November 19, 2015: Today’s New York Times tech policy column featured an article on YouTube’s new Fair Use Initiative which seeks to defend creators from unwarranted copyright infringement complaints. All the attention has been rather strange, but a good kind of strange.
It all started back in September 2014 (see Copyright Theater) when I received a copyright notice initiated by Secureteam 10. Then immediately after two more were registered by LookNowTV, who I had embarrassed in both the first two episodes. Until these were resolved my channel was taken offline, and UFO Theater temporarily moved to Vimeo. While on Vimeo I posted Speedebunking: Mister UFO/Mister Enigma, which led to this exchange with the hoaxer himself, Robert Simmons of La Crosse, Wisconsin. He had the video temporarily removed from Vimeo. When UFO Theater was up and running on YouTube again he tried the same nuisance tactic there in November 2014. Neither of us had any idea what he would set in motion.
It wasn’t until June of 2015 that I was contacted by YouTube (I’m sure their inaction on Simmons’ complaint was driving him mad), explaining that they had received the notice from Mister Enigma but “selected one of your videos as a candidate for a new effort that protects some of the very best examples of ‘fair use‘ from copyright takedown requests.” I assumed this meant I would be one of perhaps a few dozen creators chosen. I was absolutely shocked when I discovered I was one of only four in the entirety of YouTube. I imagine the odds are something akin to winning the lottery. I’ve probably not received a tenth of the copyright grief and harassment endured by the other three producers, but there I am, the only one quoted in the article, and a big ol’ flattering screen capture. Maybe I’m the only one Ms. Kang could reach for the story.
After seeing UFO hoaxes go viral week after week when they’re promoted by British tabloids, particularly the Express, it’s nice to get some notice for UFO Theater’s perspective. More episodes coming soon.Follow us