BVH bulletin video taken down for copyright violation

Valentina Du Pond, Editor-at-Large

Due to a copyright violation, an episode of the Bonita Vista BVTV bulletin was taken off of their website by YouTube. The video covered the footage of the Fall Sports assembly from Oct. 26.


The episode included ASB’s karaoke activity, in which the different grade levels that attend can sing popular songs. The songs used for this, including artists such as Katy Perry and Soulja Boy, are copyrighted and cannot be used without authorization.


“Now there’s technology, software, algorithms that will detect certain music that is being played as part of a product and production, and automatically the software and algorithm will identify it and link it to the owner,” BVTV adviser and Career Technical Education teacher Hugo Martinez said. “So every time a song or some type of product is played, you have to pay the owner.”


YouTube’s algorithm identified the songs in the bulletin episode and, as a result, took it down from the BVTV website. This software is relatively new, given that in previous years songs like these would have been authorized under educational purposes.


“Even though we used it for an educational purpose, recent changes in the YouTube algorithm and basic law. Either you pay for it or you just are not authorized to use it,” Martinez said.


BVTV will not face any repercussions other than the video being taken down, which occured twice. After the first time, Martinez uploaded the video a second time internally on the website, a more private forum. However, it was still unauthorized.


“This is very normal in the industry,” Martinez said. “I have to know [the changes in the copyright policies], be aware of them, [and] respect them, because when it comes to my product I want to get paid. [It’s] not only [about getting] paid, but it’s not okay for people to use your content.”


To prevent this from occurring again, BVTV will have to feature only royalty-free music approved by YouTube. According to Martinez, he and ASB are discussing using instrumental music at assemblies.


“We have a meeting pending for our next assembly, and if they cannot use it during their show, I’m going to add royalty free music,” Martinez said.


ASB tech commissioner, Aldo Brambila, stated that he was not notified about the situation. ASB President Shreya Ranganath has not yet responded to a request for more information concerning any collaboration between BVTV and ASB to prevent copyright violations in the future.


BVTV crew members were also unaware that the video had been taken down.


“It’s my first time hearing it. I don’t think it was that big of a deal,” technical director and junior Omar Flores said.


Live streaming events such as the assemblies is a goal of the BVTV bulletin. By filming such events, it makes the experiences accessible to students who cannot attend. To make this possible, royalty-free music would have to be used, whether in collaboration with ASB or implemented by the BVTV crew.


“I really was hoping that the kids enjoy the experience because not everybody was able to attend, and I think that ASB is doing an amazing job with their production. My goal is to expose all the great things that are going on in Bonita,” Martinez said.