Thursday, July 10, 2014

News on my YouTube Copyright Strike

A week or so ago I logged into my YouTube station and noticed that I had a (c) strike against one of my Open Source tutorials. I assumed right away that it was probably some music I had put in the background (I did this on some of my early videos before I became a partner) and didn't really think much about the strike until late last week when I noticed that a whole bunch of my YouTube options were greyed out: Most importantly my content ID appeal capability.

Update: Strike Removed!

I need to be able to appeal the content ID's because I do review and let's play type videos which are often flagged by YouTube's automated content system. Since I usually have permission for my monitized videos this is not a big deal: I either copy the email authorization of send them a link to the public  site allowing video recording. I play by the rules. I can now no longer appeal the process...

So back to the console to see what was up:

A quick visit to the website shows a linux tutorial site, and a middling popular one at that... Why would a website dedicated to open source be trying to claim copy write on one of my videos? Did they do similar videos and think that I copied them? 

I thought back to the video I created. I know that I recorded it directly from my desktop. My username is also shown at the top left corner of the screen and I know I used terminal for the procedure -- which would have shown my computer name as well -- pretty unique to me: Retr0Rob. 

Did own the Open-Source software I was demonstrating? No... The software Netflix-Desktop is housed at It is clearly owned by Erich E. Hoover: No mention of a Huy of any kind. The commands I use in my video are identical to the ones in Erich's instructions.

So I decided to go to to take a look and see if maybe there was something I was missing. A quick search of his website did find mention of the Netflix-Desktop. He had a nice,  well written tutorial on the correct way to install the software and correct some issues with it as well. Here is the title:

Note that the date is 3 Months after my video posted on August 7th:

So it almost HAS to be something else. Something I'm not seeing. Of course YouTube does not disclose the nature of the complaint, but I figured this is a fellow Open-Source fan: I'll just go ask him!

I filled in his contact form to ask him myself. 24 hours later no response. I know this is not important to him, and honestly I make a minuscule amount from my YouTube station anyway but I find posting videos to be a very enjoyable hobby and an escape from the rather stressful network administration issues I deal with from day to day so this IS important to me.

Today I sent the email below to his admin account directly: Maybe he will be nice enough to let me know what is going on:

You issued a (c) claim against my video "Ubuntu: How to Watch Netflix on Ubuntu Without a Virtual Machine”. and I would like to know exactly what you believe is infringing.
The video was created entirely by me and depicts the configuration of open source software housed at . The video clearly shows my desktop and even my username. 

I would much rather resolve this amicably — if there really is something infringing I don’t want to issue a false counter claim. 

That said the only reference on your site similar to the material I have posted is at Which was posted at 11/08/2013. My video was posted 3 months before this on August 7th:
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It is a fairly big pain to have a (c) strike against my YouTube station as you may guess and I would like to clear this up as soon as possible. 
If this was done mistakenly, could you please remove the claim? Information on removal is available at

Failing that could you let me know what the infringing material was exactly? This way I can modify the video to correct the issue.

This whole issue points out one of the most unjust things about YouTube's reporting system: I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT WAS INFRINGING. How am I supposed to avoid that happening again if they will not even let me know the specifics of the complaint? The only way I can fight it in YouTube's system is by revealing my personal contact information to a person who may or may not be some kind of a nut job. He may be a perfectly sensible fellow: I just don't know. I think YouTube needs to take a serious look at how their Copyright strike system works and maybe lower the penalties if they are not going to require a whole lot of proof before issuing these.

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