Sunday, May 30, 2021

Social media attorney analyzes YouTube tech channel legal mistakes; interesting observations on EU Copyright Directive, and on "secondary" community guidelines strikes


Non-ethanol gas advertised, NC, 2021/5

Ian Corzine, who calls himself “your social media lawyer”, runs down the “5 Worst Tech Video Mistakes” in a 59-minute recent video.

You need to watch the video and hear his examples (and yes there is a beanie cap, but not from whom you expect):

In reverse order, #5 pertains to not following YouTubes detailed disclosure rules on doing product giveaways.  No boosts, no quid pro quo, and you must provide full rules and link to YT community guidelines.  Some of these rules are FTC mandated (and similarly in other countries).

#4 was surprisingly interesting.  Don’t give too many hyperlinks in your video description (I see this done a lot in many political videos).  He says, YT can give you a community guidelines strike if the site you link to violates community guidelines (hate speech).  I haven’t heard of this one before.  In my own small channel, I link to my own blog that invokes my video, but I know my own channel. He recommends going through a Google Docs page for hyperlinks rather than putting in the links directly. An important practical consideration is diverting visitors away from YouTube to conventional news sites. 

#3 is trademark problems.  Normally, in showing a product, you don’t need to remove the trademark symbol because the company wants it shown anyway (unless you use it to mispresent the product).

#2 is not having a disclaimer that you are not a professional (unless you are – he names Louis Rossmann as a professional repair person for Apple, although Mr. Clinton the Cat (and BlackBerry and Oreo) are not included (although they generate a lot of his views).  For what it’s worth, Mr. Clinton is an extremely charismatic and intelligent (and talkative) cat who knows he’s famous. Lawyers (like Corzine) of course can say they are professionals, but even they say for definitive advice you need your own attorney.  Echo!

#1 is copyright, without permission or license, or without fair use.  A caller asked about the European Union Article 17 and filters.  Corzine said that at least in the EU YouTube and other platforms are not allowing amateurs to become content providers at all because of the secondary liability risk.  They are using upload filters everywhere, and at least in the EU at least are probably vetting new content providers.  I suspect that will eventually happen in the US.  That’s were we run full circle, and the concept of “commercial viability” becomes important.  Actually, conventional embeds and hyperlinks may not be as "safe" from copyright claims as they used to be (see Feb 17 2018 link on an NYState case). 

My own favorite tech channel is ThioJoe, which has a gentler touch than many of the others. 

Friday, May 28, 2021

The Blame game on political violence (and Jan. 6) keeps ordinary Americans on a collective hook


Shenandoah, north section

The Survey Center on American Life published a paper Feb. 11, 2021 showing rather shocking and ominous findings on beliefs of Americans about the elections, link here.  

One of the more disturbing findings occurs near the end of the article, where close to 30% of conservatives believe that force could be needed to preserve “American way of life”, to prevent forcedul expropriation of wealth probably.

The far Right also blames Antifa for some of the violence on January 6, which would be self-serving (Washington Post article, Philip Bump).   

Both sides seem willing to make ordinary people sacrifice for power grabs they can't afford to lose. 

All of this is dangerous to someone like me, who does not like the idea of joining tribes, picking sides, or having his own “beans” expropriated by force (if I remember the language of Adamcast’s properly).

I included Adam Crigler’s video today on no-fly-lists and government cancellations as violations of due process.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Nielsen would still disquality me as a legitimate "consumer"; More on YouTube's policy on videos on election "fraud", and more on January 6 investigations

22.ProudBoys.USSC.WDC.6January2021 (50810571356)


Some scattered remarks. 

I got a letter from Nielsen at my condo asking if I would participate in a ratings segment. I was contacted right after I had moved into the condo in October 2017 and we decided I was disqualified because of occupation as a political blogger (in retirement) which would distort the normal choices of shows a more typical consumer would watch.

But of course I do this mostly gratuitously, as I make little money from it;  it is not just a “hobby” but my mode of political participation.

