The Gebesse Blog

Thoughts from the world of technology and business

Dealing with YouTube

I received the following email from YouTube. It was not sent to the email address I had registered with YouTube (one that I actually check daily) but to a Gmail address that apparently is the only way that anybody connected to Google talks to users.

Dear ratbaggery,

We have disabled the following material as a result of a third-party notification from Gold tv Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Steinrück, claiming that this material is infringing:

Vaccination – 60 Minutes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiSCTry46pQ

We have disabled the following material as a result of a third-party notification from Gold tv Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Steinrück, claiming that this material is infringing:

The UFO records are destroyed! I am part of the conspiracy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPfV2tQLqeU

This is the second copyright sanction against your account. A single additional claim against your account will result in the termination of your account. To avoid this, delete any videos to which you do not own the rights and refrain from uploading additional videos that infringe the copyrights of others. For more information about YouTube’s copyright policy, please read the Copyright Tips guide.

If one of your postings has been misidentified as infringing, you may submit a counter-notification. Information about this process is in our Help Centre.

Please note that there may be severe legal consequences for filing a false or bad-faith notice.

Yours sincerely,

– The YouTube Team

The first thing you might notice is the obviously false name used by the anonymous complainer: “Gold tv Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Steinrück”. It is obvious that YouTube take no care to check the credentials of people submitting copyright claims. The second thing, which might not be so obvious, is that the two claims relate to material from two different television networks. As it is highly unlikely that both networks would employ the same person with the same ridiculous false name I can only assume that this is further evidence that YouTube make no attempt to validate copyright claims.

I suppose I could try to sort this out with YouTube, but as you can see this is my “second copyright sanction”. The first was a claim by the religious huckster Benny Hinn that I was violating his copyright with a video shot by a friend of mine of me and another friend duplicating Hinn’s “pushed over by the Holy Spirit” shtick. There was not one pixel of anything produced by or for Hinn in the video and his name wasn’t mentioned. I went three rounds with YouTube and each time they referred me back to the same web page to submit my defence. I finally gave up.

I suppose there is an upside to this. Now I know that all I have to do to get something removed from YouTube is to make up a false name (and it doesn’t even matter if it is obviously fake) and put in a copyright violation claim. Not that I will do this, of course, but it sure is tempting.

Now, where is that Vimeo place I’ve heard about … ?

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