Friday, January 3, 2014

Stomp the Good Guys

YouTube has been going down the proverbial shitter for quite a few years. The interface change in 2011 was an eyesore then and it's still an eyesore. It eliminated several things I liked about the old design, one of which was the ability to watch videos in a playlist on your own channel, the embedded video player simply switched to the next video after one ended… Other things were ruined too. Too many to name right now.

Anyways, they hit rock bottom with the Content ID system, which originally functioned as a way to detect copyrighted music in your videos. Now it's arbitrarily lunging for different videos that make fair use of certain songs or sound clips, and anyone can seemingly say "I have the rights to that! Get him/her in trouble!"

The other day, I had to acknowledge third-party content when uploading a tour of my work-in-progress Toy Box world in Disney Infinity. The music is part of the game and I'm not intending to profit from it, neither is anyone else, really.

I'm getting bad flashbacks to January of 2011… I had uploaded an audio-only review of the probably-forgotten Nicolas Cage period piece Season of the Witch. Season of the Witch was dull to begin with, but it was so laughably bad at parts that it functioned as a great comedy for my good friend and I. We had a blast, the other people in the theater must've thought we were idiots for howling at a film about two guys that have to purify a girl accused of being a witch that involved demons and stuff. In fact, I remember seeing the trailer for this turkey in January 2010! It was before Sherlock Holmes, and it was then slated for spring 2010… But then it was moved to January 2011, imagine that! They knew they had a disaster on their hands. But hey, that disaster made my friend and I laugh our asses off, so I guess that counts for something…

So I recorded an audio review of it and used the film's theatrical poster, and there it was! A simple little review…

About a day later or so, I got a copyright strike.

Alliance Films, the Canadian distributor of Season of the Witch, was apparently not okay with me using the poster in the video. A poster meant for exhibition in cinemas, artwork meant for the cover of the movie on home media formats. It's not a clip from the film, nor is it anything of the sort. It's just the fucking poster…

I used the posters for films from the likes of Disney, Paramount, Warner Bros. and many others in other audio-only videos of mine and no one seemed to bat an eye. Maybe because, you know, they're just posters.

Who do the people at Alliance think they are? Getting some YouTuber in trouble because his video harmlessly used the poster for their film… I could've gotten it appealed, but I felt it wasn't worth it. It was a crappy video anyway, so I re-reviewed it on a double bill with another film, but this time I used my webcam.

Anyways, that bullshit incident will become a reality for many unfortunate YouTubers. Some third-party crybaby can say "Hey! I have a snippet of something in this video!" and you get screwed.

Congratulations, YouTube. Your attempts to stop pirates are going to hurt us, the people who made you as big you are. But then again, it's easier to stomp on the good guys instead of… Ya know… Solving the damn problem. Hey, it works in politics, it'll work here too!

Angry Joe eloquently sums it all up…

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