Sharing Copyrighted Video Material on DTube Could Put Steemit's Future At Risk and Devalue STEEM.. My Thoughts - Having Worked In This Arena For a Decade.

in steemit •  2 years ago  (edited)

As we have seen, Steem continues to nosedive in value and I suspect this may be related to the continuing uncertainty generated by the lack of a clear anti-piracy policy and/or copyright protection policy here.


There are now full movies being uploaded to DTube and directly profited from via the STEEM blockchain and people appear to think that doing this poses no threat to us as a community - but they are very wrong about that. We only need to look at the history of the torrent sites that are unreachable via the normal internet channels in much of the world, plus the imprisonment of some key figures in that scene, to realise that just because a blockchain is hard to shut down - that does not mean that the websites that are required to access the blockchains are themselves hard to shut down.

Steemit and Steem are a noble experiment in anarcho-capitalism, but the rest of the planet is not joining in that experiment presently and furthermore, the governments that operate the courts are especially not participating in that experiment!

For the moment, the activity on Steemit is too small to draw major attention from the major publishing companies in the entertainment industries, but I can guarantee that if Steemit becomes significantly larger in the next year and people continue to upload copyrighted movies/music to it and profit from it - then significant threats to the system's future will arise. In short, the corporations involved can be typically pretty ruthless and unscrupulous in their dealings with others and they will not go silently into the night!

It is not going to be enough to downvote posts that contain copyrighted movies because the material will still be available on the Blockchain. It is also unlikely to be enough to point to the operators of the File Sharing Networks that DTube uses and to say that these people are the ones that must enforce controls, because they are probably not going to be able to do that and so they are more likely to then just shut their nodes down completely.

There appears to be 2/3 possible options here for Steemit:

  1. Implement a video/audio fingerprinting system like Youtube has done and renumerate copyright holders for uploads as Youtube does - instead of the uploader getting the payouts.
  2. Enforce manual removal of obviously copyrighted material (requiring active teams of humans to do so). (Messy).
  3. Prevent video sharing services like DTube from Using STEEM's Blockchain (goes against the entire idea of STEEM and will be unpopular).

A Clash of Ideologies

Steemit and Steem are deliberately designed to force to the surface, the metaphorical 'pus' that has been building up for decades in our society regarding the control imposed by governments and the will of the people to thrive and be free.

I feel that the lack of commentary on this issue by the main people at Steemit is probably part of the reason why the site is not thriving as many expected it to do. I personally would not be investing large amounts of money into a blockchain that could become a major target of world governments in any moment - especially when there's not even an official statement made on the topic from those who figurehead the network.

What do you think?

This is a complex topic in many ways, but generally the only comments I have seen from people here have been either:

  1. Yes, it's a big problem.
  2. Who cares.

Neither of these are inspiring!

What do you say?

Wishing you well,
Ura Soul


Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

@ura-soul Very important topic to be discussed. Steemit and Dtube should not turn into copyright quagmires. Self policing is important in order to maintain/increase the value of these platforms.

Coming from Reddit where people upvote stuff merely on feeling and it's hard to get a herd mentality towards policing, especially in a platform that spouts censorship free whenever it can. I agree it's necessary but I also see how hard it will be to accomplish.

I want to upload a ton of old video clips I collected since the late 90s but since I didn't create them I feel disinclined to post them. If I don't will someone else just do it anyways?

I would choose to disallow money for the video if given the option (perhaps it exists?) Of course we are back to the other point where someone else might not be so thoughtful and repost it anyways.

I never thought about this being a possible contributing factor to the decline in the price of the currency.

You do pose a valid point regarding copyrighted material / Dtube and steemit. It's unfortunate that self policing of copyrighted material within the community here may not be enough to push back and prevent it from occurring. I don't have the answer but I sure hope it gets addressed at some point and the outcome is a positive one.

Thanks for your comment. There are many groups and investors always on the lookout for 'the next big thing' to invest into and they would jump at something like steemit, provided there are no significant threats that could result in loss of investment and this is definitely one of the biggest threats.

Agreed! I think it will be quite awhile before steemit becomes a mainstream thing but it's definitely worth investing in right now for those with money to use in speculative investment as the community and currency are both relatively new. Of course one can blog for STEEM rewards too but I'm also putting my own money here.

