The curious case of the YouTube Bots- updated 2-19-14

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Photo AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by Santos "Grim Santo" Gonzalez

UPDATE: 2-19-14

It could be entirely coincidental but on February 14th the official YouTube Creators blog had a post about bots inflation on YouTube. You can read the whole blog here. The blog certainly isn’t a complete response to our blog nor does it address the many complex layers of the Bots problem but it does recognize two important things.

First it recognizes the importance of likes and comments to the YouTube community and acknowledges that these “interactions both represent and inform how creators connect with their audience.” This was one of the biggest complaints we heard from creators. Not just that their videos were taken down but that they permanently lost the likes, insightful comments and best wishes from their fans. Even when creators reposted their videos they were unable to recover this part of their community.

Second, the blog may suggest that YouTube may focus on auditing view counts as opposed to taking videos down. The blog states that:

As part of our long-standing effort to keep YouTube authentic and full of meaningful interactions, we’ve begun periodically auditing the views a video has received. While in the past we would scan views for spam immediately after they occurred, starting today we will periodically validate the video’s view count, removing fraudulent views as new evidence comes to light. We don’t expect this approach to affect more than a minuscule fraction of videos on YouTube, but we believe it’s crucial to improving the accuracy of view counts and maintaining the trust of our fans and creators.

Although YouTube has been auditing views for some time now, there has been an inconsistent policy of removing some videos while simply auditing views of other videos. If YouTube’s new plan is to audit views instead of taking videos down; we support that plan. Almost every single creator who we talked to wanted a way to remove fraudulent views from their accounts. These creators are part of the YouTube community and believe in the importance of accurate view counts.  However, these creators don’t want to be punished when someone out of their control uses Bots on their account. By reducing view counts instead of taking down videos, the potential use of Bots attacks for censorship purposes greatly decreases, which was one of our biggest concerns.

That said if the recent blog doesn’t match reality we want to hear about it.  After all, it could be a complete coincidence that this blog was released shortly after our own blog. It is still entirely plausible that nothing is actually changing and YouTube intends to continue to ignore problematic Bots related takedowns. That said, if you video was wrongfully taken down for bots inflation AFTER February 14, 2014 we want to hear about it.

Invest in creativity and slay the copyright trolls!

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Dear New Media Rights community, 

We logged our 600th one-to-one assistance case since mid-2010 this week!

When you support New Media Rights, you invest in creativity, and the slaying of copyright trolls.

Tax-deductible donations from folks like you support creative projects, free speech, and job-creating ideas that may die on the vine without our assistance.  Just this afternoon I spent time gathering evidence on a large media company that has abused copyright law to takedown a video that is 100% legal.  We will use that information to restore this content and expose the abuse by this company.

Unfortunately, finding the spark for a great idea isn't the only hurdle creators face.   Sometimes they need legal services to even be able to share their creativity or innovation, and that's where New Media Rights steps in.  We're gearing up to make 2013 the year the independent creator fights back.
 
There's still time to for you help independent creators and protect free speech in 2013. 
 
Here's how you can make an invest in creativity:
 
Please donate, because if everyone we've assisted donated $35 then we could easily make our goal.
 
You can also donate through our website.  Consider becoming a Founder this year by donating $250 or more.  Your name or your company's name will be prominently displayed on our website as a supporter of New Media Rights.

Both ways of donating are tax-deductible, so donate before December 31 to make sure you get the deduction fro 2012!  And spread the word!

I'm grateful to have you as part of our community, and I look forward to slaying more copyright trolls with you in 2013!

Happy Holidays and all the best in the New Year,

Art Neill
Founder | New Media Rights
619-591-8870
art@newmediarights.org

No Rights Reserved

 

A video to our community: Big news about our future!

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We want to share some big news about the future of New Media Rights and make a few simple requests of you.

Click here to watch the announcement
Click here to watch the video!

