DMCA Abuse on YouTube, Punk Bands Targeted

 

In recent months there has been a slew of DMCA takedowns on YouTube affecting numerous punk bands.

Apparently SST Records, owned by Greg Ginn, has been utilizing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to claim copyright infringement on a vast number of videos that utilize brief clips of music from Black Flag, including skateboard videos made by fans. Well, gosh, that’s what copyright holders can do, though it does seem sort of mean.

SST has also claimed multiple copyright takedowns on bands that have nothing to do with SST, including X, Fear, Sin 34, Lower Class Brats, Puzzled Panthers, and the Adolescents. Also affected, videos made by fans under Fair Use, utilizing snippets of  songs.

YouTube user Creamy GoodnessX writes that SST:

have since admitted that they never even viewed the allegedly offending videos before issuing the strikes! Rather, they used automated software in their campaign, in many cases resulting in false DMCA takedowns of videos that were legitimately using copyrighted material under the fair use doctrine. Several users permanently lost their channels (i.e., termination), and others permanently lost special privileges like being able to upload videos longer than 15 minutes.

YouTube provides copyright holders with a Content ID program. YouTube account holders who use the software must submit title lists and audio files, as well as proof of copyright. The program can be used to:

  • Identify user-uploaded videos comprised entirely OR partially of their content, and
  • Choose, in advance, what they want to happen when those videos are found. Make money from them. Get stats on them. Or block them from YouTube altogether.>
  • Reduce Infringement. Educate your fans about your copyright preferences and prevent your content from being distributed on YouTube without your permission.
  • Fully Automated. Once you’re set up, Content ID will identify, claim, and apply policies to YouTube videos for you.

The DMCA takedown of “Democracy” by the Adolescents on Frontier Records, which also handles their publishing via Bug Music, indicated that a company called Love Cat Music had also claimed DMCA rights, along with SST. I wrote to Love Cat, which has only one punk band, Reagan Youth, in its catalog. Owner Randy Frisch replied:

i do not know why LoveCat Music is mentioned here.   Could be a mistake.

we have sent takedown notices with respect to other songs in our
catalog that we do in fact control.

But not this one

Is it possible that YouTube’s Content ID program is faulty and can’t tell punk songs apart? If so, major fail.

So I wrote to SST Record’s owner Greg Ginn and asked him about YouTube. At first he said

I don’t know much about YouTube.

Then I asked about fan videos being posted on YouTube. His response:

I then asked if he enforced copyright. He replied:

At times.

Then:

Greg did not write back, and blocked me on Facebook, making it impossible to contact him further. Ginn has been a brutal enforcer of SST’s copyrights, though oddly he showed disdain for U2′s when SST released Negativland’s single U2 (Full disclosure, I worked for a branch of SST Records in the mid-1980s. In 1991 I wrote an analysis of the U2/Negativland controversy for U2′s magazine Propaganda; when that piece was repurposed as a press release, I was paid. I know many former SST Records artists, as well as people affiliated with U2).

When a video is falsely DMCA’ed on YouTube, it is the responsibility of the real copyright owner to prove they are the rightful copyright holder. It can take up to 10 days for the DMCAed video to be restored.  Alerted to the Adolescents’ video takedown, Frontier Records’ owner and founder Lisa Fancher worked with YouTube, sending in the correct forms to restore the video.  Often bands do not know their videos have been taken down, or why, as in the case of Lower Class Brats:

How could they get our videos taken down off of YouTube and why would they do something like this? I am completely baffled…
I look forward to your reply, thanks….

Since it can take over a week to restore a video, DMCA-ing  a video is an effective means of harassment or of silencing speech, as seen during Anonymous’ Project Chanology when videos shot at protests and/or using Fair Use clips of Scientology videos, or the organization’s logos, were DMCA-ed.

If YouTube’s content identifying software is at fault for false DMCAs, then those using it should definitely alert YouTube about the glitches since it looks pretty creepy and bad to take down videos for which you do not own the copyrights. However, if  people are purposefully DMCAing  videos out of spite, and have a long record of false claims, perhaps YouTube should treat them with the same vigorous enforcement they show to copyright abusers.

YouTube’s PR department did not respond to my questions about the accuracy of its Content ID software, however they did say:

Unfortunately, in some cases, individuals abuse our notification process by submitting fraudulent claims.  When we become aware of this, we take action by reinstating the videos and/or accounts affected, and taking appropriate action against the individual responsible.

