It wouldn’t be a virtual event without a few technical difficulties. Though I can’t imagine the media giants showcasing at San Diego Comic-Con’s online event were worried about copyright violations affecting their panels. Considering, you know, they’re the ones that own the copyright.
Of course, that’s exactly what happened.
On Thursday, ViacomCBS livestreamed an hour-long panel for this year’s virtual SDCC to showcase properties in its ever-expansive Star Trek universe such as Picard, Discovery, and the upcoming Star Trek: Lower Decks. The stream briefly went dark, however, after YouTube’s copyright bots flagged the stream and replaced it with a warning that read: “Video unavailable: This video contains content from CBS CID, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.”
The hiccup occurred as the cast and producers of Discovery performed an “enhanced” read-through of the show’s season 2 finale accompanied by sound effects and on-screen storyboards. Evidently, the video sounded enough like the real deal to trigger YouTube’s software, even if it was obvious from looking at the stream that it wasn’t pirated content.
It only took about 20 minutes for the feed to be restored, but the irony of CBS’s own panel running afoul of its copyright (even accidentally) was too good for audiences to gloss over. As noted by io9’s Beth Elderkin, a later Cartoon Network panel livestream was similarly pulled offline over a copyright claim from its parent company, Turner Broadcasting.