The San Diego Comic-Con – like almost every major conference, meeting and assembly in 2020 – had to switch to a virtual online format this year due to the ongoing pandemic. Media companies, which usually have a large presence at events like SDCC, have worked hard to create alternative streaming content – but apparently they forgot to report their copyright bots.
ViacomCBS started today with a one-hour panel that outlines current and upcoming Star Trek projects: Discovery, Picard, Lower Decks and Strange New Worlds.
The panel consisted of the actors and producers of Discovery who read through the first act of the season two finale, "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2". The "improved" read-through included sound effects, effect recordings and storyboard images, which should support the actors in the delivery of lines from their living rooms and home offices.
Even though the home viewer's presentation didn't look like a real episode of Discovery, it sounded close enough: after the Star Trek Universe virtual panel started, viewers gradually lost access to the stream. Instead of the video, YouTube displayed a warning with the content ID: "Video not available: This video contains content from CBS CID that has been blocked for copyright reasons."
After a darkening of approx. 20 minutes, the panel was restored and the recording of the virtual panel shows no gaps in the playback.
Obviously, CBS would not benefit from deliberately taking its own marketing material offline. It is very likely that software simply heard a match, made a match, and issued a notification until a human could overwrite and fix it. Unfortunately, it seems that a number of media companies have to hurry to correct the mistake: Two hours later, io9 reporter Beth Elderkin tweeted that a livestream of the Cartoon Network panel was taken offline due to a copyright claim by Turner, Cartoon, the parent company of the network.