Police in Beverly Hills are playing copyrighted music to deter livestreaming

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,062   +130
Staff member
What just happened? Officers with the Beverly Hills police department have seemingly come up with a solution that could deter individuals from livestreaming confrontations with police or recording them and later posting them on social media. It's unclear at this time if the strategy was concocted by the officer in the spur of the moment or if it is part of a wide-reaching plan that we might see employed by other departments in the future.

As seen in a video featured in a Vice piece on the subject, BHPD Sgt. Billy Fair appears irritated that he is being livestreamed by Sennett Devermont. He retaliates by pulling out his phone and playing Sublime – Santeria. Later in the day, according to Devermont, the two have another encounter in which the officer again starts playing music loudly on his phone.

It appears as though the officer is intentionally blasting the music in hopes of triggering a copyright strike from the social media platform(s) the video is being streamed on.

A spokesperson for Instagram told Vice that their restrictions “take the following into consideration: how much of the total video contains recorded music, the total number of songs in the video, and the length of individual song(s) included in the video.”

For what it’s worth, Vice labeled Devermont as a prominent and well-known LA activist.

The Beverly Hills PD in a statement emailed to Vice said “the playing of music while accepting a complaint or answering questions is not a procedure that has been recommended by Beverly Hills Police command staff,” and added that they are currently reviewing the matter involving Sgt. Fair.

Masthead credit Steve Sanchez Photos

Permalink to story.

 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 4,705   +5,107
To Protect & Serve?

Or to cover up illegal/ criminal activity?

As a Youtuber, it annoys me that there are places where I'd love to record that play copyrighted music, but there are countermeasures I can take.

#1 It doesn't stop someone from simply muting the clip - or, if they are experiences in sound production - reducing the music and increasing the gains on the voice.

It seems to me the cops themselves could also be brought up on charges because they'd in effect be providing a public demonstration of copyrighted music, but I'll let the RIAA deal with them.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 4,705   +5,107
The problem is that the playing field online is slanted towards vampiric, parasitical rightsholders, not that cops are "abusing" the system. The latter is a symptom, not the cause.


If cops were doing the right thing, obeying the law and not trying to abuse the public, then they shouldn't worry about wearing cameras or trying to hide evidence.

I've seen a number of tactics to hide their actions:

They hold their gun in a way to obscure the camera...

They flat out turn their camera off.

They purposefully get the target off camera before murdering them...

...these criminals need to be prosecuted.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 766   +1,097
If cops were doing the right thing, obeying the law and not trying to abuse the public, then they shouldn't worry about wearing cameras or trying to hide evidence.

I've seen a number of tactics to hide their actions:

They hold their gun in a way to obscure the camera...

They flat out turn their camera off.

They purposefully get the target off camera before murdering them...

...these criminals need to be prosecuted.
None of this changes the fact that copyright is being routinely weaponized not just by cops but rightsholders and trolls routinely, everyday. Restoring the primacy of Fair Use and discouraging hair-trigger abuse of DMCA fixes the root of the problem, more than trying to prosecute cops (who are going to be prosecuted by - you guessed it - other cops).
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 372   +647
Let's not forget that intentionally using copyrighted material as police material is also illegal appropriation of intellectual property for whatever use they intent to at the very least without explicit permission from the copyright holder or a court order.

Just like Cops aren't supposed to enter a house without a warrant, arrest somebody without probably cause, etc. There's also nothing in copyright law (AFAIK) that enables any intellectual property to be freely used by the police for whatever purpose they need.

It's not just that they're trying to exploit a broken law and system by trying to get livestreams taken down, they are also doing so illegally since the act of them using copyrighted material is in almost all certainty, not officially sanctioned: whenever is for interrogation, public crowd control tactics, etc.

This is just another tech related example of showing just how meaningless law & order in society is: The police is an absolutist institution not accountable to anyone or anything that is both implicitly and explicitly, intended or unintended, above the law they're supposed to uphold: ACAB.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,001   +6,775
The unfortunate obvious fact is that since Police were allowed to unionize and local governments threw up their hands without taking a stand against some of the reticules demands by police unions, they have gotten entirely out of control. The real problems started when Police would not do their own bidding and brought in professionals that have pushed way beyond any kind of accepted boundaries. Collective bargaining is one thing but being able to bargain to prevent Police administrations and governments from disciplinary actions w/o fear of legal action completely defeats the reason and purpose of policing ......
 

bandit8623

Posts: 265   +153
The unfortunate obvious fact is that since Police were allowed to unionize and local governments threw up their hands without taking a stand against some of the reticules demands by police unions, they have gotten entirely out of control. The real problems started when Police would not do their own bidding and brought in professionals that have pushed way beyond any kind of accepted boundaries. Collective bargaining is one thing but being able to bargain to prevent Police administrations and governments from disciplinary actions w/o fear of legal action completely defeats the reason and purpose of policing ......
LOL.... stop individuals from being able to unionize? wow! sounds like you love the big guys. sorry to say when it comes to big organaizations like government and coorps unions ARE needed. im not sying unions are perfect... they are far from it.
 

bandit8623

Posts: 265   +153
To Protect & Serve?

Or to cover up illegal/ criminal activity?

As a Youtuber, it annoys me that there are places where I'd love to record that play copyrighted music, but there are countermeasures I can take.

#1 It doesn't stop someone from simply muting the clip - or, if they are experiences in sound production - reducing the music and increasing the gains on the voice.