Nevertheless, they sent gift offers and 2 $1 bills in cash.

I’ll note that Ford Fischer has out up a News2Share video of the entrance from “Oath Keepers” from the East Wing of the Capitol, with a notice to YT in the notes but no “countervailing” views or interpretation within the video, May 21, link  Note Ford’s disclaimer in the notes in caps.  So far the video (not monetized) is still up.

This policy of YouTube had been presented here in a Hoeg Law video Dec 9, 2020.

It doesn’t look like I’ve presented Ian Corzine’s account of the policy, from Sept 1 2020.

I’ll also take a moment to share CNN’s (Ken Ballen) op-ed on what the House should do if the Senate blocks the idea of a commission to investigate January 6 publicly.

Picture: Wikipedia embed from Jan 6, Proud Boys, click for attribution. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Interesting case of unauthorized use of an artistic drawing for advertising commerce leads to interesting legal questions, for a lot of businesses down the road


Storm tonight, although here the Sun looks like a UFO 

Leonard French with his Lawful Masses Channel examines a bizarre case that touches copyright and maybe trademark.

Artist Jonas Jodicke had created an image of two lions butting heads, and musician Aaron Carter had used it on some of his merch and on his website, without a license or permission (it’s called “ripping” the content, a term more common with extracting videos without a license for content).

Jodicke sued Carter, and Carter did not respond,  That made possible a two-step process, entered by a clerk of court:  a “default”, and then a “default judgment”.  In this case, the judge finally denied a default judgment as too extreme.

I think the concept has appeared before, for example Janus Films had opposing faces.

The case may be interesting for anyone who wants to use artwork (or a brief musical extract) to help sell their product or service.  There could be issues of copyright, or maybe of “trade dress”.

I’ve noticed that teen entrepreneur Max Reisinger uses what looks like a realistic drawing of an alien city on his website to introduce his clothing business Perspectopia.   The fictitious city has an architecture suggestive of China with spires and towers.  You wonder what a hotel room there would be like, and would it have social media.  Now maybe an extrasolar planet capable of harboring an alien civilization will be awarded that name some day (or maybe an asteroid will)  I have no idea whether he drew this himself, but it would look nice on a t-shirt itself.  But he would probably need to have either drawn it himself or licensed it from an artist who had, to use it commercially.

There are classical records of postromantic works that use art work on their CD covers (and sometimes copied onto YouTube) suggestive of alien planet cities or surfaces  (one of the best is for a recording of Scriabin’s Symphony #1).  Again, the record companies (or possibly YouTube creator, if adding it) would need to have either drawn the alien planet surface or licensed one from an artist (possibly a painting).  You can use Mars robot rover photos from NASA on Mars, those should be public domain. 

I can think of a practical application for me.  I just froze (into official copyright status) my screenplay “Second Epiphany”.  There is a good question as to whether I should try to justify commercial use of my “” name my incorporating the name into the screenplay title (which I did with the official registration). Most of the screenplay takes place on Titan, where there is a settlement comprising a reception-medical station, a tubular stricture called a “core”, and a methane lake and a mysterious tower near it.  Attached to the colony is a tall cylindrical O’Neill structure, rotating, that will become a spaceship for escaping to another solar system (maybe to “Perspectopia”).  The cylinder (indoors, where it rotates for artificial gravity) comprises 5 separate intentional communities, and a “City”, connected by a mysterious “Mobius monorail”, as well as conventional roads.  So you could design a T-shirt showing the entire arrangement on Titan on the front, and the geography of the world inside the cylinder on the back.  Maybe that could help sell my screenplay.  It’s a possible business strategy that I would not have thought of if French had not made this video about the Jodicke two-lions case and if Reisinger had just posted a humorous video Tuesday about his college applications.


Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Pakman says anti-Semitism forces him to self-censor his YouTube channel


Pittsburgh synagogue memorial, Nov 2018

Today, David Pakman discusses his self-censorship out of concern for triggering a barrage of anti-Semetic comments, if he covers the anti-Semitism in the US following the recent unrest in Israel, particularly Gaza, and the Hamas counterrockets against civilians.

