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I am badly in need of advice,.

One of my websites (a 'rate my rack' type of site) automatically pulls youtube videos.

I have recently received an email from a mcDonalds employee, requesting that I remove some of the videos which feature minors, though these videos are freely available on youtube for embedding..

Here's an edited version of the email:.

Dear Mr. xxxxxxx.

The following links contain copyrighted video of minors on a pornographic website. The children have not given their permission nor have their guardians. If you do not remove the content immediately we will be forced to take further action.

Ht tp://xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

Ht tp://xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

Ht tp://xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

Sincerely,.

Xxxxxx xxxxxxx.

McDo nalds Corporation.

I answered suggesting that they disable embedding on these videos if they do not want them to be picked up by other, less family friendly sites, but I am not sure how far such a big corporation could push this issue..

Any help welcome.....

Comments (26)

Those videos are on Google owned Youtube. McDonalds must take this issue with Google. Even though Youtube's terms precludes it from being responsible, the content is on their servers. Funny how big corporations get away from guilt whereas the little guy has to face criminality...

Comment #1

*.

I wonder if Youtube refused to take down the video, so maybe McD's is going after embedders.

Otherwise, it doesn't make sense.

Is keeping the video worth the hassle?.

If it IS kiddie p0rn, you might want to delete the video. Otherwise, you COULD find yourself in deep doo-doo with the feds. (Never mind the fact that child p0rn is sick and sleazy).

*..

Comment #2

Totally agree with this. Child porn is sicko. Just like promoting racism and hate crimes. The internet is great but does have the dark side as well...

Comment #3

The videos have actually been posted on youtube by McDo nalds themselves. They are not childporn, but McDo. are objecting to links to their vids featuring on a softcore site (on which there is no nudity btw).

The background to the story is that I was contacted by a parent some time ago, requesting that I remove the link to their kid's video, as they had found it with a google search (on something like page 12!), while looking for their kid's name! and they objected to their kid being associated with the site...

I have no control about which youtube videos my site pulls (it's one of these automatic video websites), so I cannot remove individual links... My only option is to scratch the whole site (which is hardly profitable anyhow)...

Comment #4

*.

If you don't have control over the videos that are embedded, I would definitely scratch the entire site.

If there is any chance of child p0rn being embedded in your site (or any hint of it), you could find yourself in legal hot water, let alone your professional and personal reputation in ruin.

I can see McD's point; however, they do have the option of disabling embedding.

It seems, though, that they want embedding on family-friendly sites, not on soft p0rn sites.

The parents who have contacted you CAN sue you for presenting their children in a negative light and using their images to promote any kind of p0rn, especially for profit (I taught journalism for seven years, so I am a bit of an expert on this topic).

Do yourself a favor and delete that website and start from scratch, where YOU have complete control over what gets posted.

*..

Comment #5

Isn't there an option for the owner of the video to blacklist websites (while embedding is enabled)?..

Comment #6

There is NO kind of child porn on my site, unless there is child porn on youtube. Is that a fact? I've never noticed it if there is.....

Comment #7

Their warning to remove the videos trumps the embedding option being enabled.

You are the one who chose a script that casts a wide net, so don't bother trying to justify why the videos are on your site...

Comment #8

I can clearly see the point of mcDonalds and I am shocked why you cant. A parent simply doesnt want a video of his/her child to be associated with a softcore or hardcore p0rn site. Period...

Comment #9

If Mickey D's does not want any of the videos they post on YouTube to be displayed on other sites, they can indeed disable that function.

That's why if you try to watch some videos on other sites that are embedded, you get a message saying that you have to actually go to YouTube to view it as "embedding has been disabled".

This sounds like they are uncomfortable having their vids displayed on a site that is sexually orientated and I can certainly see why... but they have the ultimate control to stop this from happening...

Comment #10

A McDonald's employee? That seems irregular practice for a big corp - usually an attorney, or maybe their PR / marketing dept, is who would first make contact.

Probably the parents complained to a local McDonalds. Or perhaps, the parents took matters into their own hands - maybe the email is a fake?.

Probably not a copyright issue, since as you've pointed out, you're not copying the videos; McDonald's has voluntarily chosen to allow embedding from YouTube.

However, McDonald's, in particular, due to the alleged adult nature of your site, could chose to pursue the matter via trademark law.

On a related topic, the mere association of minors with an adult nature site could possibly get the attention of an over-zealous district attorney...

And this is getting to the crux of my suggestion - take down / block any videos, including the McDonald's ones, that appear to depict minors asap. And add a simple, easy to use "Report This" link for people to report suspect videos in the future.

Ron..

Comment #11

Thanks for your input everyone. I have actually taken down the whole sub-domain (it wasn't making that much anyway, nor bringing in that much traffic), just to be on the safe side.

The person who contacted me had a mickey D email address, and was listed as part of their paralegal/intelectual property team..

Though my site is of a rather adult nature (the subdomain was indeed called 'ratemyrack'), it worth noting that there was no nudity on the site, and that it could hardly be classified as porn... but it did create pages based on tags for pretty much all youtube videos, so yea, invariably there would have been kids appearing on the site. These pages where not navigable from the site itself, but they did get listed by search engines, which is how the parents discovered a vid of their daughter (under 18 I think but not a kid) on the site, and took it to MD.

I do sympathise with the parents not wanting to be associated with the site, but if you looked at the page, it was pretty much obvious that the video was an embedded youtube video... However, some adult friend finder ads are displayed on the site (though again, the non nude kind)...

