back to article Is Google using YouTube to put one over on Samsung?

A curious story appeared overnight, one that made Samsung look very foolish. According to anti-copyright activist and blogger Mike Masnick, Google's YouTube had received a copyright takedown notice from Samsung requesting that game videos featuring the Samsung Note 7 as a weapon be removed. A few hours later the video was …

  1. wolfetone Silver badge

    ...put "blocks" in inverted commas

    So it'd be ""blocks"" or '"blocks"' then?

    1. Tim 11

      Re: ...put "blocks" in inverted commas

      I think should be "\"blocks\"" (or maybe ""blocks"" depending on context)

      1. ~chrisw

        Re: ...put "blocks" in inverted commas

        Don't hold back, go for <q>an inline quote</q>!

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Coincidence ?

    With the billions of dollars that are implied in this market, I doubt very much that coincidence has anything to do with it.

    At this level, we are talking board meetings, highly paid specialists and very intelligent people that are also likely to be ruthless. Samsung has very much dropped the ball, and such people are not likely to miss out on the opportunity.

    When there's blood in the water, the sudden appearance of a shark is hardly a coincidence.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Coincidence ?

      Take your conspiracy theory and do one.

      All Samsung's competitors have very good reason not to make fun of the problems with the Note 7: they know how easily something similar could happen to them and how such accidents are bad for the whole sector: just as you have halo effects, you also have the manure effect. They'll be picking up more than enough extra business by doing nothing. Plus, they almost certainly rely on Samsung for some components.

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Coincidence ?

        I think the implication is more that Google is not actively throwing the shit around, more like sneakily smear some more of it on Samsung when no-one is looking.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Coincidence ?

          I think the implication is more that Google is not actively throwing the shit around, more like sneakily smear some more of it on Samsung when no-one is looking.

          Google is too busy selling ads (including to Samsung) and abusing its market position (making certain bits of Android exclusive to its phones) to bother with that.

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Coincidence ?

          Google having a go at the most profitable and biggest Android manufacturer makes little sense.

          The procedure is well documented, someone claims copyright, Google runs cursory checks and if passed pulls the video and sends an e-mail to the YouTube account holder, YouTube account holder replies saying this is wrong because... and if the reply looks credible Google puts the video up again.

          Samsung USA started this off and the YouTube account holder argued that the complaint was invalid. Google didn't do anything different than it would have for a DMCA complaint for any other video.

          1. sabroni Silver badge

            Re: Samsung USA started this off

            Fourth paragraph in the article:

            It isn't even possible to establish whether there ever was a DMCA notice, let alone – if there was – who sent it. Perhaps someone at YouTube had an itchy finger.

            What evidence do you have that it was Samsung?

            1. kain preacher Silver badge

              Re: Samsung USA started this off

              Have you ever seen a DMCA take down notice. all parties involve must be listed. It's like getting served for a law suit.

            2. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Re: Samsung USA started this off

              The screenshot of the taken down video which mentions the name of the video and Samsung USA, the emails posted by the YouTube account holder.

    2. Mage Silver badge

      Google is emerging as a major rival in smartphones to Samsung

      I don't think so. The new GooPhone is aimed at Apple customers.

      Google makes money TWICE from Samsung:

      1) Any licence fee to use the "Blob".

      2) Android reporting to Google.

      As one of the largest (or largest?) and flag ship supporters of the official Android ecosystem, why would Google want to damage Samsung or the Android brand (by association). My conspiracy theory is that Google was taking these videos down, not Samsung via DMCA notices. Samsung isn't Apple or the Thai Government. Then Google (or the minion that had acted without higher up authorisation) realised this was counter productive. Better to join the laughter than pull a Streisand?

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Based on the ad I saw this weekend for the Pixel

        It definitely is aiming for Apple customers. If it didn't say it was for Pixel one could hardly be blamed for assuming it was an iPhone ad.