He had tweeted his concern Monday  

The most arresting part of his video occurs when he says that domestic violence actual encourages some people (who practice Judaism) to believe they need to move to Israel for safety.  As a practical matter, that doesn’t sound safer.

What we are seeing is thuggish street attacks against individuals perceived to belong to groups or come from countries thought to be responsible for some sin, whether the pandemic or the familiar Israel-Palestine struggle over settlements and rights for Palestinians in territories.

This is creating a false impression that speakers, by talking about something online gratuitously if they have no direct skin in the game, are unnecessarily provoking others, although not really inciting anything.

Monday, May 24, 2021

David Pakman discusses "incitement" and stochastic terror risks in conservative speech; Facebook chided for censorship in India, Israel


Near Uvalde TX, 1985

David Pakman took on the issue of incitement in speech in excerpting a Tucker Carlson Fox News video in which Carlson suggested “real insurrection” after interviewing the Uvalde TX (near San Antonio) about immigration problems (or gang risks with illegals).

Pakman points out the Carlson’s audience is so large that Carlson’s call (rather like Giuliani’s “Trial by Combat”) would have a real statistical chance of inciting an actual violent act (maybe comparable to Comet Ping Pong in 2016) and so amounts to stochastic terrorism.  (That’s a term American Johnson uses a lot on the NonCompete channel.)  So it would be unlawful, not First Amendment protected.

Similar arguments have defended YouTube’s policy on election disinformation (requiring countervailing views within the videos), and even vaccine misinformation, for fear that it would actually endanger public health by reducing the willingness of some people to become vaccinated.

Enter Bret Weinstein and his Dark Horse podcast excerpts, where he discusses past YouTube censorship of information on Ivermectin and on COVIA19 virus origins, when this information is now becoming more credible with experts.  YouTube’s moderators are in no position to judge the likelihood that conventional wisdom on new medical science could change.  

In other news, a group called Article19 is calling Facebook to account for censoring posts critical of the Indian government in its reckless handling of the Covid19 pandemic this spring, allowing it to spiral out of control with oxygen and hospital shortages.

Facebook is also accused of placating Israel for deleting Palestinian civilian posts of the abrogation of their rights in occupied Gaza and West Bank, and probably critical of settlements, Smex story.

We’ll return to Florida’s new social media law regarding censorship soon.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

YouTube issues strike against a school board for a video showing "misinformation" from angry parents at a meeting; It's misinformation policies even on the election are leading to comical situations (look at mine)


KU campus 2006; the dorms have been razed and rebuilt

Now YouTube has “done it again”.  It is removing videos and issuing community guidelines strikes to content creators for overheard comments made by third parties viewed as medical misinformation or election denial, among other things.

The Shawnee Mission Kansas School Board (near Kansas City) has said it is in YT jail because some parents in the audience urged the school board to remove the mask mandate.  The parents offered some comments on whether masks could really be effective against the smallest airborne particles. I've wondered that, and the answer seems to be the intricate netting inside the best masks (N95-based). 

The Board said that the comments from the audience do not reflect its position or views.

Here is Heather Ousley’s Twitter thread on the incident. 

David Rankovic writes for Reclaim the Net.

The YouTube channel itself looks OK now, to me at least.

Hint: I went to KU myself for grad school, 30 miles to the west in Lawrence.  So I know the area fairly well. 

Ford Fischer has encountered a similar problem, with videos of protests removed if a protester claimed the election had been stolen. Now he has to include countervailing views and disclaimers within each video itself if a protester says something forbidden, as if the public wouldn’t understand what protests are all about.