Hopefully we've got the next big thing right here. Time will tell.

Yes, this is a very critical aspect that needs to be dealt with as soon as possible! Any updates on the subject? I just saw mr and mrs smith on dlive, and also a jackie chan movie! I was shocked!

Personally, I believe that Steem Inc - as they are responsible for the entire enterprise, should do one of the things you mention:

  1. give all the money to the ones that own the copyrighted material, so that they can receive income from it

  2. or have people manually take down stuff that is not legal. Yes, messy - but if we are HUGE, then we've got the capacity to do what governments and judicial aspects want us to do.

Or maybe a combination of both? Those that don't want their stuff on here could for example say they don't want their stuff up, and then Steem inc should be able to "hide" it in the blockchain somehow.....

I learned recently that Steemit actually already removes posts that are subject to DMCA takedown requests - you can see them being added to the code of in github in realtime. This ultimately would need to be done for DTube too if they are to conform to prevailing rules in court systems.

I'm glad I'm looking into this, I have several video's mostly my parkour where i use other artists music, on Youtube it's no issue but being a new user here I want to do this right and feel legit about my content, it would be nice to share revenue but for now I'll keep looking more into this.

the chances are that if you credit the artist they will be ok with it (assuming they are indie type artists). often they will agree as long as you are not using it for commercial gain and steemit posts are not commerce.

Wow. yes this is a very important topic. If the industry sees to much of their profit being lost to dtube they will certainly take action. Just look at Kim Dotcom and Megaupload.

I believe you tube etc use something called perceptual image hashing algorithms known as pHash. Which i expect takes up a lot of processing power and/or server space.

So content IDing uploads is probably not possible at this stage. Maybe even impossible due to the torrent like nature of the dtube platform.

So I guess the only way for now would be to limit uploads to 5 - 10 minutes per video. Maybe even 4 mins max. This would stop films and episodes of stuff being uploaded which would limit the amount of copyright material drastically. But this isn't a long term solution.

Apart from that I can't see anyway around it unless there is an army of people vetting every upload.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Voted and resteemed.


You are welcome! Thanks for your Support.

Originally, Youtube used the Gracenote system for Audio Fingerprinting, but I don't know what they use now and Gracenote don't mention video fingerprinting. It is possible to install such a system on Dtube, but the fingerprinting process would have to be somehow inserted in between the end points of the network. I don't know enough about the details to know how easy/difficult that would be.

I had begun to wonder about this when I saw dtube enter the scene.

As I understand steemit is supposed to be all about encouraging and fostering creators of quality, original content.

So on that basic premise there is no place for the posting of copyrighted work from other creators. And thus there should be no moral dilemma about somehow policing that sort of content off the steemit blockchain.

But theory and practice of course are two different things. Your first option would most likely be the best. But with the current rate of dev development, although this might be a (legal) priority, how long would it likely take to be implemented?

Have we got that much time? Some big kind and smiley music or film publisher might just want to give steemit a good kicking when it is down.

And as in all the best playground scraps once one person has starting kicking the guy on the floor the rest will quickly join in.

The software already exists to do what is needed, so the issue is just organising the payment of the licensing for it and then adding it in to the blockchain logic somehow. It would not be a simple task, but also not one that is too difficult to address either. I feel it would need to become a key topic in the community before action were to be taken on it though.

I have heard some people on Steemit saying they don't believe in copyright which I can't really understand. File sharing is one thing but people actively profiting from other peoples work is wrong. When I saw the movies appear on Dtube with the upvotes earning them quite alot in steem it was very unsettling . Mainly because of the upvotes. I agree that it will cause a very bad spot light to be shun on Dtube and it will happen very soon that people will begin to download popular videos only to upload it again and claim rewards. I think that these people who are against copyright will very soon change their tune when they fall victim to it.

I can sympathise with people who reject Copyright completely, but yes, to then go on and profit from the material is hypocritical in many ways. At the very least they could be uploaded with the 0% payout option - but maybe it doesn't matter much anyway, since the rules have been broken either way.

@ura-soul I just spent nearly ten minutes looking for a post that I would enjoy reading and upvoting and even to give a comment. Groupthink is so pervasive that many folks have a problem being able to express original thoughts.

