Cinematography Database YouTube Show cancelled over Copyright issues

Jun 20, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Cinematography Database YouTube Show cancelled over Copyright issues

Jun 20, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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The Cinematography Database was one of the more recent YouTube shows I really started looking forward to the each week as new episodes were released. Now, the creator of the show, Cinematographer Matt Workman, has been forced to shut down the show in its current format over Copyright issues.

In the latest video to the Cinematography Database channel, Matt explains what happened, his decision to end the show in its current format, and possible plans for the future.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ND-PBiefWs

A number of people have suggested, and Matt also acknowledges, that Fair Use could potentially be a strong argument here, falling under the whole “Commentary and Criticism” thing.

The definitions for fair use, however, are so vague (as they were intended to be) that it’s not an easy battle to win, nor a long term solution to the fundamental problem.  Of course, lots of other YouTube channels get away with showing Hollywood material just fine, but they tend not to show it to such an in-depth extent.

Also, more and more TV show & movie creators are also pushing out their own content along similar lines as online “Extras”.  With viewers switching from buying DVD & Blu-Ray season box sets to watching through online digital services, where else would they put them?

As a quick example, HBO have already put up their “Anatomy of a Scene” video (be warned, spoilers, don’t click it if you haven’t watched the episode yet) for something in last night’s Game of Thrones.  So they may see shows like this as their “competition”.

As Matt’s channel does now contain “marks” against it for Copyright violations, he’s limited to only uploading 15 minute videos at a time.  So, even if he was able to, continuing the show in its current form isn’t an option.

It’s a shame that Matt doesn’t want to try and fight this, but it’s understandable why.  Going up against Hollywood isn’t a proposition to be taken lightly, and could easily and quickly destroy a career he’s spent over a decade building up.

It also goes to show that even for educational or personal use, where you’re not profiting from the content you’re “borrowing”, Fair Use isn’t always (or even often) a valid argument.  Even when it is, it’s usually not worth trying to fight.

It’s a shame, though, because you can tell from watching the cinematography breakdowns that Matt puts a lot of hard work and effort into producing them.  Whether you shoot stills or video, the tips contained within offer some great advice and insight into lighting, composition and how to tell a story with your images.

I have no doubt that whatever direction the channel takes in the future, it will be very good, but it will also be very different.

Matt has scheduled the videos for deletion before YouTube does it for him, but for now you can watch what remains on the Cinematography Database channel.

I wouldn’t wait too long, though!

Should Matt simply upload to a more forgiving platform and claim Fair Use?  Or do you think he was wrong to use the footage from the movies to the extent that he did?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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10 responses to “Cinematography Database YouTube Show cancelled over Copyright issues”

  1. Tweakie Avatar
    Tweakie

    shows like this or vloggers actually, make the content more popular..just my opinion… good luck bubby

    1. Joseph Parry Avatar
      Joseph Parry

      Totally!

    2. Lex Arias Avatar
      Lex Arias

      exactly

  2. Joseph Parry Avatar
    Joseph Parry

    Man, gutted :(

    1. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      Same. Hopefully when Matt’s back with a new format, it’ll be equally as good, even if it’s not the same.

      1. Joseph Parry Avatar
        Joseph Parry

        Yeah man!

  3. Thomas Jakob Brablec Avatar
    Thomas Jakob Brablec

    You shall not educate others on YouTube!

  4. Kay O. Sweaver Avatar
    Kay O. Sweaver

    The lawyers could easily argue that the YouTube videos are marketing for his scene setup software, so he’s probably right to be worried. Even so, what bullshit. What’s next? Spies in all of the bars in Hollywood making sure that nobody’s talking about work over beers?

  5. Cinematography Database Fan Avatar
    Cinematography Database Fan

    I created a new channel where I uploaded most of Matts original videos! Check it out! :) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtTjh6GOn218KbjhF8mtFLA

    1. Mayank Gautam Avatar
      Mayank Gautam

      Are there any breakdowns which you couldn’t upload? Would like to know which ones I missed . And thank you so much for uploading them.