Is Telus Overreaching With YouTube Copyright Claims?

A blog reader points to a site listing more than a dozen videos posted on YouTube that Telus has demanded be removed due to copyright concerns.  While there are several videos that may indeed be subject to Telus copyright, many others appear to merely involve union videos that surely do not contain Telus copyrighted content.  For example, the site notes a news report (available here) for which Telus claimed copyright ownership with YouTube. If this is a case of overreaching, it is particularly unfortunate given that Telus has been a vocal opponent of the very notice-and-takedown system that it now uses, having argued that the U.S. system leads to a "voluminous level of automated, illegitimate and time-wasting claims."


  1. Former TWU Member
    I find myself in a bit of a quandry: First, it\’s laughable that Telus thinks it can claim ownership of video\’s that they didn\’t make ie. personal TWU union member footage of the 2005 Lockout, and TV news reports. I wonder if CTV, Global and the rest of them know this?

    Secondly, it\’s scary to think that anyone could have material taken down from YouTube without verifying owership of it and, scarier yet they can wield that kind of power to censor the \’net. But they have done it before: [ link ]

    The Telus Idol video is what the company is so fearful of. The description on a torrent on Pirate Bay states, \”TELUS Incorporated Corporate Retreat Teambuilding Video in Montreal, Canada. A Canadian Idol parody depicting corporate executives displaying inappropriate conduct with peers and subordinates. Panned by mass-media outlets, this is a stark portrayal of the depravity of what goes on behind closed doors in the corporate world.

    A notorious home video captured during a Telus corporate retreat which was so incendiary, news media outlets won\’t touch it at all.\”

    This is merely one example of what this company is about. More examples of assaults by AFI (Telus\’ hired guns during the lockout) can be seen here: [ link ]

    The public never got a chance to see what was really going on during that time because 99% of coverage was squashed before it hit the news. Had it been publicly aired, the company\’s \”good corporate citizen\” image would have been irretrievably flushed.

    At the end of the day, it all seems to come down to corporate cover-up. Perhaps not illegal, but most certainly embarrassing I\’d think.

  2. History repeating
    Didn’t Telus block a union site from their entire network a few years ago? Oh how companies repeat themselves…

  3. Msquared says:

    And they wonder why there is a call for network neutrality.

  4. Former TWU Member
    Yes, they did. It was [ link ]

    That’s what this webpage: [ link ] was about. They blocked 766 non-related websites in their broad-swath block.

    See links above in my first comment.

  5. Matthew Currie says:

    More Telus Shenanigans
    Drop by my blog, where I cheerfully bash Telus on this and other issues…

    [ link ]

  6. TELUS Using Off Shore Call Centres
    Interesting to note that right after TELUS took that news report about them using off shore call centres off You Tube on June 1 2007 in a bogus copyright claim, on June 12 2007 the TWU Hotline reported that TELUS officially announced it’s use of off shore call centres contrary to their deceptive promise:

    “TELUS Mobility informed the Table Officers this afternoon that TELUS intends to move some TELUS Mobility client care work to Manila in the Philippines. TELUS claims this will not effect any Canadian employees and they intend to grow Canadian call centres. They will begin with 40 positions in Manila and increase to 200 by the end of the year. As we receive information it will be made available.”

    [ link ],

  7. Dan Grice says:

    Tech Consultant
    Michael, under the US DMCA, can not Telus be fined a large sum if they made false representation regarding copyright?

    [ link ]:

  8. Dearly Departed says:

    Former TWU TELUS employee
    It just never ends… the power of Corporatism… The lies continue and the TELUS CEO continues to threaten people into submission. Now we read in the Vancouver Sun that \”heads are going to roll\” because the TELUS quarterly profits are \”down\”. I left because I refused to be part of a dysfunctional orginization based on power and threat being utilized as the driver of profit. I can only assume that those that remain in the employ of TELUS are there because they choose to be. Yes folks, this is the \”American\” style of doing business…. and, after all, isn\’t the US the biggest nation of \”yes-men\” on earth…. dutifully following egocentric leaders in the name of \”patriotism\”. How much profit is enough? That question can\’t be answered because of course, infinite profite would be grand… We MUST curb Corporate power or it WILL be the end of the planet. A system based on \”consumptive maximization\” of ALL possible resources (including human beings) is doomed to failure….

