Thursday, September 6

youtube, free speach and the tyrany of private public spaces

Let me just start at the end,

F*ck youtube.

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 and 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 or, and host your blog on or or even your own domain.

Meanwhile on a respectable video host, 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.

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