Thursday, June 03, 2010

YouTube Overshooting

If one skims through my older posts they'll find that many, if not most, of the YouTube clips I've artfully embedded into the context of my profundity are *broken*. These music videos, color TV show excerpts, movie trailers, etc. have been mostly been pulled due to *copyright claims* from Hollywood lawyer-thugs.

The censorship has been so bad recently that I'm not even sure I should be highlighting any more YouTube clips at all on my blog because I essentially have to assume they'll only be online for a short time. So, what's the point? I'm not writing for a contemporary audience. No, my posts are intended to be timeless, fodder for at least the next millennia!

Sure if you put up a Dave Matthews song or video and tagged it as such it could easily be caught. So just leave the title of the song out of the video's text description.

But that only worked for a little while. YouTube was soon able to find unannounced songs that enthusiasts had burned into their photo collages and whatnot. I myself had tried to put up clips of all my blog pics set to music some time back. However, eventually YouTube came and removed the *audio* from my uploaded content - yet again due to *copyright claims*.

I've been long wondering if there was an easy work-around - a way to get music on your clips that wouldn't alert Google's copyright-searching algorithms. And I'm sure there are still plenty of such strategies.

But they must keep getting harder and harder to implement. Check out what happened to me last week.

From my daughter's first dance recital, I tried to upload a video my wife took of the grand finale where all the classes, ages 3-17, piled onto the stage and danced to Miley Cyrus' smash hit Party In The USA.

But after tediously uploading the 108 MB file - wirelessly, with my cheap laptop and my parents' even cheaper internet connection(!) - I received instant notification that my uploaded content infringed on some obscure company's copyrights. In disbelief that the violation was accurate I Googled the specific company only to discover that they in fact held the rights to Party In The USA.

You see, my wife recorded the footage on my 6-year old Jurassic digital camera. So Miley Cyrus' song was only coming onto my .MPG file with a TON of noise - meaning...

How in the world has Google designed algorithms that can unearth specific music that's merely playing in the background? How can they find these haystack-needles given the zillions of clips out there?

AND, why would they want to?

Surely no judge would hold them responsible for essentially a song playing on a radio in the background. I wouldn't think anyway.

Since I already have two strikes against me for prior YouTube infractions, upon getting the notification that MY DAUGHTER'S dance recital was essentially copyrighted content....I pulled the clip in a nanosecond rather than risk YouTube cancelling my account altogether.

Can people even safely upload video of their wedding first dances now?

What next? Are they going to pull clips of girls kissing, great-grandmothers doing yoga, and boys farting if ESPN is visible on the color TV in the background?

See also my very first YouTube post, nearly four years old today:

The Future Of Video Media Has Arrived

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