  9. telus customer says:

    more overreach
    Recently, I lost my wallet. Whoever found it used my drivers license to hook up a phone in my name. Telus is threatening to cut off my own phone service unless I pay this bill. Both the Vancouver Police Dept. and ICBC express frustration with Telus, telling me not to pay the bill under any circumstances, because Telus cannot legally accept a drivers license number over the phone as proof of identity. Yet, according to Telus, without a police file # about the theft (how many people even bother reporting a lost wallet to the police?), I will be held responsible for the charges and lose my phone unless I pay.

    This comes in tandem with an email and internet issue, both of which Telus insists are our equipment or my email client\’s fault, while my IT Director roommate says Telus\’ comments are completely absurd.

    Then there\’s the hours on hold, having to repeat the story 5 or 6 times to as many different csr\’s, listening to the same scripted answers over and over again and being refused access to a tech person until the 5th or 6th time with a csr – and then \”your ticket # is ___________. Someone will call you within 48 hours.\”

    Can anyone recommend a phone service? We\’re definitely switching the internet to Shaw.

  10. Telus
    Although telus may not be the best of existing telecoms, the actions they have undertook are not any different than other service providers. If you were with Shaw lost your wallet and someone set up a phone under your name. . . you would still face the same issues, only this time with another company. Why because by law all you need to set up a tel line is a BIRTH DATE AND any other core piece of ID. Someone who finds your wallet will have much more information than that. As for the Expansion to Manila, Telus does not receive enough applications. EVERYONE who meets the requirements are hired, but there is a shortage of canadian applications. Telus has spent millions developpinging to Manila, in consequence 2 new schools were created, families are able to eat and most importantly children are receiving education which will help this nation to prosper. And yes operating in manila is less costly, but let\\\’s remember this is partly what allows telus to offer the supreme inncentives, salaries and bonuses to it\\\’s canadian employees. And if you took but just a moment to quickly look-up the CEO Darren Entwhistle, you would see he is not at all someone who threatens peeps into submission. Telus is definitely not afraid to innovate, they provide great service or generous credits if service is not up to standard, they are the first to have expand internationally, they test their boundaries but most importantly they just want to please us, their consumers. With all their new steps , Telus is somewhat like a first born. the siblings ALWAYS end up following.

    To me, the future definitely is friendly.

  11. Beware What They Telus
    Beware What They Telus

    Okay, you’ve probably already heard from some disgruntled people about the service – or rather – the lack of service Telus fails to provide.

    They’ve been on a recent campaign to recruit subscribers and you’ve probably already received a few calls by now to be sold on their “great deals”. For your own sake, please be sure to thoroughly investigate what you’re buying into VERY carefully first, before you regret it later.

    Sure, they may be able to provide what seems like a decent rate up front; and you may not need those “extra frills” they would nickel and dime you on every month. After all, the only thing that matters is that your telephone works when you need it to. Right?

    Of course.

    If it’s always working, then there’s nothing to bother worrying about. Landlines have been pretty stable for most of the last century, so there’s not much to be concerned with. Right?

    Here’s the real deal though, it’s true; the Devil really does live in the details and it’s in the details where you’ll find yourself in Hell.

    Imagine a horror story like this one happening to you.

    It begins with octogenarian parents and one with a heart condition, a tight budget and regular calls from a variety of telemarketers offering solutions to save some money on their telephone service. Over time, temptation wears down one’s natural disinclination to switch from the security and stability of a service one has grown accustomed to relying on. People are switching telephone companies all the time, so it shouldn’t be too big a deal to try someone else; particularly if it helps to make ends meet.

    My senior citizen in-laws decided it was time to switch away from Telus to an up and coming service they’d heard was pretty decent Heck, even I had enjoyed the long-distance savings I had gotten from Yak. In my case though, I only used their 10-10 number to get my price breaks. I hadn’t actually switched my service over to them. My in-laws went one step further and actually switched to them as a service provider.

    Here is where the irony meter kicks into overdrive.

    Sure, Yak took over their service by routing their calls through Yak’s switches and sent them Yak-branded bills with Yak pricing; but when the phone stopped working, Yak went to Telus to provide a technician to (supposedly) fix the problem.

    Here is where the Devil introduced himself and took us all on his elevator ride to Hell.