There are about 15-25% real quality and original posts here on Steemit. The rest is the typical sociopaths who like to vomit on others and expect them to be happy about it.

Dtube is already a mess. One of the things that happened on You Tube was that copyright holders liked their materials being shown and they took the initative to be the ones who uploaded along with a user-friendly system which would allow a quick and easy purchase.

I have noticed similar, yes - but at least Steemit (if guided as was intended) will motivate people to increase their ability to generate unique content in order to get rewarded.. If half the world wants to talk to itself about the same subjects over and over again, without letting in anything new - then there's not much we can do about that (except possibly project a giant laser image onto the moon with more interesting content for them to look at .. but i digress) :)

The idea of identifying legitimate copyright owners and pointing payouts to them should be enough to fix the situation in most cases, yes.

A very valid observation @ura-soul.

Thank you for raising a red flag in this regard.

I also feel that it would be a big mistake for the operators of Steem/ Steemit to disregard your words of warning.

There is a forth possibility... which involves an enhancement of a relatively old suggestion that I made about data flowers.

The enhancement concerned would be the introduction of the concept of author payout nodes/ petals within the context of such - where part of the curation process would involve identifying the author of a given copyrighted work - and ensuring them a direct healthy cut of residual monies generated.

What that cut might be I am not clear upon - but its a possibility - the blockchain benefiting authors of such works that might otherwise cause a copyrights claim.

Where this leaves the purveyor of such copyrighted works is open to discussion. That they should not financially benefit from the direct 'sharing' of such content should be pretty clear.

Also - it may seem to be against the spirit of blockchain but one thing that should be considered is to (more or less reversibly) edit content uploaded to blockchain that is deemed copyright infringing such that both sound and visual quality is warped.

Again, the circumstances within which this is done - is open to discussion.

Thank you again for bringing this to light. :c)

You are welcome!
Typically, within the existing entertainment industry, copyrighted material may be actively used without seeking authorisation - but the profits from that material may be held back by the publisher (not spent) in case of a claim being made and there being a need to renumerate the copyright holder later on.

In that same spirit, it would probably be seen as ok if there was no ability added to edit the blockchain, provided an agreed upon process was in place to allow copyright holders a window to stake their claim. The fingerprinting technology that is already in use by Youtube and others appears to be as close to an agreed upon industry standard as we are likely to see.

  ·  last year (edited)

Who profits from copyright? - The artist or hatched piggies like you? - Rethorical question. Copyright is the same dumb bs and more immoral like taxation is theft. But nevermind you won't get it anyway. Want a lollipop? If yes, I don't have none, little Joe! Have fun on the ponderosa...

Your judgement of me blinds your awareness of who I am and what I understand here. I am not speaking in support of copyright, I am speaking in protection of this network as it operates in a world dominated by those who use 'legality' as justification to shut down such networks.

  ·  last year (edited)

Ok. Very nice answer. It tells me that we are on the same side. Thank God. And, I also apologize for the not only a little bit rude comment. Hopefully you weren't too upset you understand the problem fully. Sorry again. Back to the topic. I know they have a lot of so called power, but if many don't comply what could they do? I see it in some way like in the saying: Imagine there is a war happening but no one attends. So there is no war.
But I know I have to stay rational and not dream naive dreams because in reality the blood is always spilled in such cases. That earns a lot points for your approach. But somehow there must be set a starting point to change the status quo. I hope and quite surely think you understand me and sorry again. (I'm german -> Wir = We :), the possibility you don't know that is tiny. I try to be nice just for once.) Wir_01.jpg

I cannot say what the outcome of a legal battle between Steemians and 'the media industry' would be. The most likely threat is that Steemit Inc. might be forced to stop trading/working on the code due to a legal command from government/court. I don't think that's very likely, but it's probably better to let the system get even bigger before inviting that possibility. Equally the operators of DTube could face the same.
It could be possible to prevent any problems and totally change the legal rulings on such things if enough were behind it, but Steem isn't that big yet.

  ·  last year (edited)

Got no complaints about that. Practically I´m a living Steemit -commercial,- seems I´m somewhat on the right path. More people in the know --> more power for the people in it. Have fun n' hodl on! :). Translation: I Live here and I am just going quickly to the supermarket. Thank you :)EdekaKunde.jpg

Thinking about it: dTube will shortly get to that point after IPFS gets easier, I think. (mumbling, crawling through command line instructions). Not to be taken seriously: Don't make it easier!!!! :)

Someone presented the question; "Is it infringement to share a Taylor Swift video here?" What's the census? What's your advice? Should I discontinue sharing artist links whose music I enjoy on Steemit?

