It was there yesterday, but it isn't there today — the best YouTube cut of the U.S. Army demolishing symbols of Nazi oppression went viral following the Charlottesville white supremacist rally, then went into the memory hole. Perhaps some algorithmic process took it down, triggered by complaints. Fortunately, there are other copies on the service, though the quality is poor:
Hopefully this will be rectified. If you can fire a sexist human, Google, you can fix a Nazi algorithm. Read the rest
YouTube users who post videos mocking Samsung's recently-recalled Galaxy Note 7 smartphone report they get removed because of copyright claims by Samsung.
The claims center on a popular add-on to the game Grand Theft Auto V, which lets players fool around with the hot handsets and use them as as grenades.
This is not how copyright works, the BBC says, and is likely to only focus more attention on Samsung's failings and YouTube's own shortcomings when it comes to copyright enforcement.
Samsung has not yet responded to repeated BBC requests for comment. Critics have warned that trying to remove gamers' videos will only draw more attention to them.
One US gamer - known as DoctorGTA - said restrictions had been put on his YouTube account as a result of Samsung's complaint.
"It's going to take three months to get the strike removed from my channel... I got my live stream taken away," he said in a video.
"If I submit a counter-notification to say 'sue me', I wonder what they will do. Will they sue me, the kid that has cancer and just makes money off YouTube playing a video game?"
The Note 7's propensity to burst into flames ultimately resulted in the handset being withdrawn from production and recalled from store shelves. The Federal Aviation Administration banned them from the skies, making it a federal crime to take one on board an airplane.
Here's a video still live. (Warning: moronic)
Read the rest
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is preparing its comments to the US Copyright Office on the notoriously abuse-prone DMCA takedown process, which is widely used to commit Internet censorship with perfect impunity. Read the rest
The movie studios send a lot of takedown notices to Google, demanding that the search engine remove links to sites and files they don't like. Google publishes all the notices they receive, and
this has Fox and other studios upset.
Now, they're sending takedown notices demanding removal of their takedown notices. Read the rest
The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Alison Dame-Boyle has a good post on Victoria's Secret bad-tempered attempt to censor a campaign by the feminist group FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, which parodied the "Sure Thing" and "Unwrap Me" underwear that Victoria's Secret sells to high-school students with its PINK line, replacing the slogans with phrases like "Ask First" and "Respect."
Victoria's Secret used takedown notices to get FORCE's web-host to shut down its site, to get Twitter to yank the FORCE's @LoveConsent account, shutting down the dialogue about consent and rape just as it was gaining momentum. It's a sobering reminder of the power of copyright takedown rules to be used to censor political speech, and of the fragility of free speech in an era where the entertainment industry has lobbied successfully for laws that allow censorship without a court order.
Read the rest
Though nothing was down for long—the site was only down briefly as FORCE moved to a different hosting provider and the Twitter account was back up by Friday, December 7—even the brief downtime hurt the campaign. FORCE had purposefully launched PINK Loves CONSENT immediately prior to the fashion show to capitalize on the publicity surrounding the event, which attracted nearly 10 million viewers. During the show, tweets about body acceptance and the importance of normalizing a culture of enthusiastic consent made #loveconsent the number one hashtag associated with #victoriassecret. The Facebook page was similarly inundated. FORCE was able to use Victoria’s Secret’s popularity to raise awareness and generate discussion about rape culture on an unprecedented level.
Google's semi-annual Transparency Report features detailed analysis and statistics for government takedown requests, broken down by nation. From this, I learned that Brazil's government sends more Google takedowns than anywhere else, thanks to the combination of a national election and the popularity of Orkut, Google's social networking service.
India's government generates the largest number of bogus takedowns. 88 percent of Indian government takedown requests to Google are denied: "We received requests from different law enforcement agencies to remove a blog and YouTube videos that were critical of Chief Ministers and senior officials of different states. We did not comply with these requests."
Meanwhile, the UK leads the world in the volume of materials taken down: 93,518 removals in 2010, "The UK's Office of Fair Trading requested the removal of fraudulent ads that linked to scams. We complied with the request and removed 93,360 items in total."
Government Requests - Google Transparency Report
(via Ars Technica) Read the rest
When popular YouTuber ASL Ally -- who posts videos that interpret song lyrics in American Sign Language for deaf and hard-of-hearing people -- had her YouTube channel yanked after complaints by Warner and Universal, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Cindy Cohn came to the rescue. Cohn called up YouTube, and YouTube contacted the rightsholders, and everyone agreed that there was nothing wrong with Ally's wonderful work. However:
"The problem is that the various music groups hire zombies and trained monkeys who scour the Internet searching for any use of their licensed material regardless of the context or purpose," Cohn said by phone on Monday.
"Often, this leads to flagged entries and complaints on sites like YouTube that really should have been approached with greater discretion."
YouTube Reinstates Ally ASL's Account
EFF: YouTube shouldn't block works by video artist Amy Greenfield ...
Taken down from YouTube? EFF wants to help - Boing Boing
YouTube: Viacom secretly posted its videos even as they sued us ...
Boing Boing: EFF sues Viacom over YouTube takedown of Colbert parody
EFF sues Uri Geller over YouTube takedown abuse - Boing Boing
YouTube will not block Amy Greenfield's video art - Boing Boing
EFF chairman makes a Downfall remix - Boing Boing
Google highlights fair use defense to YouTube takedowns - Boing Boing Read the rest
Dan sez, "Game publisher and miniature manufacturer Games Workshop just sent a cease and desist letter to boardgamegeek.com, telling them to remove all fan-made players' aids. This includes scenarios, rules summaries, inventory manifests, scans to help replace worn pieces -- many of these created for long out of print, well-loved games.
GW did this shortly after building a lot of good will by re-releasing their out of print game 'Space Hulk' to much hoopla.
And it's not their first attack on their biggest fans"
No doubt those of you who have supported Games Workshop in the past by creating files for use with their games will have noticed they are all being deleted from BGG at the behest of their lawyers.
So here's a little paeon to the games that I spent many hours creating rules summaries and reference sheets for that are no longer available here. They're still at my personal site, but I don't imagine they'll be there for long.
No doubt they'll be more items on this list before long.
The Games Workshop Files Purge of '09 Read the rest