Dear Sony ATV Publishing, UMPG Publishing, and other concerned parties,
I ask you to please withdraw your copyright violation notice on my video, “PSY – GANGNAM STYLE (?????) M/V (YouTube SmashUp)” as I believe my use of any copyrighted material is protected under Fair Use or Fair Dealing. This video was created by an automated process as part of an art project developed during my PhD at Goldsmiths, University of London: http://pkmital.com/home/projects/visual-smash-up/ and http://pkmital.com/home/projects/youtube-smash-up/
The process which creates the audio and video is entirely automated meaning the accused video is created by an algorithm. This algorithm begins by first creating a large database of tiny fragments of audio and video (less than 1 second of audio per fragment) using 9 videos from YouTube’s top 10 list. From this database, the tiny fragments of video and audio are stored as unrelated pieces of information and described only by a short series of 10-15 numbers. These numbers represent low-level features describing the texture and shape of the fragment of audio or video. These tiny fragments are then matched to the tiny fragments of audio and video detected within the target for resynthesis, in this case the number one YouTube video at the time, “PSY – GANGNAM STYLE (?????) M/V”.
To reiterate, the content from the target video, “PSY – GANGNAM STYLE (?????) M/V”, is not used in the resulting synthesis. That is, the process is creating a new video by not merely copying the target video, but attempting to re-create it out of entirely different material, the remaining 9 top 10 YouTube videos. Abstractly, there may appear to be a similar form or structure due to the collection of many fragments organized in a similar way as the target for resynthesis. These fragments however are from a very large collection of very different material to the original content’s own material. The content used in the resynthesis itself is only from the large database of tiny fragments of audio and video segmented from 9 other videos. As a result, I would argue the use of any content within this video is only through Fair Use or Fair Dealing of the content.
This art project’s purpose is towards highlighting an important aspect of how computers and humans perceive and how copyright itself may be dealt with within a computational arts practice which by its nature has to make use of existing content. The nature of this work further seeks to transform existing material into something entirely different such that experiencing a resynthesized video reveals a new understanding of one’s own perception. The amount of the content used is fragmented in nature and assembled using a coarse idea of audiovisual scene understanding with no notion of semantics. As a result, the video itself is very abstract and at times incomprehensible. Further, its effect on the publisher’s marker as noted by the very low view rate on YouTube is marginal at best. I therefore ask you to please withdraw your copyright claim.
Parag K. Mital
Related: Copyright Violation Notice from “Rightster”, Intention in Copyright, EFF Wins Renewal of Smartphone Jailbreaking Rights Plus New Legal Protections for Video Remixing, YouTube’s Copyright School
[UPDATE Dec 8, 2012: All copyright violation notices have been dropped and the video is publicly accessible.]