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« James Randi at UIUC | Main | JREF and Atheist Media back on YouTube; Rational Response still suspended »

March 30, 2009

YouTube suspends JREF, Rational Response, and Atheist Media

YouTube has suspended the accounts of the James Randi Educational Foundation, Rational Response, and Atheist Media. The rumour floating around is that someone wrote a bot to automatically report all atheist-related YouTube accounts. We'll have to see how this plays out.

It would be nice if there was a presumption of innocence at YouTube, but apparently that isn't the case. Perhaps Vimeo is a better alternative.

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Xiao

Perhaps a counter attack against creationist accounts is in order. Let them have a taste of their own medicine, it's only fair.

Torley

Raw quality-wise, Vimeo IS better than YouTube in SD mode — HD still goes to YouTube. Some background on this: http://torley.com/youtube-gives-vimeo-a-run-for-its-hd-money

Also re: account suspensions, YouTube hasn't ever been transparent (to my recollection) on what criteria they use. I think it's pretty dumb in the purest sense, in that if an account is flagged for questionable content a number of times, it gets knocked off without human intervention.

There've been times before where I saw some stuff that didn't abide by YouTube's TOS, and I flagged it. My one flagging wasn't enough, but I pooled together with friends and kept flagging it, and the video disappeared shortly thereafter.

Refuter

Xiao - At that point we would be stooping down to their level. What we need to do is get Google and YouTube to start implementing a peer review board, or have someone look over the actual videos that are apparently problematic. Yes, it does cause some problems down the line, but then it doesn't allow something like this to happen.

Bevans

Yea, unfortunately at YouTube you're guilty until proven innocent.

Pathogen

Why don't these clowns piss off to Godtube.com? That's where they belong, anyway. They don't like dissenting opinion so they cheat their way to censuring those that oppose their view. Wouldn't they be happier just going somewhere they don't have to hear it take place?

Wally Hartshorn

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." - Mahatma Gandhi

I'm not in favor of launching a counter-attack against Christian YouTube accounts. It might be fair, but it wouldn't be right, nor would it be good tactics.

What I find most puzzling about YouTube's policy is that it takes so long for an appeal to be reviewed.

John Hummel

Before we start getting all pissed off at Google/Youtube, just remember that is the DMCA thing out there. Of course, I am not a lawyer, but as I understand it, the DMCA works like this.

If you believe that someone is using your copywritten material outside of Fair Use, you can send a Takedown Notice against the host of the material. In other words, if I put the song Thriller into music video and hosted it on Youtube, Michael Jackson could come along and demand that it be taken down, and my account canceled.

At that moment, Youtube can do nothing legally - even if it turns out that Michael Jackson is wrong and I'm using the song in a Fair Use manner, Youtube *must* take down my video and perhaps shut down my account.

But - here's where things get fun. Youtube has to let me petition the decision. I believe (and please, feel free to call me wrong if I am) there's a 30 day review time once I fill out the counter paperwork claiming that "Dude - it was legal. Restore my account." If the media holder (in this case, Youtube) determine that no, I was perfectly within my rights, then ta-da - my account is back up. And from there things can get more legal.

Here's the big problem. Suppose that Michael Jackson didn't give a crap. Or, that I wasn't using any copywritten material illegally, and somebody just issued a notice either a) fraudulently on use (aka - they knew I wasn't abusing copy written material), b) fraudulently on ownership (aka - they claimed to represent Michael Jackson's legal interests when they had no claim at all), they can get fined. Hard. Because when you sign that claim, you file that claim under penalty of perjury. And as Scooter Libby and Clinton and others know - perjury is serious shit. You can go to jail for that, and pay massive fines.

So, I'd just let the legal system work its way out. If it *is* a bunch of creationist douchenozzles using the DMCA to claim copyright in an illegal manner, like that Youtube user VenomFangX(PCS) who had to apologize to save his ass from being hauled to jail.

If it's something else, then we can get all upset. Until then, let's just stay cool, keep our eyes on things - then get pissed if there's something hinky going on.

Jon

John Hummel - correct in all the main points - should also point out that if MJ reported a violation but hadn't considered Fair Use, he has committed an offence EVEN if the video doesn't come under Fair Use - obviously if it does come under fair use he has also committed an offence unless there are extenuating circumstance as to why (when they were considering if it was fair use) they missed that it was indeed Fair Use

ulothrix

not yet youtube www.hadisdefteri.com begin or funs

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