Back on Nov. 5, I made several videos outdoors of the RNC if speakers claiming “stop the steal” and posted them (channel is "/jboushka").  There are no countervailing views inside the videos. YouTube has left them alone, but they were posted before their policy went into effect the day the electoral vote was sealed, Dec. 8.  Some got views and likes and I wonder if visitors really understood I was just filming what I saw people saying, not necessarily promoting it myself.  (Yes, Joe "Robinette" Biden is the president!)

from my own YT channel around Nov. 5, right after election

We come around a story circle:  who has a right to call themselves a journalist becomes a good question.  Even if reporting on a school board meeting now.  In the meantime, big social media platforms have become paranoid about how naive its users are in understand the difference between promotion and reporting. Or maybe its the algorithms. 

Saturday, May 22, 2021

AP fires new journalist for expressing her views on Middle East in social media, even indirectly

Stanford campus 2018/9

The AP reports (story by David Bauder) that it fired a new employee Emily Wilder, who started May 3, for violating its social media policy    

There were speculations that conservative sources complained about her pro-Palestinian activism when she was at Stanford, but AP said she was fired for her activity after she started work.

AP (apparently) prohibits its journalists from expressing their own political opinions publicly, even when labeled as their own.

But there would be questions as to whether people who had participated in organized activism on anything can become journalists (maybe even if working for themselves if tech platforms turn on this issue, which I fear they could).

That raises tangential ethical questions for truly independent journalists who work for themselves.  For example, YouTube has required that on some sensitive topics (the 2020 election) journalists included counterveiling views with the video itself of interviews or protests.  There are hidden concerns about independent or citizen journalists who fund their own work, as this may have a disruptive effect on normal activism and organizing. 

It also reminds me of my own “conflict of interest” question back in the 1990s when I was planning to publish a book on gays in the military but worked for a life insurance company selling specifically to military officers.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Facebook's prodding people into more conventional activism and away from just speech (and the criticisms I got recently)


Facebook plea

 Yesterday Facebook invited me to add a Covid19 Vaccine Frame to my profile picture.  I actually tried to do it and it didn’t work, and I admit that I could spend more time figuring it out.

Me at vaccine site March 18

First for my own facts:  I got the Pfizer vaccine shots on Feb 27 and March 18 (the second one two days early because of a website snafu)    I am following the “intellectual dark web” on this one and I believe that the vaccines are not 100% without long term future risk for younger adults but I do buy the CDC/WHO claim that the public health risk even for young people is greater from actually getting infected.  There is a bit of a moral quandary, though, on individual choice and common good. Public health is like that.

Also, when I got the second shot, I as filmed and actual shot was shown on WJLA7 (of me) that day.  But WJLA didn’t save the video, and my own video (taken by someone else) doesn’t show the shot going in.

Still, I have a problem with the idea that my own “social network of friends” will recruit people otherwise unconvinced to get vaccinated.  As a general principle, I generally do not allow other parties to use me to spread their message with my own supposed social status. 

The New Yok Times actually has a primer by Arnaud Gugneur and Karen Tamerius on how to talk to friends to get them to get over their hesitation on vaccination.  I actually “failed” that one because I generally give people facts as I know them, I don’t try to manipulate them first.  We’re getting into the whole Paul Rosenfels polarity thing.  I am not “masculine” enough (in his terminology) to want to manipulate people and act like a huckster.

Likewise, as I have indicated here before, I usually don’t run non-profits’ fundraisers on Facebook except under very specific circumstances for causes I have some specific connection to, never for “identarianism”.

I’m getting more flames or complaints from parties about my commenting on certain issues where I don’t have my own “skin in the game”, as you can see from the Books blog Monday May 17.  They feel that people who comment “gratuitously” on issues that don’t affect them as much as it affects others (whose sites don’t pay for themselves but who also don’t want to do conventional activism as parts of marginalized groups) are making it harder on marginalized communities by commenting “superficially” without getting more involved. This idea might also apply when people who belong neither to Judaism or Islam (or at least Palestinians) opine gratuitously on what has been going on in Israel recently.

This may comport with the whole situation that invited foreign interference starting in the 2016 election, when foreign interests were able to convince naïve Internet users to support extremist ideas (as with the Vice video above).