    Several calls and several hours after the problem had been reported without achieving a resolution; my wife took over dealing with the situation on our end on behalf of her parents. Several calls and several hours later, a “trouble ticket” was issued and a technician was scheduled to be dispatched to initiate repairs within the next couple of days.

    The technician never arrived. Several calls and several hours later, a technician was scheduled to arrive the next day. Problem solved? Not hardly. The technician never arrived and it was now the end of the week.

    Minor delays like these are usually only annoying inconveniences; not life and death emergencies.

    My father in-law unfortunately, suffers from a heart condition. He has already had a couple of hospital stays to monitor his heart after two mild attacks. My wife hadn’t been able to speak with him for several days by this point and was, as one might easily imagine, becoming very concerned.

    Several calls and several hours over the weekend to customer service representatives from across the globe speaking with nearly completely incomprehensible English; one of several rather polite and apologetic people managed to discover a problem in their issuances of “trouble tickets”. They were never actually issued because of inconsistent policies due to the establishment of operations centres spanning diverse geographies and a variety of countries, each with their own unique sets of obstacles complicating a streamlined operating policy and procedures.

    A rather pleasant fellow named Ragu assuaged my wife’s nerves somewhat by explaining what had happened and by assuring her that a technician had been scheduled for the next day. This was on Sunday. Monday morning came and business hours went. My wife tried calling again. After another hour of listening to what was initially soothing but was now aggravating “hold music”, the connection was lost.

    It was at this point where I became more actively involved. I was fortunate. My call connected me with a customer service representative in Toronto who spoke perfect English. I felt bad for her, but I felt by this point that it was necessary for me to light a fire under her to get some results. I was forceful, but not rude. The result was for me to discover that Yak has apparently made service agreements with a variety of carriers across the globe. At first, she believed that Bell would be handling the issuance of a technician. Bell cleared up that misconception for her after she made a few calls while I waited on hold.

    The ball had bounced squarely back into Telus’ court.

    There was nothing more she could do until the next day because Telus’ office was closed. I confirmed the chronology of events with her. I carefully delineated the complex relationships as clearly as I could with her. The gaps in her understanding made it clear to me that I was asking questions which were above her pay grade and beyond the limits of her training.

    Nevertheless, I felt armed with enough information to be able to speak directly with an after-hours representative from Telus to get some additional questions answered. I had hoped to be able to speak with someone at Telus who could provide enough insight to help facilitate a resolution.

    I found myself speaking instead with a rude, obnoxious and fast-talking brick wall named Val.

    I tried to explain my situation and was quickly stymied by a rote response delivered at a rate which would make an auctioneer jealous. I attempted uttering a couple of more words in an effort to pose another question and was interrupted once again by his “party line”. I tried again and was again stymied before finishing my first sentence. I tried once more and was immediately blocked again.

    That was when I popped my cork. “I’m the customer”, I started yelling. He yelled back. I yelled more loudly. He yelled more loudly and I went into overdrive. He hung up. I called back and after getting through the robot driven menu system, was back in the service queue.

    Soon, I heard the robot tell me I was being transferred. It was then that I heard the system “hiccup”. “Your call is being transferred.” I then heard a beep, then “Your call is being transferred”, and another beep. This went on like a broken record for at least a half-dozen times and the robot returned. “I’m sorry, there seems to be a problem in connecting you, please try back later.”

    The connection died and I was back to hearing my dial tone.

    While I fumed, I contemplated my experience. Val had been well trained to avoid providing service to “neo-customers” that Telus wasn’t directly billing. It apparently doesn’t matter if Telus actually makes money off customers whose service is paid for on an indirect basis. To not be registered to receive bills branded by their logo is apparently an incentive to them to treat people like dirt.

    Perhaps I’m just too naive, but I always treat the customers of my customers like they are also my customers. Hey, I try to treat everyone I meet like they’re a customer. Perhaps that’s only because I operate a small business and I’m more motivated to grow my customer base.

    As Confucius once said, “A man thinks differently in a palace than in a hut”, and perhaps if I was a large business that had been transformed literally overnight from a government run operation with decades of secure operation into a capitalist enterprise, I might think differently about customer service. Perhaps I might choose to nickel and dime my customers with penalties for incremental features to pad my shareholders’ profits while the competition nipping at my heels includes them for free. Perhaps if I had inherited a monopolistically grown customer base instead of having to win each one by one, I might be more inclined to care less about each as individuals.

