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.

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 NamHuy.net 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 NamHuy.net own the Open-Source software I was demonstrating? No... The software Netflix-Desktop is housed at http://www.compholio.com/netflix-desktop/. 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 NamHuy.net 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 http://www.compholio.com/netflix-desktop/ . 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 http://www.namhuy.net/1867/how-to-install-netflix-on-ubuntu-linux-mint-and-fedora.html. 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 https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2807691?hl=en.

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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