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Music copyright cases seem trickier than they really are (the "This Is America" case)

Kennedy Center 11/2019

Leonard French (Lawful Masses) discusses the lawsuit by “Kidd Wes” aka “Childish Gambino” (“Made in America”) against Donald Glover (“This Is America”) claiming copyright infringement in popular hip-hop songs.

French explains that in music, the basic composite elements are not copyrightable, but the expression of these elements is. 

In classical music, “variations” on other composers’ works are common, and collaborative work is becoming more common among modern musicians earning a living from commissions.

But the potential money at stake in some areas of popular music is huge, which keeps encouraging poorly conceived lawsuits that cost money to litigate but are not based on case law.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

FTC Knocks at manufacturers over interfering with "right to repair"


Train in Strasburg PA, 2007

Louis Rossmann talks about FTC findings on the “right to repair”, as discussed in the Washington Examiner by Christopher Hutton.

The FTC pdf link is here and is called “Nixing the Fix:A Report to Congress on Repair Restrictions”.   The first link in the article seems unrelated.

I was unaware that the new Microsoft Surface laptop is almost impossible to repair.  I haven’t really had any problems (yet) with iPhone batteries, but it would be bad for this to happen when you are on the road.

You can also watch Rossmann’s April 30 2021 interview with Steven Lehto. 

Yes, Rossmann’s fame is overshadowed by that of Mr. Clinton the Cat, who sits in his lap and talks a lot to the world, as “quality content”.  There is another video by Rossmann discussing this issue on the "Information Technology Job Market" blog on March 11, 2021.

 Update: 5/20  Rossmann has another brief video saying that Facebook accuses him of "abusive content" in giving away "secrets" about ASUS laptops (I have one from 2016) that a user can easily get for themselves. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Steven Crowder is suing YouTube for arbitrary enforcement of its TOS for political purposes

Artwork at SFO airport 2018 

Steven Crowder is suing YouTube (into oblivion?) over its multiple strikes and de-platforming strikes.  He explains on his own site.  His explanation of how YouTube seems its rules arbitrarily does sound convincing. Crowder's feud with Carlos Maza in 2019 seemed to precipitate the "Voxadpocalypse" that led to demonetizations and deplatformings of independent journalists and conservative to libertarian (anti-Left) channels. 

Tim Pool analyzes the way YT interprets its own policies.  Algorithms don’t understand the difference between presentation as news or as debate, and presentation as recruitment or advocacy.  The video today explains how the censorship algorithms interfere with presenting conditionally helpful material like teaching gun safety.

Pool feels that when a company can monopolize the commons, it has become a “public service” and must honor public discourse.

Pool also looks at the belief “there is no truth but power” invading the Left. 

Update: May 19:  John Stossel does a 50-minute interview of Crowder here

Monday, May 17, 2021

Jimmy Dore's interview of Ford Fischer over Intercept article hits at the controversy over journalists/bloggers/video-creators "motives" in a polarized climate filled with grievances

George Floyd police brutality protests - Portland Oregon - July 22 - tedder - 02


Let’s continue the discussion of the Intercept article.  Jimmy Dore interviews Ford Fishcher.

Dore asks if articles like this puts targets on the back of independent journalists (18 min).

Again, the problem is distinguishing between simply reporting something so that others know that is going on, and “reporting it” in order to prevent it.

If you do this for a living (as Ford does, as he licenses footage for major media outlets) it’s easier to understand it is simply reporting.  If you do it as a hobby on a smaller scale (as I do), it comes across that you are drawing attention to undesirable ideas or causes to promote them. Or it may come across that you are trying to disrupt organizing by groups for (often intersectional causes) by competing with them on your own.

Dore notes that publications like the Intercept supposedly don’t do their own original reporting, they just consolidate and interpret the work of others.  Since I focus mainly on blogging and don’t have a setup for sophisticated original video, my work may come across that way to him.  But I started with my style of reporting and news consolidation a long time ago, back in the late 90s, before video channels existed.