    If that’s the case, then I hope never to grow so big as a business, because to me, the relationships I develop are what make my business worthwhile.

    I do remember some customer research I encountered decades ago in my career that a happy customer will recommend a service to about two in ten people whereas an unhappy customer will tell up to eight in ten people about their negative experience. It’s been a long time since I learned that memorable lesson so I am not certain if the statistic still holds true to this day.

    What I do know for certain is that my Telus mobile phone is going to be dumped as soon as I find a better provider.

    Oh, and for those who have cared enough to get this far down in my diatribe; thank you for your concern, but my father in-law now has a mobile phone and has switched his landline provider to Shaw.

  12. Fired workers husband says:

    My wife worked for The A**holes for 23 years when she was critically injured in a car accident. She was refused Long term disability as they sent my wife to a doctor named Maryana Apel. BEWARE! She is a “hired gun” for Telus. For $2200+ she sends people back to work who are not capable of working as Telus scrutinizes anyone who qualifys for long term disability. My wife was fired for not be “able” to work. They will grind you out and bankrupt you. Nuff said.

  13. Robert Angus says:

    President, Equustek Solutions Inc.
    I am a long term shareholder of Telus, BCE, AT&T, and Verizon. The earnings and dividends are not that great, so I think that many of the complaints that union members make should also take into account that they have very solid pension plans that will support them after they retire from the workforce. People such as myself who have had to provide for their own retirement have seen their pension fund shaved by 40% over the last year. Telus employees do not appear to have this problem as they have indexed guaranteed pensions as do government workers.

    Now, for Telus to provide this pension service to their employees, they must be competative with other companies that can high-grade their services by off-shoring activities. So, Telus has had to copy some of the competition’s tactics.

    So, Darren is an asshole. So what? He had to take on a union that was feather-bedded. He did that and succeeded even at the risk of personnal harm to himself and his family. The TWU has created most of the acrimony.

    Now, on the other hand, I have also had service problems with my ADSL interlink at my home. The service providers seem to be overly constricted with policy documents that prevent the solution of problems. As a shareholder, I believe this is an area that needs to be fixed. I spent over eight frustrating hours discussing the problems with unqualified people over several days before I finally was able to get up a crippled system. This may be my last message before it collapses again. I, also had to fight through the voice recognition system multiple times, and was cut off on occasion while I was on hold. Even though I had offered to pay for a replacement Telus router and for the cost of couriering it through UPS, I was told that they had no policy for that, and that I would have to wait for seven days for it to be delivered by Canada Post. This, of course was unacceptable and I was able to hopefully resolve the issue temporarily, until I find a more reliable solution.

    I am an Electronics Engineer with extensive experience in communications. My company provides communication solutions for major process control companies mostly in the US but also on five continents. We can send replacement equipment to most locales in the US within twenty-four hours, and usually within forty-eight hours to the rest of the world.

    I think a very simple solution to this very complex situation would be to add a simple question on the voice messanging system; “do you wish to pay $100.00 for expidated service?” I know the pinkos in our society will go nuts over this suggestion that money is used to provide extra service, but that is reality.

  14. Dennis Watson says:

    Robert Angus:

    Censoring the Internet and removing the Charter Right to Free Speech has nothing to do with providing employees with Pensions. In fact, Mr. Entwistle is trying to get his greedy little mitts on his employee’s pension and that is the subject of yet another litigation.
    Your reference to Pinkos is offensive. I completely support free enterprise. I also support free speech. Pinkos as you call them ban free speech which is what your pal Darren Entwistle is doing. You justify and rationalize it because you are politically opposed to Trade Unions. The Union at Telus is not feather bedded it no longer exists. Contracting out protection was lost and the Canadian jobs are consistently being sent off shore and we wonder why the economy is in recession.

    Pinkos don’t force Mr. Entwistle to use sexual harassment as part of his employee training at Telus. Watch Telus Idol or at least read about it then tell me it has anything to do with being competitive in the market place. It does not. It’s what happens when you give drunken pigs the mandate to break the Union at all costs.

    Dennis Watson – Defendant

  15. Kim Hunter says:

    Artist / Designer
    Odd. Every link in this article and all the links in the comments that follow are broken.