This blog is still and maybee always will be in alpha. There is no strict editorial direction at this time, but it's likely to be rantings and ravings about technology, design, art, culture and especially all things new media.
Friday, September 28
youtube, free speach and the tyrany of private public spaces, v2
This is a story we're starting to see time and time again. Youtube deleting user accounts completely without any due cause being given to the owner of the account. Traditional media companies abusing the DMCA to silence critics.
It's an issue I've written about before.
As covered on newteevee Pubdef.net "an online destination for video reports from St. Louis and the state of Missouri published by Anotonio D. French, a newspaper reporter who was frustrated with local news coverage" had his entire youtube account deleted on accusations that one of his videos violated Channel 5 St. Louis' copyright.
The video (embeded below) was critical of Channel 5's unsubstantiated claims that an local alderman took bribes in a realestate swindle. Was it fair use or copyright infringement? View it below and be your own judge.
Pubdef has re-hosted the video on his own site. Of course the majority of the other 200+ videos are gone. You can read his original post over on pubdef.net.
What disturbs me most about this is it's hard to feel sorry for the guy and his readers when he apparently has gone right back to hosting his videos on youtube under the the new userneame PubDefTV. Dude! Move to a reputeable host like blip.tv!
Thursday, September 27
Yahoo Podcasts Joins The Deadpool
Yahoo Podcasts, a comprehensive podcasting search, directory and listening service that launched in October 2005, is closing at the end of October, a fraction past its second birthday.I think this would be a great time to mention Mefeedia just rolled out OPML import. You can now import all your subscriptions from yahoo podcasting, Fireant, Miro, and of course iTunes. Best of all you can not only use mefeedia with video and audio podcasting aggregators like Fireant, Miro and iTunes but mefeedia's services greatly enhance the experience because you can access, manage, view, and listen to your subscriptions anytime and anyplace, not just when you're at your home computer.
There is no official word from Yahoo as to why the site is shutting, aside from a message at the top of Yahoo Podcasts that reads “Yahoo! apologizes deeply, but we will be closing down the Podcasts site on Oct. 31, 2007.”
Other podcast directories have struggled as a medium that years ago held so much promise was surpassed by the rise of video. Odeo was acquired from investors, then sold off, then acquired another podcast directory called FireAnt; and more recently the podcast provider/ directory Podshow is rumored to be closing a third round of funding this week as they run short of money.
Yahoo Podcasts joins the ever growing Yahoo graveyard along with Yahoo Bill Pay (announced in July for Sep/ Oct shutdown) and the hat trick of closures in May of Yahoo Auctions, WebJay and Yahoo Photos. Yahoo Podcasts joins the TechCrunch Deadpool.
Tuesday, September 18
Universal Music snubbing Apple and its customers
Re: DailyTech - Universal Jumps to SpiralFrog's Free Downloads: iPods Not Welcome
In what appears to be a snub to apple (like NBC's recent move from the Apple Store to Amazon.com) Universal music has chosen to sell it's music through a music service that doesn't work on the iPod, I assume it uses the irrelevant and unsuccessful Microsoft DRM, but the truth is it doesn't even matter.
Has Universal ever been more irrelevant?
They're behaving exactly like a spoiled child.
This is a fight Universal fundamentally has no chance in the world of winning, because it's not about Apple. It's about them waking up and finally realizing that mp3 IS the standard. It's the only one true way to sell music in this era.
A recap, first Universal makes Apple the king/master by demanding DRM on their music, apple delivers the only successful DRM option, then Universal rails against the master they've made. Finally Universal tries to snub it's master by choosing to make some other 3rd party the general public has never heard of their master.
What Universal fundamentally doesn't seem to get is by snubbing apple's Fairplay DRM and the open MP3 format they're snubbing ANY and ALL successful or working options to sell music to their customers. They're giving them no choice BUT to steal music! Which is why Trent Rezner of NIN, one of their biggest artists is off in Australia telling his fans to just go ahead and steal the music. (read on.. I'm getting to it)
I have one further suggestion for Universal based on their brilliant logic.
Universal: 99% of all P2P shared music is ripped straight of a CD! (epiphany) Why don't you simply stop selling CD's as well? Anyone selling CD's is clearly inducing copyright theft. You must stop selling CD's!
Furthermore I would suggest Universal then start selling ties, and start calling themselves a clothing company, because they certainly aren't by definition in the music industry anymore. They seem to be doing anything but selling music.
