An anonymous reader quotes a report from TorrentFreak: Rick Klein and his team have been preserving TV adverts, forgotten tapes, and decades-old TV programming for years. Now operating as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, the Museum of Classic Chicago Television has called YouTube home since 2007. However, copyright notices sent on behalf of Sony, protecting TV shows between 40 and 60 years old, could shut down the project in 48 hours. “Our YouTube channel with 150k subscribers is in danger of being terminated by September 6th if I don’t find a way to resolve these copyright claims that Markscan made,” Klein told TorrentFreak on Friday. “At this point, I don’t even care if they were issued under authorization by Sony or not — I just need to reach a live human being to try to resolve this without copyright strikes. I am willing to remove the material manually to get the strikes reversed.”
Over the weekend Klein shared details of the copyright complaints filed with YouTube. Two of the claims can be seen in the image below and on first view, appear straightforward enough. Two episodes of the TV series Bewitched dated 1964 aired on ABC Network and almost sixty years later, archive copies of those transmissions were removed from YouTube for violating Sony copyrights, with MCCTv receiving a strike. A claim targeting an upload titled Bewitched — ‘Twitch or Treat’ — WPWR Channel 60 (Complete Broadcast, 8/6/1984) follows the same pattern, but what isn’t shown are the details added by MCCTv to place the episode (and the included commercials) in historical context. Another takedown target — Bewitched — ‘Sam in the Moon’ (Complete 16mm Network Print, 1/5/1967) is accompanied by even more detail, including references in the episode to then-current events.
Given that copyright law locks content down for decades, Klein understands that can sometimes cause issues, although 16 years on YouTube suggests that the overwhelming majority of rightsholders don’t consider his channel a threat. If they did, the option to monetize the recordings can be an option. […] Klein says MCCTv certainly doesn’t set out to hurt copyright holders. However, there’s always a balance between preserving “rare pieces of video ephemera” and the likelihood that nobody needs to enforce any rights, versus unusual circumstances like these where unexpected complaints need to be resolved with impossible-to-reach parties. Klein says the team is happy to comply with Sony’s wishes and they hope that given a little leeway, the project won’t be consigned to history. Perhaps Sony will recall the importance of time-shifting while understanding that time itself is running out for The Museum of Classic Chicago Television.