It seems to me the cops themselves could also be brought up on charges because they'd in effect be providing a public demonstration of copyrighted music, but I'll let the RIAA deal with them.
Let's not forget that intentionally using copyrighted material as police material is also illegal appropriation of intellectual property for whatever use they intent to at the very least without explicit permission from the copyright holder or a court order.

Just like Cops aren't supposed to enter a house without a warrant, arrest somebody without probably cause, etc. There's also nothing in copyright law (AFAIK) that enables any intellectual property to be freely used by the police for whatever purpose they need.

It's not just that they're trying to exploit a broken law and system by trying to get livestreams taken down, they are also doing so illegally since the act of them using copyrighted material is in almost all certainty, not officially sanctioned: whenever is for interrogation, public crowd control tactics, etc.

This is just another tech related example of showing just how meaningless law & order in society is: The police is an absolutist institution not accountable to anyone or anything that is both implicitly and explicitly, intended or unintended, above the law they're supposed to uphold: ACAB.
someone listening to music and not making money off it is not abusing anything. you are reaching...
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,441   +1,040
Human society is not prepared for the digital age. Personally I feel that if someone is working in a public service, as long as they are wearing uniform and are in a public place they no longer have the right to privacy. What do the police have to hide exactly?

Free (or supposedly free) countries need to start writing up a digital bill of rights for their citizens. And that should include your data. The Police/Facebook/Twitter etc will hate this. But imagine if the police could just walk into your home whenever they feel like it without a warrant. It should be the same for your digital activity. It should be private and no one including a police officer should be allowed to have a look without securing a warrant first.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 372   +647
someone listening to music and not making money off it is not abusing anything. you are reaching...

Yes, we are reaching because we're distrustful of an institution that just kills black people for sport at this point and accountable to absolutely nobody. I'm sure my distrust about this one issue is the problem here, and not the literal homicidal maniacs roaming the streets.
 

bandit8623

Posts: 265   +153
Yes, we are reaching because we're distrustful of an institution that just kills black people for sport at this point and accountable to absolutely nobody. I'm sure my distrust about this one issue is the problem here, and not the literal homicidal maniacs roaming the streets.
I won't disagree there are crazy people in every job. But the percentage is less than a percent of them. Just like every job. You on the other hand think 25% of cops are just out and about waiting to kill black people is ridiculous. The problem is cops have to deal with the worst of the worst. Any other normal job we don't deal with as many crazy people..
 

brucek

Posts: 765   +1,043
TechSpot Elite
Other than special circumstances police powers already come with the obligation to wear a uniform, a badge, and to announce themselves. I do not expect them to be legally allowed to obscure themselves (digitally) with this little trick for very long.
 

candle_86

Posts: 729   +729
Other than special circumstances police powers already come with the obligation to wear a uniform, a badge, and to announce themselves. I do not expect them to be legally allowed to obscure themselves (digitally) with this little trick for very long.

I don't see why not they're getting harassed continually by people. People walk up and film them while they're doing routine questioning or traffic stop just because they can. Hell I got pulled over for a speeding violation and to be told my brake light was out and somebody else pulled up behind me whipped out their smartphone to record that's insanity.
 

psycros

Posts: 3,385   +3,858
People literally stalked police using FB and other online platforms and organized mobs to try and kill them. And in a couple of cases they succeeded. The police have every right to protect themselves from an entitled mob trying to instigate violent confrontations.
 

brucek

Posts: 765   +1,043
TechSpot Elite
told my brake light was out and somebody else pulled up behind me whipped out their smartphone to record that's insanity.
What's insane about it? The officer is given unique powers that can result in violent harm up to and including your death. Having the circumstances recorded seems like a very mild tradeoff if it's one at all.

As a white child growing up in a nice neighborhood I didn't get it. Then I got to college, met a wider range of people, and started to hear all their firsthand accounts of mistreatment at the hands of police.

We need police officers, we need to trust them, and we need to verify that trust was not misplaced.
 

yRaz

Posts: 3,603   +3,525
I don't see why not they're getting harassed continually by people. People walk up and film them while they're doing routine questioning or traffic stop just because they can. Hell I got pulled over for a speeding violation and to be told my brake light was out and somebody else pulled up behind me whipped out their smartphone to record that's insanity.
I see videos of people acting like A**holes to police all the time like they are entitled to not cooperate or something. It's not hard to not be a d*ck but since the BLM movement started everyone treats police like they're automatically going to kill them or something. "gotta live stream this speeding ticket." As long as you're polite as you should be with any normal human being rarely does anything ever happen. Heck, I'd say simply being polite has gone even further since this crap started because the cop is thinking, "thank god I don't have to deal with some douche"
 

brucek

Posts: 765   +1,043
TechSpot Elite
rarely does anything ever happen.
All true. But when the rare thing that does happen leads to mass riots, civil unrest, buildings burned, other cops far away assassinated, and serious people talking about defunding police, it demands serious attention.

Personally I am ready for 100% of all police powers and especially anything involving a weapon to be filmed in high quality from multiple angles and immediately stored in a tamper proof redundant system. I want it available for immediate review by the judge, by the officer's superiors, by the press, and by the people. I especially want this because I am aware that far more often than police misbehavior, there are false accusations from the perpetrator. I want those to be easily rejected and the reputation of the police and the law protected as fast as possible.

I'd go further and say we need to start treating the really big ticket items - deaths under questionable circumstances - the same way we treat airplane crashes. Serious investigation by multi-jurisdictional experts, focused on looking for systemic improvements, and not trying to either sweep it under the rug or blame it on "one bad apple" with a "murder" charge for an officer who probably had at least some good intentions in a situation gone wrong.