We recently finalized a partnership with California Western School of Law.  We’ll still be providing the same quality one-to-one legal services and educational guides for internet users and independent creators, but now, as part of the California Western community, we’ll be able to expand what we do more than ever before.

We’re really excited to be part of the California Western community. The broader internet community will benefit from the increased availability of free and reduced fee legal services, and Cal Western Students will get real-world experience in internet and media law.

We are still completely independently funded, so please support us in starting this partnership off on the right foot

Click here to donate now!

Join New Media Rights in signing the Declaration of Internet Freedom to uphold basic rights in the digital world

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New Media RIghts has joined a broad, international coalition of civil society groups calling on elected officials to sign the new Declaration of Internet Freedom and uphold basic rights in the digital world.

We encourage you to read and sign the Declaration, and encourage your elected officials to sign it as well.

 

Net Neutrality Rules: Illogical logic governs what ISPs can block

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Net Neutrality Illogical logic thumbnail

As we recently discussed, the FCC’s new Net Neutrality rules forbid Internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking access to certain materials. These rules make clear that “fixed broadband” ISPs (AKA cable and DSL Internet providers) cannot block access to lawful materials. But, illogically, whether they can block access to unlawful materials is not at all clear.

September Newsletter: Success stories, challenging AT&T, and Blogworld 2011

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Our September newsletter brings news of success stories fighting DMCA abuse, a grant awarded by the California Consumer Protection Foundation, and our continuing efforts to stop the AT&T-Tmobile merger. 

You can also catch us in person at Media Law in the Digital Age in October, a conference coproduced by Harvard Berkman Center's Digital Media Law Project and the Center for Sustainable Journalism at Kennesaw State University, as well as Blogworld 2011 in LA in November.

Copyright Office decision supports cell phone jailbreaking, encourages educators and remixers

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Regardless of how one feels about the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) as a whole, it’s clear that the Copyright Office's recent rulemaking process has appropriately further limited the DMCA's anti-circumvention provision. In February 2009, New Media Rights submitted comments in support of these changes that have now been enacted.

The Office's ruling attempted to clarify the DMCA's prohibition on “circumventing” digital rights management (DRM) and “other technical protection measures” -- a prohibition that, up until now, has given Apple the theoretical right to intimidate iPhone users with “jailbroken” phones with legal action. The Office ruled that this jailbreaking does not constitute violation of the DMCA. Although Apple has never prosecuted any iPhone jailbreaker under the DMCA, Apple did strongly object to any exemption to the anti-circumvention rule. This has led many general interest news sources to label these recent exemptions as a victory specific to iPhone jailbreakers which isn’t true.  The victory is a broader one, for cell phone users, video remix artists, documentarians, and educators, among others.

Let the Wookie Win: A Short History of Star Wars Litigation

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San Diego Comic Con has arrived again! Although New Media Rights provides assistance to creators and internet users nationally, we are firmly rooted in San Diego and supporting local San Diego arts and culture.

Every year, Comic Con brings Storm Troopers fraternizing with Bounty Hunters back to downtown San Diego, and grown women huddled up in Tauntaun sleeping bags back to the Convention Center’s hallways.

To celebrate Star Wars Day and Comic Con returning to San Diego, and to prove learning about the law can be fun (sometimes), we present to you a short history of Star Wars trademark litigation: two cases in which Lucasfilm took people to court over Star Wars and lost.

New Media Rights files comments in FCC Future of Media proceeding

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San Diego, California - On Friday May 7th, 2010 New Media Rights submitted comments in the FCC's Future of Media proceeding. 

New Media Rights' comments to the Commission draw directly on our experience providing one-to-one pro bono legal assistance as well as a free public media studio to creators of all types.  Our work has given us the opportunity to engage with a wide variety of media makers, advocates and citizens.  These comments are also intended to supplement a conversation held between New Media Rights, Free Press, Main Street Project, People's Production House, The Transmission Project and Mountain Area Information Network with the FCC's Steve Waldman on Thursday May 6th, 2010.

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