In 2022, I will be narrowing my focus quite a bit, but I’ve talked about that before.

Wikipedia embed of George Floyd protests in Portland in July 2020, click for attribution 

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Forced tribalism, and hostility to individual "high agency"


Kitty Hawk

Timcast IRL recently interviewed Congressional candidate Robby Starbuck on the far Left’s radicalization of people in schools, even kids, trying to divide people into categories according to “feelings:.

Critical race theory is only one piece of it.

Robby saves, this happened in China, Cuba, Venezuela.  What’s different about the US is having the Second Amendment.

Interesting particularly in conflation of “perception” with “reality”, which Tyler Mowery recently talked about in his Writers Mind series.  My own perception is that we are seeing anti-individualism, hostility to personal high agency as creating more inequity, and forced tribalism.  

Friday, May 14, 2021

YouTube content-id system has a catch22 when it comes to Fair Use claims which keeps videos from being fairly monetized in time


Fort Lauderdale, 2017

Leonard French has a video today about how ContentID claims on YouTube result in takedowns before YouTube considers possible FairUse claims, which normally require human intervention to be considered properly.

There was a 1993 short video “Groundhog Day for a Black Man”, which is one act of a time-loop video.  This suggests the possibility of a repeating time loop (about a black man and police) which Netflix a year later offered its time-loop “Two Distant Strangers”  with several takes on the situation.

Leonard French had offered portions of both in a video about a dispute between the two companies, but got a content claim through YouTube from Netflix, which was eventually dismissed by Netflix but not in time for French to use the video in a timely manner.  He notes that in the Ninth Circuit, where Netflix is located, Netflix is required to consider Fair Use before submitting a content-id (or DMCA) takedown claim.

The original 1993 film (posted to YT in 2016)  is reviewed today on the Movie Reviews blog (other discussion on Netflix film).

The problem would be even worse in the EU under the Copyright Directive Article 17 which would practically necessitate Content-id type filters.

Now, whenever I post a video myself to YT, the last stop in processing is a copyright review, which for my clips never takes more than a few seconds (as long as I have no music or excerpted video)/

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Long piece in Intercept blames indie journalists for painting BLM and leftist protests as violent, when journalists are usually concerned about harm to "bystanders"

60th and Sheridan Kenosha WI


The Intercept has a long piece by Robert Mackey, with video by him and Travis Mannon, which is rather leading: “Meet the Riot Squad: Right-wing reports whose viral videos are used to smear BLM”.  

The article goes on to discuss video coverage of Portland, Kenosha, and Louisville (Breonna Taylor), among other protest sites.  The article discusses the work of independent journalists like Brendan Gutenschwager and Ford Fischer, among others.

It is certainly true that, in total, most of the BLM protests have been peaceful.  But it is the confrontational behavior among some activists that will indeed harm coincidental bystanders (drivers passing through, or home or condo owners, or businesses).  This behavior is bound to catch the attention of most journalists because it does harm other individuals.

Filming extreme right-wing activism is different.  It is usually more extreme and focuses on very specific events (as Charlottesville and the Capitol) and may be capable of deploying large weapons.  It is less likely that an independent journalist will see it happen in the act (although that did happen in Charlottesville).  But independent journalists had little opportunity to be in the Capitol legally just to film it.

By political nature, left-wing activism tends to behave more coercively with individuals it seems as bystanders but unintentionally complicit and naïve about their exposure.  Left-wing activism in particular depends on recruiting people who will feel loyalty and solidarity.

Picture: Kenosha, site of a fatality, Wikipedia embed, click for attribution 

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Corzine does up-to-date tutorial on YouTube and copyright


Elizabeth City, NC, 2021

Ian Corzine does a tutorial on YouTube copyright practices, May 8.

The risks are multiple.  Sometimes background music is copyrighted and just results in revenue being claimed by a rights holder.  This happens with popular music whether corporate owners use the copyrights as cash cows.