        However, the number of people coming from iPhone to Android is relatively fixed. The Pixel is hardly a revolutionary "wow I've been wanting to jump ship from Apple for years, finally I can" phone. It is a decent high end Android phone but does not stand apart when measured against Samsung's S7 and pre-explosion Note 7 (yeah yeah faster updates, that's something that will sell Reg readers but the average consumer doesn't give a shit about and won't until there's a mass malware infection like what Windows had in the early 00s)

        Basically in order to capture more of that fixed number of Apple customers leaving for Android, the Pixel has to steal the ones who would have gone to Samsung (and to a lesser extent other Android OEMs selling high end phones) instead. The explosive Note 7 fiasco helps a lot there, so it is in Google's interest to keep that in the forefront of people's minds for as long as possible. Making fun of it by showing videos of games using Note 7s as hand grenades is a pretty hilarious way to do that!

    3. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Coincidence ?

      On the other hand, the videos can be classed as satire and Samsung could only get them down for copyright infringement. As they don't own the copyright on the game or the video and it can be shown that the video falls under satire / fair use, then Samsung can't really get it taken down, without going to court and getting a defamation judgement against the poster. (IANAL, but that would be my first guess)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Naughty Andrew, how dare you insinuate my favourite cat video site may have done something sinister.

  4. Known Hero

    But the sky isn't blue. the colour is caused by refraction so only appears blue :)

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Well, real question has to be: what is the sky if it isn't blue colour with more or less clouds in it?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Dispersion, not refraction. "Rayleigh scattering" to be specific, after the chap who figured it out.

        There isn't really such a thing as "the sky" - the atmosphere appears blue when there's light shining through it (and for a little while afterwards). That diffuse blueywhiteness is all around you and just gradually tapers off into space. It's exactly the same blueywhiteness you see between yourself and distant objects/landscapes even though it's not usually called "sky" when there's something discernible behind it. "The sky" (if there was any such thing) would probably be better considered black - the beginning of space by some inane & arbitrary altitude/density/pressure definition. We just typically view it through a load of blueywhitish atmosphere.

        1. Youngdog

          So to summarise..

          ..'the sky' is the bit of the atmosphere that appears blue due to Rayleigh Scattering

          1. Anonymous Coward

            Re: So to summarise..

            No. Perhaps you should read it again or Google "Rayleigh scattering." If you're sitting at the top of a mountain there's likely to be plenty of discernibly blue atmosphere beneath you, with birds flying through it and whatnot, and with ground beyond it. You probably don't consider that to be "the sky." "The sky" is an effect - a perception: A combination of the optical turbidity of the atmosphere and the innate psychological expectations/interpretations of the observer.

            A more reasonable definition of the "sky" perception is something like: "That part of a vista comprising the atmosphere observed in a direction generally upward of horizontal and beyond which nothing terrestrial is discernible from the perspective of the observer"

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Youngdog

              Re: So to summarise..

              As someone who did sit on a mountain recently (Kilimanjaro, last week) I have no problem with 'the sky' not being limited to something above me...

        2. Known Hero
          Thumb Up

          Cheers for the correction :D much appreciated.

        3. SquidEmperor

          You old romantic

          Your eyes are the colour of photonic activated Rayleigh scattering

    2. ridley

      Actually scattering not refraction,

      I would think if it was refraction you would have a seriously psychedelic sky.

  5. Chris 125

    I thought the takedown wasn't actioned (or was reversed) because Samsung don't have any rights to GTA5, only the likeness of an object within; which is covered by fair use for parody.

    In any case, that's what other sites are saying. You know, the ones that always appear in the top three slots on a Google search. Can't see how that could be skewed reporting.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Fair Use through Parody was the first thought that came to me upon reading this article.

  6. Dan 55 Silver badge

    I notice Rockstar's not filing DMCA complaints

    Doesn't the disappearance and return of the video, links to screenshots of emails received by YouTube the user, screenshots of the video while it was disappeared by Twitter users, and a Techdirt article count as evidence these days?

    It's Samsung USA which should be called out, not Google.

  7. tiggity Silver badge

    handbags at dawn

    "Our advice on a Mike Masnick blog post is that if it tells you the sky is blue and the grass is green, you'll still want to check for yourself."

    Just because Mike. Masnick does not share your copyright maximalism stance does not mean that it's a dubious site.