The issue is where the material is hosted and who uploaded it there. If you find a video on Youtube then their systems should have analysed it and handled the copyright situation for you. So you are fine to post youtube video links here (and maybe other video sites too).
If you upload a video to DTube or some other video sites that don't check copyright - then you could find that you have breached copyright rules if you don't own the copyright for the material.

I agree with that 100% and in debate where conversation took place I felt the same would be rendered judgment. With this cleared up it's nice to know that I can share Taylor Swift, get an upvote, and not be in violation. I also felt that D.Tube upload in the way you've stated would be a potential infraction where use of copyrighted song materials without permissions could result in alerts. The conversation addressed the YouTube ContentID API. As a music producer, my iTunes and Spotify are links I want to promote. I use D.Tube to add content that is copyrighted. I have full permissions because I independently own the content. However, none of the videos have asked me for claims to furnish to D.Tube in consideration for royalty earning should any be deemed collectable from D.Tube. The content I have created is lyric videos like this one Love Is Ours The song itself if it were placed on YouTube would result in copyrighted material and not allow for monetization without claim to property ownership. The array of processes that take place include that should no claim be made the content's monetization is collected by the distribution corporation as well as ASCAP or BMI. In my case BMI. Whereby, my uploads and upvote monetization are the additional award sought to make the endeavor lucrative as possible. I'm considering UUNIO because the IO offers claim in extended period to earn reward for content. In consideration to infringement you've lightened the load of my fears. I would never want to profit illegal from others music. In consideration to my own music on D.Tube has ContentID application similar to YouTube been on the drafting computer for @DTube? Does my content on DTube fail to reach the search parameters because it contains copyrighted materials? Is there an appropriate way to file ownership or permission claim when uploading content containing my published music content? Your reply is helpful. I do appreciate you taking the time to answer these questions. @ura-soul kind soul!

Yours truly,


@iunit your question is answered here.

I share you the same concer my friend, here is my related story:

Thanks for the link!

You are correct it is problem that needs to be fixed. I think your 1st proposal is best. It could theoretically increase the growth of Steemit as those copyright owners will be incentivised to join Steemit to claim their earnings.

Yes, it certainly would give Steemit a higher profile in the various relevant industries!

This post received a 3.0% upvote from @randowhale thanks to @ura-soul! For more information, click here!

Great topic Thanks for sharing

@ura-soul I share your concerns. I am one of the co-founders of a streaming music service, author of several books and problem-solving this issue with legal advisors and specialized law firms for the last decade. Not just to run a legal business but also to help major entities in the entertainment industry.

Steemit is picking up momentum, the Dtube post (and legal consequences) is already on LinkedIn posts catching the eyes of larger audiences. It's harmful. And can have negative consequences for Steemit, Steem, IPFS.

Last thing we want is a "Pirate Bay on steroids". And a similar reaction from governments, blocking services via ISPs on a national level.


This is a great article it's quite concerning if you really think about it because they will shut it down

  ·  2 years ago (edited)

Hi @ura-soul. Very inspiring thoughts that fired up some serious concerns in me about Steemit. It led me to write a post on this issue refering to your article as a starting point:

hey guys bob here i don't want to see steemit/Dtube end up like megaupload let's all flag copyrighted work i found the profile thats uploading full movies please flag

I'm concerned about this topic too. Piracy and copyright infringement is unavoidable with anarcho-capitalism systems.

In the meantime, information cosnumers have the ultimate responsibility to reward original content and punish copyright infringement behaviours.

Can we post our blogger link in our steemit post or dtube description?

There is no problem with posting URLs in steemit posts or Dtube descriptions since URLs are not classed as copyrighted material.

Ok thankz

Make and Dtube web page available via IPFS then they can't shut them down, because the web pages will be saved on many different IPFS nodes.

The point is that whoever facilitates the service will be targetted, both steemit and dtube are run by humans who have names and addresses.