But if you put copyrighted content together from different places, especially without transformative use or commentary, and build up a library (for views) you could suddenly face successive copyright strikes after some long period of no complaints, if a rights holder goes after people using certain content.  People often do this (without adding their own original commentary or content) in order to get enough subscribers to monetize, and get “commercial viability.”

With three strikes, you’re out.  YouTube terminates your channel.  This sort of problem seems to happen a lot with gay soft core videos, which seem to disappear, and then someone else rips the content into their own stream and it comes back, sometimes with fuzzy video and material removed.

You could get sued by the rights holder, and with the CASE Act (where it appears that the Copyright Claims Office appears to intend to be ready Dec 27, 2021), you could find many small claims filed against you, I guess.

At 1:19:00 in the saved livestream, Corzine answers an important question about game sequences and copyright.  It’s a bit different. 

 You will notice, when you upload a video, that at the end of processing the video YouTube does a copyright filter check.  It says it will take 4 minutes but mine only take a few seconds because recently I have not used any music or other people's images. I will try uploading one of my own compositions soon to see what happens. 

Monday, May 10, 2021

Unscrambling the legal copyright questions in the litigation against "h3h3" (for ripping footage of a fight)


Elizabeth City NC waterfront, 2021, recent trip

Leonard French, on his Lawful Masses YouTube channel, provides a new video on his covering of the h3h3 Lawsuit.  (Cute observation: "h3" usually means providing an escape square for the [white] King in chess.)

The case involves the defendant’s ripping some video from a boxing fight, short in length, from an illegal copy of a video but did not involve storage of the video.  So it sounds like another possible test of “the server rule”.

There are other procedural connections as to the combinations of the suits’ defendants as if the defendants had colluded, which they did not.  There are questions as to why there was no DMCA takedown first.

A good question might be whether under the CASE Act the Copyright Claims office would take a case like this in the future (after Dec 27, 2021) and how it would view the law.

Dexerto explains the facts about the litigation in a simple article by Alex Tsiaoussidis.

There is an explanation on Techcruch of the original litigation against Ethan and Hila Klein.

Saturday, May 08, 2021

Florida's anti-deplatforming law (regarding candidates) said to be probably unconstitutional


Fort Lauderdale, 2017

Kurt Opsahl of Electronic Frontier Foundation comes down on Florida for passing a law preventing a social media company from “knowingly deplatforming” a political candidate (SB7202).

The article goes back to a 1974 case, Miami Herald v. Tornillo, where a law requiring a paper to publish a candidate’s response to something, was unconstitutional as compelled speech from the government.

So, then, do all these big telecom providers, infrastructure companies, content distribution, and finally social media companies, amount to unelected government in fashioning what the public sees?  Unfortunately so, and the problem still seems to be monopolistic behavior and lack of competition.

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Copyright infringement involving photographs: the story of Liebowitz (and now Getty)


lower Manhattan from Freedom Tower 2015 

There is a particular copyright attorney who represents photographers that users should be aware of.

That attorney is Richard Liebowitz, whose operation is described on Jan 4 2021 in this long article for Bedford and Bowery (author Maria Abreu). His business is called a “troll” by many other attorneys.

Much of the litigation is motivated by how the Internet has changed the photography business, where many professional photographers have lost jobs.

Leonard French discusses a case against Getty Images where Getty defended itself, but did not get have its attorneys fees covered.  Getty uses a “chain of licenses” approach.  French has earlier posts about Liebowitz which are not favorable.

French notes that Facebook copyright policy allowed users to use any publicly posted image but that has changed. 

Again, it will be important to know how the Copyright Claims office will handle operations of "trolls" which could impose enormous legal expenses on amateur speech if not handled carefully.  The CC Office says it should begin operations by Dec. 27, 2021. 

I'll get to Facebook's "oversight board" and the continuation of the ban of Trump later.