    The story did have screenshot of what was presented at the time - message relating to video being unavailable due to copyright claim by Samsung.

    SO given that is what was seen on YouTube then seems fairly reasonable to report it.

  8. MrDamage

    May have just been a butthurt fanboi

    After all, if it had been an iThing, who would be more likely to try a DMCA? Apple, or iZombie?

  9. RyokuMas Silver badge

    As if they're not already...

    "This raises the possibility that Google is leveraging the enormous media influence of its video monopoly to help along its consumer hardware business"

    I was using my other half's machine this weekend and forgot her homepage was Google search. Opened a web browser to be confronted with a link under the search box along the lines of "Pixel - the new phone from Google".

    Exactly the same tactics as how they made Chrome the #1 browser - by (ab)using their market position in other areas. How long before a significant percentage of YouTube ads are for Pixel, I wonder...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You're missing the real conspiracy!

    It was obviously NSA sabotaging the production of batteries for the Note7 to herd people to a Google phone which reports more directly to them and over which they have more clear authority.

    Wake up Sheeple etc. etc.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: You're missing the real conspiracy!

      Will never not link this

      1. Lotaresco

        Re: You're missing the real conspiracy!

        Will never not link this

        Hmmm, Phagors or Sheep In Space?

        Jeff Minter was clearly aware of the Helliconia books, since he even used the Phagors or Ancipitals in his games.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: You're missing the real conspiracy!

      And then NSA asked for the recall when it found it had created the perfect stealth detonator?

    3. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: You're missing the real conspiracy!

      Technically, is it still a proper conspiracy if it's smeggin' obvious?

      Anyway, here's a Dr. Fun cartoon from 2006.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Asian company uses jackhammer on consumers to solve image problem shocker.

    If they were smart they would have claimed it and then stolen all the ad revenue like the music industry does.

  12. Lotaresco

    Corporate mottos

    "Don't be evil"


    "Do the right thing"

    s/o t/on\'t do t/

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Man these Note 7 jokes are getting old.

    Its time to stop.

    *piles up Note 7 memes*

    *covers memes in lighter fuel*

    *throws on Note 7*

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Man these Note 7 jokes are getting old.

      Putting the Note 7 at the bottom of that pile will save lighter fuel..


  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Conspiracy Theories much?

    I just don't see evidence of bitter hate between Google and Samsung that some commentators try to portray. Goole have done extremely well out of Samsung and Samsung have done extremely well out of Google. Sure there have been some tensions, but overall Google would have killed for the amount of smartphone coverage that Samsung provides and Samsung, although they might not like much of the control that Google has over the OS, get a highly marketed and promoted operating system with regular free updates and a continuous development team with only a little work on their behalf.

    Then there is the "Mike Masnick opinion". With two links, neither of which claim that the guy is on the Google payroll. However he has some very differing views to Mr Olowski and patrols the opposite side of the fence in the same domain.I'm sure there is no grudge there?

    If you dig further the shill talk was relating to the Oracle v Google trial to flush out paid journalist, however the remit was very broad as any blogger who had an Adsense account was paid by Google and might have to be declared. Anyone who had worked with some substantial organisations like the EFF were implicated. In fact anyone who had worked with or had reports commissioned by large swathes of the tech industry were part of the shill conspiracy. And as The Register uses Double Click, Adsense and Google Analytics all stakeholders in The Register are also 'guilty' of being on the Google Payroll - including the author.

    So, I might not agree with his views but let's see what Mr Masnick had to say [Of course he would say that wouldn't he -pseudo ed]. It does feel disingenuous to try to present discredited information as fact so that in later articles the reference can become a previous reg article which then proves a further mention of this 'fact'.

    1. Daggerchild Silver badge

      Re: Conspiracy Theories much?

      Yeah, it's unpleasant to see someone wearing the hat of Truth-exposer trying to manufacture it, poorly.

      If you're going to fabricate a video takedown, you'd need to make it undisprovable. Yet this is not that. Samsung know damn well whether they actually ordered the DMCA takedown or not.

      You do not insinuate something when you know the other side has proof. This is not how you conspiracy theory sir.