I've been wondering about this as I prepare to start my own dtube channel. I do fan video type music edits of movies and television shows, which I've been posting on YouTube for years. Due to copyright policies, I haven't been able to monetize on YouTube, and am wondering if I could or should be monetizing these videos on dtube. In my opinion, the videos are a creative use of the material, creating a new artistic piece that is similar to how review videos or parody/satire videos, etc, use copyrighted material to create something new or make a comment on the material. What do people here think about this? Should fan videos be monetized?

I agree wholeheartedly. If we don't police this behavior ourselves Steem will be viewed as a place where people come to steal IP and make the network an enemy of companies who rely on it. The US government takes IP extremely seriously.

Also, people who upload would be remiss to forget that the blockchain is public like Bitcoin. All of these transactions will lead back to the person(s) who posted them.

It's not really possible to police this within the community because nothing that the community does will change the fact that the publishing rules have been broken on the blockchain. The only solution is really to change the software to support some kind of automated system for the purpose.

Does dtube store the content on the steem blockchain though, or just link to it?

Dtube uses a distributed network of nodes, similar to the way that BitTorrent works - so all that is hosted on the blockchain is links to those distributed files. However, that is not enough to protect those responsible from prosecution - as demonstrated by pirate bay etc.

Thanks for the clarification. I know early on in bitcoin's story there were people concerned that a bad actor could post some child porn into the blockchain, leaving anyone who used bitcoin from that point on open to charges of distributing it.
Happily that doesn't appear to have eventuated.

Ultimately, I think while the rules of 'law' might be able to be interpreted to generate a prosecution for large numbers of users of a network just on a tenuous connection such as you suggested - in reality, there will probably be some 'common sense' used and a recognition that the intentions of those running the network is not to break those rules and that they have just gotten caught up in it all by offering a public service. I also think that despite claims to the contrary, Bitcoin is more traceable than the average distributor of criminalised material would be comfortable with.

thanks for this info , i'm new to steem and dtube and this give some explanation how/what to do and some guidelines

as for the solution i think that combination of some sort of video/audio fingerprinting would help people '' mod's '' to sort video and then make decisions how to proceed becouse there can be a fist time mistake or someone ho did it on many ocasions

May I upload youtube video to @dtube which i was already share on youtube.

  • Plz anybody help me by answer by the following question.

If you own the copyright to the material then you can upload it to Dtube without any problem.


I am relax now for your answer.

Thank you sooooo much

This post has received a 8.11 % upvote from @booster thanks to: @ura-soul.

Clearly this is an issue, but I diverge in my opinion in how the price of Steem is reflective of this particular issue.

Steem, being valued because of the use of Steemit, will continue to fail to appreciate as long as it maintains the weighting of VP by SP. This opens Steem to the regulation of the SEC, as it makes Steem a security.

Further, the mining of Steem has created impossibly huge holdings of Steem that cannot be gained by posting and curating, or are unlikely to be purchased by account holders, except in the attempt to conduct a Sybil attack, which the weighting of VP by SP makes trivial.

This is a fatal flaw in Steemit and Steem, which strongly discourages use of the social media platform for the purposes which most users would like. It potentiates gaming the system to mine rewards, strongly encourages pandering to whales, vote buying, collusion, and etc...

Forks of Steemit are in process presently which seek to create a platform less susceptible to these fatal flaws, which Stinc seems not to be interested in addressing.

Copyrighted content is easily dealt with by simply assigning rewards to the copyright holder. Dtube will do this too, or die. It's really that simple to handle copyright.

Dealing with the SEC, various scams, Sybil attacks, and the like, are also simple, but since the folks in charge of making the necessary changes to Steem and Steemit stand to lose fortunes by making those changes, I am extremely dubious they will make them.

Unfortunately for them, the price of Steem will continue to drive into the dust until those changes are made, and their fortunes will be limited to what they can power down (and sell on the few exchanges that remain available for what looks very much like a scamcoin to cryptocurrency investors) before the price plummets further.

Yet it was okay for Youtube to have music videos, movies, tv shows etc. for YEARS. Facebook as well. All these growing social networks were allowed to have this stuff and right now..RIGHT NOW in 2018 Youtube still has clips from movies and tv shows. They still have a problem with it so if someone gets in trouble, Youtube would be the first because of how big it is.

  ·  2 years ago Reveal Comment
  ·  last year Reveal Comment