I barely scratched the surface of the overwhelming wrongness of the system. Other stuff I didn’t get to:
1. YouTube doesn’t actually tell you what’s infringing.
What copyright am I accused of violating?
It gives you a timestamp, but it doesn’t give you any information about the source. Hm. They claim I’m infringing at 6:30. Are they talking about the footage I’m using under fair use, or the music I’m using with explicit permission from the author? Or maybe they’re talking about the music, but someone else is wrongfully claiming to be the owner of the music? (Because they uploaded a video that used the music and wrongfully claimed they owned both the audio and video.) That’s three completely different defenses, and I don’t know which one to use because YouTube refuses to give me the context!
Oh, and if I use the wrong defense I’m guilty of perjury!
2. You can’t tell who you’re dealing with.
Who is accusing me?
You get a claim from “Bob’s Media Management”. Is that a valid copyright holder, or some troll who abuses the system? There’s no link to their account, their standings, or anything about them. Maybe Sony hired these guys to manage their IP on YouTube. Maybe they’re independent trolls.
3. Why can’t I contact them directly?
Sure, I expect Nintendo to route all their incoming mail to /dev/null, but at least give us the OPTION of communicating. Make it possible for the rights-holder to do the right thing, even if 99% of them choose not to.
4. They’re building an ugly class system.
This is based entirely in hearsay from YouTubers WAY more popular than me. I’ve heard it many times over the years, most recently from Steven Williams. I have no first-hand experience with this obviously, but the idea is that some YouTube channels get special treatment. They aren’t endlessly pestered with Content ID notices and their videos basically go unmolested. There’s no indication of who is in this special group or how you get there.
This is a sore spot because it seems to indicate that YouTube is aware of how horrible this stuff is, but they’re only interested in helping an elite few, and leaving the peasants fight with the content robots.
5. The whole thing seems almost engineered to be alienating.
I know YouTube isn’t a court of law. It’s not even a civil court, much less a criminal court, so it’s not bound by the rules we might expect when being accused of wrongdoing:
- You have a right to know what you’re being accused of.
- You have a right to face your accuser.
- You have a right to see the evidence against you.
- You are innocent until proven guilty.
None of that applies here. Google has the right to run their outrageous system any way they want to and aren’t obligated to follow things like due process. Having said that: Those things are a really good idea in general. These are powerful tools for fighting injustice, avoiding mistakes, and blunting the threat of corruption. Yes, YouTube is free to do what they like with their servers, but they don’t need to turn it into a meatgrinder of mindless autocratic oppression like some over-the-top cyberpunk corporation. They are going so far above and beyond what the law demands, and it doesn’t make any sense.
Think of it this way: They could silently and invisibly make their Content ID system 10% less sensitive. How would that hurt them? More people would put out more content with less hassle. Would Megacorp have any way of knowing? Of course not! And even if Megacorp found out, what could they do about it? Megacorp is always free to have a go at searching for infringing content manually.
There’s no reason to make the vise this tight. It’s hurting people for no benefit.
Starcraft: Bot Fight
Let's do some scripting to make the Starcraft AI fight itself, and see how smart it is. Or isn't.
The Witch Watch
My first REAL published book, about a guy who comes back from the dead due to a misunderstanding.
Juvenile and Proud
Yes, this game is loud, crude, childish, and stupid. But it it knows what it wants to be and nails it. And that's admirable.
Are Lootboxes Gambling?
Obviously they are. Right? Actually, is this another one of those sneaky hard-to-define things?
A Star is Born
Remember the superhero MMO from 2009? Neither does anyone else. It was dumb. So dumb I was compelled to write this.