  15. TonyJ Silver badge

    I'll be honest...

    ...the Note 7 issues isn't the reason I wouldn't really be tempted into another Samsung phone (although having briefly played with a friends S7 Edge, from a hardware perspective it seems to be excellent).'s their lamentable support and approach to security updates.

    I actually think, personally, that Samsung behaved impeccably with their recall(s). First there seemed to be a battery issue which they recalled and tried to fix. When it became apparent that there was a deeper issue, they recalled, full stop.

    None of that crazy "you're holding it wrong" kind of attitude.

    So I'm not so sure how damaged the Samsung brand is or how much of it is hyped.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: I'll be honest...

      Comparing this to the iPhone 4 antenna problem is ludicrous. One was pretty minor (only if you were not in an area with good cell reception, didn't use a case, and your fingers covered the gap in the antenna band) and while inconvenient was not a safety concern. The other could harm or even literally kill you.

      The reason Samsung had such problems is because it was a far worse situation, and while they did do a recall they made it voluntary until the US PSC forced them to make it mandatory in the US and they decided to follow suit in the rest of the world. They also botched the diagnosis, thinking it was the battery, and didn't do the recall at all in China. The replacement devices were just as explosive, as the original Chinese devices also turned out to be, because it wasn't the battery after all.

      I saw an article this weekend that Samsung STILL doesn't know what caused it, and they've pulled a bunch of people off the S8 engineering team to help figure out what it is and as a result the S8 launch will likely be delayed. But that's probably a good thing, because if they don't fully understand what the problem was with the Note 7, they sure don't want to risk designing the same flaw into the S8!

      1. TonyJ Silver badge

        Re: I'll be honest...

        "...Comparing this to the iPhone 4 antenna problem is ludicrous. One was pretty minor (only if you were not in an area with good cell reception, didn't use a case, and your fingers covered the gap in the antenna band) and while inconvenient was not a safety concern. The other could harm or even literally kill you..."

        And one was totally denied, despite the designer of the antennae actually stating in internal mails that it was a bad design.

        I wasn't, however, trying to compare the seriousness. I was referring to the fact that Samsung acted. Apple didn't. Well you got a free case if you were quick enough and followed the process.

        <sarcasm>Sorry if I offended your religion there.</sarcasm>

  16. katrinab Silver badge

    Not setting the world on fire

    The fact that the Google Pixel hasn't set the world on fire is surely a good thing?

  17. Conrad Longmore

    Lumen Database

    Oddly, I can't find the DMCA complaint in the Lumen Database ( which has plenty of other recent DMCA complaints submitted to Google and YouTube..

    1. Jon Jones 73

      Re: Lumen Database

      Because the database doesn't have anywhere near all of them, not even close. It never did.

  18. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

    Awww. Mike's views are a bit more nuanced than "anti-copyright".

    Anyway, here's a link back to the Techdirt article, if anybody wants to read it: clicky

  19. DerekCurrie Bronze badge

    Satire = Freedom Of Speech (in the USA anyway)

    This is not-at-all a Google issue. This is Samsung attempting to subvert the US Constitution. The First Amendment, which covers freedom of speech, grants all citizens the ability to satirize anything and anyone. That's the fact. The GTA 5 Samsung Galaxy Note 7 sticky bomb mod is satire. All videos using that mod are satire. The DCMA cannot take down satire. Samsung never had any grounds to have any of the videos taken down. If anything, Google should be up on the law (and this is dead basic law) enough to know that satire is 'sacred' speech. The only reason Google should be brought into this discussion is that they ever took down any satire video at YouTube, including those depicting exploding Samsung gear.

    So Google: Hire any basic constitutional lawyer and don't let this happen again. Thank you.

    And Samsung: Your reputation is shattered. Deal with your fate. Hiding it merely generates The Streisand Effect. <-Look it up kids.

  20. Jon Jones 73

    "It isn't even possible to establish whether there ever was a DMCA notice, let alone – if there was – who sent it" Well, this replacing the video would suggest otherwise - "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Samsung Electronics America, Inc. and its affiliates"

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