The PR person followed up to my questions about Content ID being possibly faulty with this:

You can read more about both of these things are our Copyright Center. Thanks!

Which is where I started in the first place.

#OpBART 3: SFPD Says “It Will Be Different” Anonymous Sez “Expect Us”

San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr promises regarding #OpBART 3 on Monday August 29:

It will be different.

Hopefully he means “different,” as the San Francisco  police will not hit people with batons as seen in this video below. Or maybe that San Francisco police officers will not order people off the sidewalks then arrest them for being on the streets, something reported repeatedly on the #OpBART Twitter feed after the Auguest 22nd protest.

Or maybe “different” in that the SFPD will pay more attention to their arrest lists: The name of a 17-year old–date of birth 9-15-1993, arrested at the #OpBART2 protest, then booked and held in San Francisco County Jail under section 601 (missing person/runaway)–was released to the media, against SFPD media guidelines, followed by another email from the SFPD asking reporters to delete the previous list and use the updated one attached, whihc omitted the juvenile.

Oh wait, this is how San Francisco Police Chief Suhr means “different”:

I don’t want this to be construed as delivering a threat, but enough is enough. They made their point, and they are now losing in the court of public opinion. We don’t feel that we took appropriate action at the appropriate pace (on Monday). The next response will be quicker.

Anonymous responded to Chief Suhr’s words thusly:

Now you have our attention.  We do not appreciate threats nor do we take well to them, especially from a chief of police who has a very interesting background himself. May we remind you of 2003?  Allegedly conspiring to obstruct the investigation into the infamous Fajitagate affair, in which three off-duty cops allegedly beat up two men for their Mexican takeout.  Or maybe we should ask Chief Heather Fong why she had to reprimanded you in 2009.

Oh and in 2005, Chief Fong demoted Suhr to the backwater, literally–making him chief of security for SF’s water supply.

The police department replied to Anonymous, issuing a written statement:

As Chief Suhr has stated this is NOT a threat. We as a department will continue to facilitate first amendment rights to protest. Our goal is to provide a safe environment for everyone. While the demonstrators have the right to protest, we will continue to facilitate it to an extent where it does not infringe the rights of others. We as a law enforcement agency had a duty to protect the constitutional rights of all.

BART has stated that

expressive activities

are not permitted on the paid area of BART stations, meaning any area beyond the turnstiles, and expressive activity in the station requires a permit. Is standing on a platform in a tee shirt reading

I <3 Free Speech. Please Don’t Shoot Me!

a violation of BART’s rules and regulations? Is standing in the station area with duct tape over your mouth? Do these actions require a permit on BART property?

Police ienforced BART rules, making arrests of people chanting and passing out fliers on the platforms during the first two #OpBART protests; none of the arrestees were Anonymous, who confined their protests to outside the station, (though one Anon was  photographed tweeting behind a post on the BART Civic Center platform).

It’s important to remember that there are two groups which are uniting to protest BART (along with random unaffiliated citizens). No Justice No BART is demonstrating against the transportation agency’s police department and policies; BART police officers have shot two men in two years. No Justice No BART has successfully disrupted train service in the past during their demonstrations, most recently on July 11 in response to the shooting of Charles Hill, BART service was suspended when protesters climbed on trains.

Anonymous–which for the most part rallies for freedom of information and communication–was drawn into the fray when BART shut off cellphone service on BART platforms and in trains on August 11 to prevent a planned protest by No Justice No BART which BART Chief of police Rainey said was discovered on a

blog webpage.

In the past two and a half weeks, Anons have swiftly educated themselves on the background of BART and the shooting deaths of Oscar Grant and Charles Hill, much they did in 2008 when the removal of a Tom Cruise video on YouTube led to the development of  Anonymous’ Project Chanology, a year long series of real life  protests–the first time Anonymous moved off the interwebz –that embarrassed Scientology, and aided a number of high ranking members to leave what ex-members describe as an abusive cult.

During the #OpBART protests, it has been members of No Justice No BART who have been on the train platforms chanting and shouting, holding signs, while Anonymous and others have marched up top.

