaging in actions they wouldn't want to have filmed. If an officer of the law is miserable working while being recorded, why? What are they doing that they wouldn't want to be seen?

                I recognize the irony of using this argument when I completely hate it when it's applied to private citizens' privacy, but I think it applies. A police officer in the line of duty is a representative of the government, and should be behaving and seen to be behaving in an appropriate manner.

                2 votes
                1. Gaywallet
                  Link Parent
                  I think it's important to point out that a person working for the government is by nature employed by its citizenry. I think it is fair for citizens to have insight into some of how this money is...

                  I recognize the irony of using this argument when I completely hate it when it's applied to private citizens' privacy, but I think it applies. A police officer in the line of duty is a representative of the government, and should be behaving and seen to be behaving in an appropriate manner.

                  I think it's important to point out that a person working for the government is by nature employed by its citizenry. I think it is fair for citizens to have insight into some of how this money is actually being spent and there is accountability for anyone to their employer - in this case, every citizen is the joint employer of a government employee and thus government employees are both responsible and accountable to it's citizens.

                  A private citizen, on the other hand, is not beholden to the same standards because they are not employed in the same manner.

                  This is a long way of stating that it is actually not a double standard to apply this kind of logic to government employees and not to private citizens and to apply this argument to citizens ignores the fundamental nature of their employment and thus responsibility.

                  3 votes
          2. Gaywallet
            Link Parent
            The expectation of privacy does not apply when you are working for the government. Civilian interactions with the government are absolutely public and should be 100% transparent. To sit here and...

            The expectation of privacy does not apply when you are working for the government. Civilian interactions with the government are absolutely public and should be 100% transparent.

            To sit here and dismiss anything but ire at the government because the civilian in the video is rude does not matter and detracts from any conversation about how this behavior can and should be upsetting. The discussion is about how this is problematic behavior and how this can be used in malicious ways. Drawing attention away from this to talk about the person being rude is splitting hairs over something entirely unimportant.

            Not to mention that this rude response may be entirely driven by the behavior of the government. People tend not to direct ire towards things they enjoy or feel are working for them. If the police department were perceived as doing more good for the populace than bad, do you think this kind of paradigm would even exist with enough prevalence to have a police officer decide to immediately respond with rude behavior because they expected the population to be rude with them?

            6 votes
        2. [2]
          streblo
          Link Parent
          While what you say may be theoretically true, searching for almost any sov cit video on youtube demonstrates its not practically true.

          While what you say may be theoretically true, searching for almost any sov cit video on youtube demonstrates its not practically true.

          2 votes
          1. MimicSquid
            Link Parent
            It's easy to be rude while filming the interaction; that's not the same thing.

            It's easy to be rude while filming the interaction; that's not the same thing.

            4 votes