Good advice for the rapture

Some grey bloke has done a brilliant video on advice for the rapture today…

“cancel you papers… you dont need to make it more difficult for those left behind, they already have the tribulation to deal with… so they don’t need to go out to your house carrying the Sunday supplements…”

Challenging the YouTube Copyright School

Last week YouTube announced that it had launched an animated film entitled the YouTube Copyright School. The problematic thing is that YouTube begins by recognizing that copyright is complex and that education is needed

Because copyright law can be complicated, education is critical to ensure that our users understand the rules and continue to play by them. That’s why today we’re releasing a new tutorial on copyright and a redesigned copyright help center. We’re also making two changes to our copyright process to be sure that our users understand the rules, and that users who abide by those rules can remain active on the site.

They then release a film portraying a simplistic view of copyright – the complex needs to be explained not simplified or banalized. They also have disabled the comments section – this is their view, enough said, no discussion.

But that does not prevent discussion (as they should well know) criticism was swift – for example Leonhard over at Governance across borders writes

The background for this crazy/disturbing/awkward “Copyright School” is a change in YouTube’s copyright infringement policies. As repeatedly discussed on this blog (e.g. “This Post is Available in Your Country“) and described by fellow workshop participant Domen Bajde (see “Private Negotiation of Public Goods: Collateral Damage(s)“), users who posted three videos containing (seemingly) infringing content to YouTube have not only lost those videos but all of their videos: their account was deleted.

The problem is not only the one-sided view they present, or even their attempts to suppress discussion but also the control of content YouTube exerts is only loosely based on copyright. Their system of removal and criticism of content is highly biased against “amateurs”.

Yesterday Public Knowledge announced the Public Knowledge “Copyright School” Video Challenge!

In an attempt to educate its users about copyright law, YouTube has debuted “Copyright School,” a video that explains why videos are removed from YouTube. While “Copyright School” does a great job of telling you what you can’t do with copyrighted content, it does a very poor job of telling you what you can do with copyrighted content–namely, remix, reuse and repurpose it without permission from the rightsholder as allowed under the doctirine of fair use. So here’s our challenge to you: can you make a better video than YouTube that explains both what you can and can’t do with copyrighted content? Watch the video above (and read the official rules) to find out how you can win $1000 and have your video featured on the Public Knowledge website!*


The end of Hitler parodies…

Picking the strongest internet meme is impossible – but if there was such a list the Hitler bunker scene remix must be one of the most recurring. Check out this short list of examples from YouTube.

Unfortunately TechCrunch reports that Constantin Film, the German film company, who made the movie has begun removing the parodies. Attempting to see them on YouTube often results in the text:

This video contains content from Constantin Film, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.

The amount of files will rapidly disappear once YouTube’s smart content system begins to locate and remove the clips. The question is not whether Constantin has the legal right to act the way they do but the effect of the action. TechCrunch again:

Downfall is a great movie, but it’s also in German which sadly means that many people outside that country will never watch it. But I’d bet these clips have sparked an interest in the film beyond what any type of traditional marketing could have done.

One could also ask what damage the making of the clips has. The clips don’t make less people see the movie or affect sales in any way. Are the clips creating a negative image of the serious movie? This is a doubtful argument as anyone watching the movie will realize the enormous difference between the comedy and the tragedy.

Constantin Film has acted with questionable legality (parodies are within the law) and have definitely not helped in promoting creativity.

Naturally I fully expect someone to create a Hitler parody to express the outrage we all feel at the loss of this important social commentary!

Update: Read the commentary from EFF Everyone Who’s Made a Hitler Parody Video, Leave the Room

Is YouTube the end of parenting?

OK disclaimer nr 1: I have no children. Disclaimer nr 2: I fully expect to be flamed by my friends who do.

The little I know about parenting is obviously going to be flawed and biased, but that fits into the rest of the postings on this blog. One of the “kodak moments” of parenting seems to be when fathers or mothers teach there children grown up stuff. Some of the  moments of greatest pride appear to be when the adult child calls home to ask banal questions such as how to balance a budget, check the oil or bake a cake.

But this is no longer the case. YouTube is flooded with simple instructional films. How to clean a toilet, How to shave your face, How to make burritos, How to tie a tie (or a bow tie), How to clean windows, and my favorite silly film How to make a bed (“to impress that special friend of yours”)…

Parents, can you see the writing on the wall? Why will your children ever call home again? So parents of the world unite, preserve your rightful place in the hierarchy and ban the threat. Parents Against YouTube (site coming soon near you).

The WMG story – A tribute to YouTubers

In 2006 Warner Media Group became the first major media company to form a strategic relationship with YouTube. They launched a business model based on user-generated content. It looked really good.


The arrangement with YouTube required that royalties be paid based on the number of views that videos featuring music from WMG artists received. By December 2008, negotiations between WMG and YouTube broke down. YouTube clips containing WMG music were blocked completely and replaced with a message indicating copyright infringement. Fair use wasn’t even on the agenda.

This pissed off the YouTubers (and still does). Proving that when creating a business based on open content it is kind of important not to piss off your fans, your customers and your producers all at once.

So here is a nice YouTube historical tribute to the WMG Story!

Warner Music Group might be getting back with Youtube, but they need to get back with the users as well. See what YouTube users had to say to WMG. In the aftermath of the WMG story several important questions remain open:

What can we learn from the WMG saga?
Who owns what?
What is original?
Who gets paid?
Who gets to make the rules?
Who does the copyright law serve?

Be heard! Respond, rate and comment.

This invitation is also a tribute to users, who have spoken their minds (and continue to do so). The playlist of WMG related videos (those featured and several others) is available at:…

Animation: Creative Commons Australia –

An anthropological introduction to YouTube

Thanks to jill/txt I found a briliant presentation given by Michael Wesch where he presents “An anthropological introduction to YouTube” at the Library of Congress. In case you missed it Michael Wesch is the man behind the great film (among others) which explained Web 2.0 in under five minutes called “The Machine is Us/ing Us”

Wesch does not only have a deep understanding of the mediun he studies but he also is very good at using the medium to explain its importance.


And for those of you who missed the other film:
The Machine is Us/ing Us (Final Version)


YouTube & Creative Commons

YouTube has collaborated with Creative Commons to allow users to test the ability of users to upload & download video’s under Creative Commons licenses. Obviously users will be able to download the movies and be able to follow the licensing terms. Read more about this on the YouTube and Creative Commons blogs.