How will Anonymous make #OpBART3 different for the SFPD and the BART police? Civil disobedience tactics like chains, padlocks and “blackbear” lockboxes seem a bit old school for Anonymous who have shown their displeasure for BART spokesperson Linton Johnson’s high-handed tactics by scouring the internet for information about the  former anchorman and then providing a treasure trove of  photos featuring Linton Johnson frolicking topless in the Land Down Under. And wearing really stupid tee shirts. All from Linton Johnson’s publicly available blogs (since shuttered).  Anonymous also redecorated MyBART.org; and someone claiming Anonymity easily hacked into both the MyBART.org and the BART police databases, then released names and other information from both sites.

Anonymous’ effort have proven them to be a force with which to be reckoned: The international uproar over the suspension of cellphone service, made hugely public by the MyBART.org hack and the ensuing protests, has prompted an FCC investigation and forced BART to develop a policy limiting cellphone shutoffs. The majority of BART’s Board of Directors expressed emotions ranging from dismay and outrage over the suspension of cellphone service.

Anonymous has proven themselves to be rapidly mutable, highly adaptable organism with fluid intelligence and Trickster‘s sense of humor which can, to some at times, appear cruel or insensitive. At the core, Anonymous is doing it for the lulz. And like Trickster, Anonymous does not forgive, nor forget. Expect them. And expect them to do it differently, too.

Oh and the SFPD has opened its doors for new recruits. Preferably ones fluent in meme-speak and lolcats.

photo: OpBARTsf

 

What Wikileaks Shows Us–Or May–About the Internets

Many, many years ago, 76 million years ago to be exact, in a galaxy beyond the Marcabian vortexes, the internets (both of them) were in a before-spore state–the not the thought of spores, not even a logos of spores; rather the frisson of an idea which would begin to fruit with the Domain Name Scams of the 90s and the DdoS battles, the ongoing Sockpuppet Wars and of course the Freewebs Cruise which launched a gajillion hits from 2008 on.

The tools tried true by  CULT (Crazy Ultra Loony Tunes) and ANON (nice oxy- and hydro-morons in it for teh lulz; how can a nothing be a something?) laid a template for the current Wikileaks Web War, wherein a website is shut down by malicious, rapid fire hits, the nowadays equivalent of hitting AOL’s IM key repeatedly to knock someone off line.

Digby had this to say:

Wikileaks exposed the graft and corruption of a particular group of Icelandic bankers and they are being called to account for it by their people. It exposed the secretive Church of Scientology [LaFiga: The first wave of stuff from CoS was originally a doxdump on alt.rel.scientology and Xenu.net and mirrored elsewhere circa 1994 before there was Wikileaks; the volcanic space opera OT3 appeared online, and props need to go to 2005's "Trapped in the Closet" episode of South Park before the Wikileaks super sexy secondary big dump which thumbed its nose at the cult and stoked the fires of Chanology, itself a bunch of Anonymous] It exposed the ongoing war between China and Google (which, by the way, Joe Lieberman sees as an excellent template for the US to emulate.) And, if they don’t succeed in threatening the entire internet, we are likely to soon see a trove of communications exposing corruption in the US banking system.

What baffles me is that when a bunch of self-mythologized, basement dwelling, distance-learning, snap-crackle-pop culture munchers–though stereotypes begin somewhere–allegedly acting as individuals or with a queen-less hivemind–are seemingly at cause for allegedly Being Bad by publishing Top Sekret relidjush doktrines, and then deciding ot shut down sites, it’s

Oh noes cyber-tewwowism

and there’s prosecution. But when like, it’s Other Somebodies publishing Top Sekret dokumints and the governments don’t like them, it’s okay that there’s an organized DdoS against those Other Somebodies? Now something even uglier has happened:

Today Wikileaks encountered a new form of censorship that should make all of us shudder. Rather than being shutdown at the web hosting level, EveryDNS shutdown the wikleaks.org domain name.

Maybe it’s not “organized”, but just a tribillion of self-mythologizing individuals all butthurt at Wikileaks for as many reasons as they have Cheeto stains, all sleepy hollowed and riding the refresh button. And some I bet wish they’d thought of it, cuz the click thrus must >9000. Think of the stats!

And where exactly do some of these people work who do all this neato stuff?  For whom? And what do they do in their spare time?

And wow, how many mega-cloud servers are there? Can a site get effectively disappeared because Lots of Corps & Govts don’t like it? Can it be renamed and mirrored and hidden? It’s happened before–giant games of whackamole, but that was before white hats got hired as experts, some who might have costumes and coats of many colors.

In any case, It’s from the Internets, expect It. They are never gonna give you up.

