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Update: July 17, 2007

Thanks for visiting this site, but it is no longer being updated. I've moved on over to and I invite you to join me over there from now on. Thanks for your understanding.

Google: 2, Paul W. Tenny: 0

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In reference to my battle with a billion dollar corporate joke, I have lost round 2 to Google. In short order, and as I promised to them that I would, I will unforce the full legal resources of William Enterprises upon the search engine that just won't stop pissing me off. An entire floor of a fifty story building will have its lights on 24/7 for the next several weeks, and by this time next year, I'll still be getting pooped on by China's new best friend in the fight against Democracy.

From: Google Video Support <>
To: the little guy
Date: Jun 23, 2006 12:55 PM
Subject: Re: [#62364229] Your video has been rejected

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your email and for the feedback you provided. We have reviewed
the information in your email. Allow us to explain that, in addition to
copyright law, the Google Video Terms of Service prohibit distributing
copyrighted works unless you have the legal right to do so, regardless of
credit given in the video or metadata text. Google Video requires
distribution rights from the copyright owner in order to upload
copyrighted work. If you're unsure whether you have the right to use any
of the content you wish to submit to Google Video, including any music in
the video, please do not upload it to our program.

For more information about intellectual property rights and the program,
please visit

and my reply..

To: Google Video Support <>
From: the little guy
Date: Jun 23, 2006 5:49 PM
Subject: Re: [#62364229] Your video has been rejected

Thank you for your response. You have stated twice now, and your
policy page also confirms that...

"Both copyright law in your country and the Upload Program Terms and
Conditions prohibit distributing copyrighted works, unless you have
the legal right to do so. You should only submit content to Google
Video if you are sure you have the right to distribute it."

...and I state again that I am absolutely 100% certain, as I quoted
within 17 USC 107, that I have the legal right to redistribute this
video under United States copyright law. You do not have to remind me
of this policy item, because it doesn't apply to me.

For the very first time, you make the following brand new claim:

"Google Video requires distribution rights from the copyright owner in
order to upload copyrighted work."

This is a very odd new statement, given that it actually would nullify
the first requirement regarding local copyright laws, and it is in
fact not stated anywhere within the Upload Program Terms and
Conditions. I ask that you please visit and confirm
that this policy is not in fact a written policy, and therefore is
suspect at best. With all due respect (and I really do respect support
services, it's a tough thankless job), how can you cite this as an
official Google company policy when it's not written in any official
Google policy at all?

The closest I could come was this statement in the Video Upload
Program Terms and Conditions:

"You hold and will continue to hold the necessary rights, including
but not limited to all copyrights, trademark rights and rights of
publicity in and to Your Authorized Content and Your Brand Features to
enter into this Agreement and to grant the rights granted herein;"

This is pretty standard, and I assert under 17 USC 107 that I hold the
necessary rights to this content to enter into this agreement. (short
list: non-commercial; very small piece of the whole work; absolutely
no effect on the potential market for or value of the work)

I appreciate Google's position, I really do, and I understand and
accept that Google is under no obligation *at all* to accept
*anything* from *anybody*. That is stated clearly, I grasp the concept
and I agree with its intent. However, I am acting in the good faith
belief that under 17 USC 107, I have the legal right to redistribute
this video as I see fit, and that I have in spirit and in fact met
every single requirement of Google's *written polices* on the issue.
You can't keep throwing the rights issue in my face, it's settled, *I
have the rights*.

Because I'm not a dense person, I readily recognize that this battle
is pretty much over, even though I have so far refuted the only two
points you have made in rejecting my content. As soon as this message
has been sent, I will request Comedy Central's permission to use this
clip solely in an attempt to satisfy Google, since I have long since
satisfied all applicable requirements under US copyright law.

Naturally, even though the law is on my side in this matter, and I
suspect you know fully well that it is, Comedy Central will probably
pull the same game you are, and say no. The little guy loses, the big
billion dollar corporate giants win. Same old same old. *sigh*

Thank you for your time, I do appreciate it. I personally consider
fighting the good fight time well spent, though you may differ.

As I told Google, I am not beyond the fact that I've already lost. Nobody wins appeals with private companies period, people only win appeals in court. Hopefully Comedy Central will back me on this, but if not, I will just go ahead and host the video on Google Pages. I've already found a nice little flash video plugin that works just like everyone elses does, and it was free to boot. I am deadly serious when it comes to using my rights under the law, and make no mistake, in the end, I will win.

Update: Here is the letter I have sent to Comedy Central.

To: a stupid webform
From: the little guy
Subject: Fair Use and a Comedy Central Video Clip

To whomever receives this, please forward it to any and all necessary people for consideration.

I have a short video clip from a segment of an episode of the Report, of about 1 minute in length. I wished to share this clip through Google Video, and uploaded it believing that I was within my legal rights to do so under 17 U.S.C. 107 ("fair use") as defined by

Google rejected the video, stating that I did not have the legal right to do so, and that even if I did, they will not accept a copyrighted video without actual permission from the owner. I informed Google that I was in fact within legal rights under "fair use" because of the following:

1. the purpose of the clip is non-commercial.
2. amount and substantiality of the clip is minor (1/30th) of the whole.
3. the effect upon the potential market or value of the work is negligible at best.

Google will not budge, and so I formally request the permission of Comedy Central to redistribute this very short video clip for the purpose I stated above.

I realize that trying first and asking later looks bad, yet I still feel very strongly that 17 U.S.C. 107 does not require such permission in the first place.

I come to you with humility, and humbly ask your permission to redistribute this short video clip.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Paul William Tenny
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The text of this article is Copyright © 2006,2007 Paul William Tenny. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Attribution by: full name and original URL. Comments are copyrighted by their authors and are not subject to the Creative Commons license of the article itself.