So an unexpected thing happened: after three weeks the UFO Theater Youtube channel is back online– sort of. This was based on Youtube vindicating us in a copyright dispute instigated by UFO hoax channel Secureteam 10. However. UFO Theater Episodes 1 and 2 remain offline until a similar dispute with hoax channel Looknowtv can be resolved.
Each copyright complaint is considered a “strike” against your Youtube account; three strikes and your channel is taken down. You can respond to the complaints, but the strikes remain until the disputes are resolved.
When Secureteam 10 made their initial complaint, we responded immediately and waited for a resolution. However, two days later Looknowtv complained about two videos, UFO Theater Episodes 1 and 2, in which we exposed a few of their UFO video clips as fakes. This added up to three strikes, because none had yet been resolved. But here’s the rub: when the channel is taken down, so is the account. We could not even browse Youtube as UFO Theater, and even worse, the links for providing a counter-notification (response to the complaint) are only provided within the channel. There was no email informing us “hey, we took your channel down, here’s why, and here’s what you can do about it.” Just… nothing. Had we not responded to the Secureteam 10 complaint immediately, there would have been no chance to get the channel back online. Luckily that dispute was found in our favor, and we now have the opportunity to respond to the Looknowtv complaints.
This is a glaring problem with Youtube’s dispute system, and needs to be changed. It creates a catch-22 in which you need to respond to a complaint to get your channel back up, but first get your channel back up to respond to the complaint. I’ve read stories from other Youtube creators on reddit who have had massive channels disappear overnight for this and other reasons, with no recourse because the channel was nuked with no notice or explanation.
We can only hope that once the other disputes are resolved UFO Theater will be bulletproof, but we’re not counting on it. Everything will continue to be mirrored on Vimeo from now on. We will remain a problem for hoaxers for the forseeable future.