My Friend, An Hero, The Captain, Sean Carasov is Dead

The Captain, Final Boss of the Internets, RIP November 17, 1961 to October 30, 2010.

I loved Sean Carasov, aka The Captain, from the day he walked into Atlantic Records to A&R the urban department. Bold, brash, with a heart bigger than his ability to conjugate the verb fuck. He introduced me to Vida, Fred Eric’s definitive Los Feliz restaurant–now a Chabad center, my how the 90s have become the next century!–and there he christened me La Lisa, a reference the grand courtesans of the Belle Epoch, not only because he saw that side of me, but also he said, because I wasn’t a diva.

La Lisa, Norman, The Capt, Atlantic Records, Xmas96

He had worked for the Beastie Boys and Jive Records before Atlantic and after for Artist Direct, later becoming a major contributor to 4Chan and Encyclopaedia Dramatica, the most irreverent, offensive NSFW ridiculous sites on the Internet. He also worked in the porn industry as a producer. One time he called and suggested I drop by a porn set in the Valley, a perfect 1970s times capsule, where along with seeing a lot safe sex from a safe distance,  I met the band Orgy and a cute pair of dogues de Bourgone, a type of mastiff. Thankfully, neither the band nor the animals were involved in the filming; they were just hanging out.

We lost touch until I got involved with Chanology, the Anonymous protests against Scientology’s repressive actions. Mudkips, one of his feral cats was poisoned the day of the first major protest, and Sean was falsely arrested on trumped up charges leveled by a cult-zombie. I tracked him down and we re-established our friendship. When he went to court to deal with the BS–a Scientology flack claimed Sean had threatened him–I house sat to insure there were no breaks-in or monkey business. I was of course photographed by the Lee Baca supported criminal cult goons, but wtf, that’s part of The Game. The charges against Sean were dropped.

The changes in the record business had rendered The Captain’s skills and talents redundant. His stated goal was to move to Thailand and work with refugees, but he had to deal with the IRS and other financial situations. The Captain was passionate about the underdog, the oppressed, the pariahs. He fed feral cats, adored Evie “his” feral and adored his own kitties Gotti and Shorty. Gotti died a while back, and Shorty’s death earlier this month exacerbated Sean’s depression.

The Captain would often drop by my house on his bike with bottles of Mexican Coca-Cola for me during a very bleak period of my life. He was in constant physical pain from injuries, but always kept working out, always managed to make me laugh. On Friday the 29th  he popped over to hang  out for a bit as we got ready for a party Saturday and tried to work out logistics of him bringing by some out of town guests. He had plans for Halloween weekend and sounded up beat about some DJ/dance projects he was starting, though mentioned being upset about having to pick up Shorty’s ashes. I offered to drive him, but he said he’d deal with it.

Today someone sent me a message on Facebook mentioning the “tragedy” and asking if I could help feed the feral cats in Sean’s yard….Whaaaa? That’s how I found out. Friends drove me the couple blocks to his house since I was pretty much a sobbing wreck. His neighbors and I wept together as they told about the details. I gathered some dirt from the spot where he had taken his last breath before shooting himself with his  .45 ,and then we drove to the vet and got Shorty’s ashes which are now on my living room table. The dirt is in a jar on my altar.

The Captain was such a brave, generous, hard ass fucker, tender, bold, fearless. But the pain he felt was too great to be rectified.  I love him; I always will. The Captain is why I will now have on my arm.

The family has asked that donations be made in Sean’s name to FIXNATION.ORG, a non-profit 501C3 (that means it’s tax deductible!) which does trap/neuter/release of feral felines.

And now a word from Encyclopaedia Dramatica:

4chan Boss Rorschach was a Britfag Internets superhero who had devoted his otherwise empty life to trolling the fuck out of the ‘church’ of $cientology and giving them teh rAIDS.

So far he did a pretty good job since OSA‘s quest to find out his powerword, movements, routine and ‘crimes‘ for a dox drop at Party Van central, has yielded little to nothing other than the basics. I mean, what are you gonna ‘get’ on an unhinged, unemployed, divorced, oldfag /b/tard who blew all his hookers & blow money in the late ’90s?

On October 30th, 2010, Rorschach took his own life. He was survived by his Farmville account and his .45.

Posted on /b/ after being outed. Rorschach, when reached for comment said: “Co$bitches don’t know bout my /b/tards.

Rorschach OTI

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