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Youtube suspends accounts with no explanation to public and limited details to account holders for "medical misinformation" even in satire


Playground closed for COVID

Matt Christiansen relates how he got banned from YouTube for a week, with no explanation, and other than “medical misinformation”.  Christiansen believes that came from presenting a “joke” claiming to be a cure for COVID19.  The only problem is that Donald Trump had actually, at some risk to confusing the most gullible persons in the public, talked about a similar “cure”.  In any case, Christiansen talked about his video as a chemistry class lecture (maybe AP).

That is a problem, that when a channel disappears users have no way to know except from other social media sites, which sometimes ban them.

On vaccines, of course, the tech companies worry that even well-intended discussions of the “sci-fi”  theoretical risks of vaccines by amateurs could have the collective effect of fewer people getting vaccinated and of prolonging or even re-birthing the pandemic (with variants).  Public health is one area where it is hard to get away from common good.

But, seriously, health young adults who, perhaps, had the virus once with no problems, might wonder if they are being asked to take an even theoretical risk for others.  This is a microcosm of the problem we’ve had in the past with military conscription. (Remember, reinfection by variants is possible and vaccines so far seem to help prevent that.)

Monday, May 03, 2021

Facebook hammers down on controversial theory about coronavirus vaccines, which seems to be conclusively answered



There has been a lot of controversy over a claim by a veterinarian Geert Vanden Boosche, that mass vaccinations will drive the virus to escape into an even more virulent form that would wipe out much of humanity. Snopes has a summary The facile analogy is antibiotic resistance for bacteria.

Boosche has a theory that vaccines should work with the innate immune system and
“natural antibodies” which are not tied to specific antigens.  But without vaccines at all, we would be left with a combination or rapid tests, surveillance, and survival of the fittest. Boosche says that the current vaccines may undermine innate immunity eventually.

When Bret Weinstein (Darkhorse Podcast Clips) interviewed him on Facebook (YT copy), the platform provided its own arbitration of truth, as Bret explains in the embedded video. But the real controversy is in the earlier Facebook one. 

But Zdoggmd has a much more thorough answer on his own site (a transcript of his video).

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Calls for reparations for systemic racism become more personal in tone


Tenderloin, San Francisco, 2018

There is a Twitter thread “Justice for Black communities needs to include reparations: Here’s how America can pay up.”

It eventually gives a link in Business Insider, “How white and non-black people can pay reparations”/

First, some rather obvious concerns.  Asians and Latinos have their own (somewhat distinct) discrimination issues, so the “non-black” seems odd.  Maybe “non people of color”??

Secondly, the idea of ordering people how to behave according to the race they belong to seems abhorrent today, but the practice happens throughout world history.

Idaho, recently, passed a law more or less banning indoctrination with “critical race theory” in its public schools, and maintained students should not be taught they must be held personally responsible for what ancestors in their “groups” did, however reprehensive that behavior was in the past.  That’s an interesting proposition in a state influenced by LDS, where the idea of ancestry is so important religiously and psychologically.

But then we see Business Insider (Tiffany Lashai Curtis) making paying reparations “personal”, as in this article.

My own practice is usually to frequent the businesses that offer what I want to consume.  Since I am a gay CIS male, yes, gay bars and discos have gotten preference in the past, but not for identarian reasons,  In Washington DC, there is a popular restaurant on U-street called Ben’s Chili Bowl.  Obama used to eat there.  I believe it is black owned.  But I frequented it simply because I liked the place and it was convenient, not to make a reparative statement.

I can’t get into charitable contributions or what I support here, but they are generally related to the activities of my own life.  Most of them will benefit POC more or less in proportion to population naturally. 

There is something else, to.  I wouldn’t want a special benefit merely for belonging to a group.  There simply are too many individual exceptions in both directions.

But I must add that I don’t have the personal engagement with many people socially that would encourage some of the ideas in the article.

I don’t know what is meant by “free or sliding scale offerings” to black people (of what?) .  Also, stopping gentrification by not moving into black neighborhoods (if white).  But that’s a two-way street.  In larger cities, POC can be given the opportunity to benefit from improved housing in place or after moving.