Comment #12

I'd still inform McD's that it is their responsibility to restrict embedding for their videos, which they can choose to do on YouTube.

I certainly can see their point in not wanting those kids displayed on other "racy" themed sites but that is still going to happen if they do not control the feed better...

Comment #13

Yea... I did that....

Answer I got was:.

I am asking you to remove all links of the minor children from Voice of MDs from your web site. Please let me know immediately whether or not you will cooperate with my request...

Comment #14

Clueless idiots.

Respond back to them that it is completely under THEIR control to disallow embedding. Should they not do that, you will report THEM to the appropriate authorities for endangering the welfare of a minor.

Since you have taken your site down, they can't do jack to you... but they DO need to understand that this is entirely their own fault...

Comment #15

The issue isn't one of copyright per se, but the context of where the links are / protecting their brand.

Arguing your case / asking questions to their attorney is an act of futility - in their view, either you're going to comply or you're not.

I'd strongly suggest replying back asap with something to the effect of: "All the 'Voices of McDonald's' video links have been removed". Don't write anything else, don't ask anything else.

Ron..

Comment #16

Then they need to actively "protect" their brand..and the welfare of the supposed minors..

That's just it... they are NOT doing that themselves. Instead, they are ignorantly trying to blame others for their own broadcast.

This is like a McD's truck driving down a street with a bunch of posters of young McD's employees in the back.

They fail to cover up the stack of posters and the wind blows a bunch of them out into the neighborhood, one lands on the wall in front of an adult bookstore.

The bookstore did not "put" it there, McD's did it themselves by not securing their posters.

How stupid would it be to start giving legal threats to the bookstore in this case? They would just tell McD's that if they did not want their poster there, they can take it down themselves.

Which is, ironically, exactly what they need to do in this case.

Look, the site being discussed here cannot be the only one that has those videos embedded. If his script picked them up, surely dozens of others have too. Are you telling us that they should all just close those sites as well because McD's is irresponsible?..

Comment #17

For what you says it looks as if McDonalds is behaving arrogantly because they know they are a big corporation against a small player.

I would let them know this, in the lines of "you are and arrogant bastard, I will decide what to do sometime next week".

Do not tell them you will not remove the videos but dont tell them you will, just as a punishment for their arrogant childish behaviour.

My 2 Eurocents..

Comment #18

PM the website and I see if I can work something out, I'm sure there is a youtube code that can work for your site...

Comment #19

*.

I see nothing wrong with McD protecting it's family-oriented brand. Period. They are well within their rights to stomp on anyway who intentionally or unintentionally posts their child actors on a p0rn site.

If domainers insist on developing such crap, then it is THEIR responsibility to wield complete control over their content.

Maybe get in touch with those domainers who have been bragging on their blogs about the "fun" they had at all those domainer conferences. I hear they have some GREAT pics of idiotic drunks in compromising positions...

*..

Comment #20

That is not the case here. Here the OP took the banner by himself, carried it and put it on display on his adult bookstore. What he is doing is entirely wrong.

There are multitude of Kid photos on the net that can be freely and easily hotlinked (many in creative commons license, and many in public domain). That just does not mean that it can be linked and displayed on a porno site. That does not mean that it can be displayed in an adult environment.

If you manually linked the image, you are guilty..

If you use a script to link the image, you are still equally guilty.

I feel the Parents are doing the right thing, and Mc D is doing the right thing...

Comment #21

You are not understanding the mechanics of how FEEDS work.

This is not 1999. There is no direct link to a specific image.

McD's CHOSE to BROADCAST the videos, not simply display them on one site. McD's is not protecting the kids or it's brand. If McD's wants others to protect anything, the responsibility HAS to start here.

You can get as huffy and puffy and indignant as you want but the fact is that McD's opted into the FEED... they can always opt out, which they most certainly should if they have underage children in videos.

Let's see if we can dumb it down a bit more, shall we?.

McD's decides to have a fashion show of it's employees. They video the fashion show and broadcast it to their stores. Problem is, they use a PUBLIC broadcast, meaning anyone can receive the images not just from a McD's location. That option is definitely available to McD's, but they do not do it.

So meanwhile at the local Peppermint Hippo strip bar.... the manager flips through the channels on his TV and one of the available channels is the McD's fashion show. Of course, there is a parent of one of the McD's employees in the strip club and she is horrified that her little Bertha could be viewed from the Peppermint Hippo... so she complains to McD's.... making more sense now?.

These videos are being pushed into an RSS feed by McD's. ONLY McD's has the power to stop that...

Comment #22

I think you are missing the point. You cannot see the difference between normal broadcast and abuse...

Comment #23

No, it is not me who is missing the point.

I'm not saying the vids should be on his adult(ish) site at all..

What I am saying is the McS's can stop that entirely with a setting on YouTube, something THEY should certainly be doing if they are concerned and definitely something they need to do if they have videos of minors that they are PUSHING into YouTube's general feed.

This does not stop anyone from seeing the videos, it just stops the videos displaying on 3rd party sites - which they SHOULD be doing already.

Seriously, do you honestly think that this particular "rate me" "tube" site is the one and only site that these videos can be viewed from?.

Do some research on the YouTube feed controls...

Comment #24

I think they do not mind these videos being displayed on third party sites. What they mind is that people with ill-taste do not abuse them by broadcasting them as some kind of softcore p0rn clips etc. Let's not pretend and blame the victims...

Comment #25

When you learn how YouTube feeds work, you'll figure out what I've been saying all along...

Comment #26


This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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