YouTube Allowed Copyright Strike Against Video That Didn’t Even Exist

At the place I work, we pay a third party to host all of the videos that our employees and customers have created. Occasionally, I’ve had people ask “why don’t we just use YouTube to host videos and save money.” This nonsense is why.

Can you receive a copyright strike on YouTube for content that doesn’t even exist?

You can and I would know because it happened to me.

You see, I host a political podcast, DOOMED with Matt Binder, which I also stream live on YouTube. The left-leaning show covers everything from the far right to tech policy, from internet conspiracy theories to the Democratic primary race. Which brings me to Tuesday, Jan. 14, the night of the CNN Democratic primary debate in Iowa.

Earlier in the evening, I’d scheduled a YouTube livestream, as I always do the night of a debate, in order to discuss the event with progressive activist Jordan Uhl after CNN’s broadcast wrapped up. I’d even labeled it as a “post-Democratic debate” show featuring Uhl’s name directly in the scheduled stream title. These post-debate shows consist entirely of webcam feeds of my guest and myself, split-screen style, breaking down the night’s events.

Shortly after setting up the stream, which wasn’t scheduled to start for hours, I received an email from YouTube:

“[Copyright takedown notice] Your video has been taken down from YouTube.”

It gets worse because this wasn’t some automated bot. Warner Bros. had apparently contracted with someone to pre-emptively take down YouTube streams that it thought might be rebroadcasting the Democratic debate.

To contest a copyright strike, YouTube allows users to submit a counter-claim, giving the claimant 10 days to respond. My first claim was actually denied, effectively saying it was unclear whether I had a valid reason to file a counter notification. So, that’s when I reached out to YouTube to let the company know I was going to do a story on this. 

Apparently, bad PR is all it takes to set the wheels of justice in motion.

According to YouTube, it appeared that Warner Bros.’ representative searched for content involving the debates and manually issued the claim based on the title of the scheduled livestream. YouTube then subsequently removed the copyright claim, the strike, and restored livestreaming abilities to my YouTube channel.

This is outrageous behavior on the part of Warner Bros. and YouTube–outrageous behavior that is enabled and encouraged by the equally outrageous Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

ProtonVPN Makes All Its Apps Open Source

ProtonVPN recently announced it was making all its VPN applications open source and simultaneously releasing security audits of its various VPN applications.

We’re happy to be the first VPN provider to open source apps on all platforms (Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS) and undergo an independent security audit. Transparency, ethics, and security are at the core of the Internet we want to build and the reason why we built ProtonVPN in the first place.

. . .

Making all of our applications open source is therefore a natural next step. As former CERN scientists, publication and peer review are a core part of our ethos. We are also publishing the results of independent security audits covering all of our software.

Five Year Study of Women Who Had An Abortion Finds Few Women Regret Decision

A study followed 667 women who had abortions over a five year period, and surveyed them both about their emotions related to having an abortion as well as whether they continued to think that they made the right decision in choosing to have an abortion.

Using five years of longitudinal data, collected one week post-abortion and semi-annually for five years from women who sought abortions at 30 US facilities between 2008 and 2010, we examined women’s emotions and feeling that abortion was the right decision over five years (n=667). We used mixed effects regression models to examine changes in emotions and abortion decision rightness over time by decision difficulty and perceived community abortion stigma.

We found no evidence of emerging negative emotions or abortion decision regret; both positive and negative emotions declined over the first two years and plateaued thereafter, and decision rightness remained high and steady (predicted percent: 97.5% at baseline, 99.0% at five years). At five years postabortion, relief remained the most commonly felt emotion among all women (predicted mean on 0-4 scale: 1.0; 0.6 for sadness and guilt; 0.4 for regret, anger and happiness). Despite converging levels of emotions by decision difficulty and stigma level over time, these two factors remained most important for predicting negative emotions and decision non-rightness years later.

These results add to the scientific evidence that emotions about an abortion are associated with personal and social context, and are not a product of the abortion procedure itself. Findings challenge the rationale for policies regulating access to abortion that are premised on emotional harm claims.

YouTube Video: A 97-Year-Old Man Faces His Own Looming Mortality

This is a truly heartfelt, insightful video featuring Herbert Fingarette, an elderly man contemplating his approaching demise. Midway through the video Fingarette contrasts the positions he took as an academic philosopher with the way he feels as a person approaching death.

He sums up what I imagine most people who have deeply contemplated their own motivations on this topic must come to realize at some level.

I still find that I am, in many ways, a puzzle to myself.

YouTube Metadata Explorer

A GitHub user has created a YT Metadata Explorer project designed to harvest large amounts of metadata from YouTube, including channel names, comments, live chat, and similar metadata.

The author of the tool has also made available a massive 2.1 terabyte CSV file of more than 10 billion comments which was the result of a YouTube crawling effort that ended in November 2019.