Sunday, November 10, 2019

YouTube followup: most observers think it is standard contractual language, after News2share tweet today pops the question


There’s more to say about the flak over YouTube’s proposed Terms of Service changes.

I received their email in my Gmail box at 4:37 AM EST.  But five days before, I see I had received another email with a new instructional video (actually three of them) from YouTube.  The first one is about community standards, the second is about copyright, the third is about advertising partners.


Ford Fischer sent out a rather alarming tweet at 10:30 AM EST this morning, which provoked a long discussion about what the “commercialviability” clause means.  The link for the Tweet thread is here.
  
The best comment from one user seemed to be that it meant simply that if YouTube becomes unprofitable, you can’t sue them if they take your content down. Generally, there is less alarm now that something “bad” will happen Dec. 10 than there was this morning. I’ve been in workplace situations where rumors would fly whenever the executives flew other people in for a meeting.  (CABCO in Dallas in the early 1980s provided a good example.)  I’ve seen this kind of corporatese before.  I’ve seen it in my book publishing contracts.

Nevertheless, quite a few people watched the video on my “doaskdotell” page today, “A Dangerous Thought Experiment”. 
  
Ford Fischer had lost monetization in June when YouTube suddenly announced major policy changes on “hate speech” (so to speak) without much explanation, at the same time as the Maza-Crowder controversy.  ABC News, as a mainstream media company and part of Disney, was good enough to run a rather detailed story about Ford’s situation the next day, and acknowledged (in a link) that the Maza mess looked bad.  (Maza used to make Strikethrough videos for Vox and hasn’t made any since, as far as I can tell. They were snazzy, animated and witty. I wish he would make more of them. One of his best was an interview of David Hogg. Despite his name and ancestry, Maza is “European” (the “nice” word, Spain is in Europe) and born and raised in the US and fully “majority” otherwise as a gay male. Eduardo Sanchez-Ubanell is likewise.  The Left is throwing around intersectional labels recklessly and misrepresenting what is going on.  In the meantime, ABC seems to be trying to deny that mainstream media is trying to drive YouTube to close down indie creators (a theory David Pakman has also stated). 

Update:  Nov. 11

Julia Alexander has explained this "viability" language in an article today in "The Verge", "You Tube says it has 'no obligation' to host anyone's video", and explains that the "commercial" language had been there in 2018 without being noticed. The change is that it may remove content at its "sole discretion" if it doesn't want to host it. But the literal language in the document seems to tie such an event to a "service change".  The article acknowledges that some creators were concerned that they could be removed if they didn't generate revenue (that has to do with the "pays for itself" idea I have been discussing recently myself, since early 2018 -- reminder video).  But this interpretation is not correct, at least according to most legal sources or to Vox. 

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