In related news (as mentioned above) Trent Reznor of NIN and also represented by Universal Music was so disgusted by the price gouging by Universal on NIN CD's in Australia, a topic that he spoke out against months ago, that he told his fans at an Australian concert "...Has anyone seen the price come down? Okay, well, you know what that means — STEAL IT. Steal away. Steal and steal and steal some more and give it to all your friends and keep on stealin." Enjoy the clip yourself, I've embedded it below. It's short, sweet and clear. There's no question about the issue.
This just makes me laugh and laugh. Universal has outlived it's utility in the music age. It's whole *idea* of the music industry is, is dead. The only competency they have left is as a marketing arm to promote bands in traditional media. Which is funny because anymore radio and TV are increasingly loosing relevance to word of mouth music sharing on the internet. Web services like Last.fm and iLike.com have far more relevancy in shaping tastes and developing the music market then pretty much all of traditional media combined.
The CD is dead as a format. Therefore there's no need for distribution, so what it all comes down to is there's just no need for Universal at all.
Adios Universal, unless you pull your head out of your *ss and start selling mp3's you're dead... of course you've been dead to many like me for a long long time anyway.
Thursday, September 6
youtube, free speach and the tyrany of private public spaces
Ever day I become more appalled by youtube's complete disregard for it's users.
Sooner or later people are going to realize youtube is a complete tyrant that has no respect for their freedom of speach or right to fair use.
Youtube is one tyrant putting other tyrants, namely big media companies, concerns over individuals right to free speach and fair use. I don't understand how there hasn't been a mass exodus from youtube. Enough already. Vote with your feet people and leave. There are far better video hosting sites. Two of my personal favorites are blip.tv and vimeo.com. Most importantly though, host your own vlog.
I'm not calling for a boycott here. I just wonder why there hasn't been more backlash. I hear more and more cases about DMCA take down abuse on youtube every day and I wonder why people don't do the obvious thing and simply leave youtube.
Case in point, I just stumbled on a nice little post by Washington DC vlogger Kenya Allmond about the deletion of one of her videos by youtube. Apparently it was just 3 minutes of her friend singing along to a few lines of a prince song as they drove down the road. She has reposted it without sound to see if youtube delete's it again.
Yesterday I received a lovely notice from YouTube indicating that one of my videos was removed due to copyright infringement. The notice also stated that repeat incidents of copyright infringement would result in deletion of my account and all the videos uploaded to said account.
What was the video? Did I record something from TV and post it? Did I rip a DVD and post it? It was none of these. It is a video of the boyfriend lipsyncing to Prince’s “Kiss”.
Excerpt from: Kenya Allmond: In My Own Words � YouTube Video Removed for Copyright Infringement
Great eh? How absurd is it that a person can't even share a clip of their friend singing a song while driving down the street? Why do people still use youtube again?
This may seem trivial, but it's not. It's a basic free speach issue. Our right to be secure in our ability to communicate with and share our personal moments with whomever we choose. Video is the new frontier of free speach. Just as you can quotes from a book we need mechanisms and established methods for quoting or referencing in video.
Let's go over some key points:
- youtube doesn't even bother to review DMCA take down merits
- youtube often simply deletes videos and even whole accounts without pre-warning
- youtube not only deletes the video but all the comments, discussion and related material that go with it... effectively "disappearing" it (sort of like a corrupt regime might "disappear" political dissidents) so no record exists of potential wrong doing, not even how many videos youtube has "disappeared".
- once deleted accounts and videos often can't be resserected even though clearly the reason for doing so is often flimsy and unstated
- youtube automates the process for big companies to take down literally anything they feel like regardless of merit
- youtube doesn't even bother to tell you who requested a take down, why, nor offer you any due process
- often videos are deleted without review simply because the title mentions an artist, show or movie
- often videos are taken down because someone sings, quotes lyrics from, or even plays a song
- youtube is extremely quick to respond to take downs without review but very slow to respond to DMCA counter notices
All this adds up to one thing. Youtube really doesn't respect its users. They've put big media's interests far above citizens rights to free speach and fair use. I encourage people to go find someone who does respect their rights. Like Kenya use a better video host like blip.tv or vimeo.com, and host your blog on blogger.com or wordrpress.net or even your own domain.
Meanwhile on a respectable video host vimeo.com, a site that respects it's users freedom of speach and fair use the hot meme for over a year has been "lip dubbing" with 1114 vidoes as of this writing. Put a song on the ipod and lip sync the lyrics into the camera as you listen along. Clearly on youtube the majority of these lip dubbing videos if not all would be removed.
This is Nagi. from Knock Knock and Vimeo.