22, A Million

Bon Iver (aka Justin Vernon) has been one of my favorite artists since I first heard “Blood Bank” on The Current, in what must have been 2009. This morning he (technically, the band, but really, it’s mostly him) released 22, A Million and I’m listening to it for the third time on Spotify as I write this.

22-a-million

This new album has the familiar, hauntingly beautiful feeling of his other works, but it also strikes me as very much, an album, rather than a collection of singles, as most “albums” are. It’s not quite, Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon, but it does work well from start to finish; like you’re going on a journey with him.

Did you see/do you remember, back in 2012, when Bon Iver won Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards? He gave one of the best, most heartfelt acceptance speeches you’ll ever see at an awards program. He’s so non-Hollywood, so unpolished and awkward in look and manner, so Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He is the a great representative for all the talented artists who don’t fit into an easily marketable mold and will never have their moment on such a stage.

Any husker du, you should check out his new album and then go back and listen to his previous work, if you haven’t already.

You don’t know Hitler is back on YouTube!

Good news! My documentary, You don’t know Hitler (2006) has been restored to my YouTube channel and my copyright strike has been removed.

Bad news: I have received no apology or explanation from BR Enter Music for making this false claim against me, or from the German National Library for ignoring my repeated efforts to contact them, or from YouTube for having such an unfair and inadequate system for dealing with copyright claims. Here’s what the email from YouTube said:

youtube-reinstates-documentary

  1. They can’t even congratulate me on winning the battle, instead they have to hit me with another threat; “They may still be removed for other reasons.”
  2. They can’t even bother to make a formula email that addresses a single video; “The following videos…” “They may still…”
  3. When I visit my Video Manager there is no new information about my case. In fact, the old information about who made the false copyright claim against me isn’t even there. Nor is there any mention of what will be done to stop abuses like this in the future.

So, bottomline: I’m very glad that I won the battle but I still feel like we are all losing the war. Impersonal, bureaucratic, senseless decisions are being made everyday by corporations, governments, and organizations that pay little attention to individual situations or facts. And I don’t see how that is going to change.

I do, however, want to thank EVERYONE who helped me fight the good fight on this one! Those who wrote emails to the respective parties and those who published articles online, particularly TorrentFreak! You’re like the, “Whos down in Whoville,” each making noise until a critical mass was reached and the powers that be were forced to hear, if only for a moment.

While I still have your attention I will reiterate these important points:

  1. The Nazis and their successors are not entitled to copyright protection on Nazi Propaganda! Criminal records are in the Public Domain and no copyright claim that start with, “We own the Nazi…” is ever valid!
  2. Fair Use is grossly marginalized and beaten down everyday. Fair Use is not an exception to copyright, copyright is an exception to Fair Use, and it’s long past time that we figure this out.
  3. YouTube needs to create a more rational and fair system for resolving copyright disputes.

If you can do anything to help advance these points, no matter how small, do it!

Thanks for listening,
JKL

UPDATE:

I wrote this last night right after I received YouTube’s email. More than two hours later, after I went to bed, YouTube sent another email:

youtube-br-enter-music-email

I have emailed back, requesting a copy of BR Enter’s response; we’ll see what I get. As you can read above, YouTube says they are giving me the takedown notice they received and their response, but I see no response from YouTube included as of yet.

I should also note that I had to provide all of my contact information to the complaint – full name, address, phone, email – and after all this the only thing I have received in return is a first name, Gunther. At least I know that Gunther may face the termination of his account over this but, why am I not surprised, there is no indication as to what YouTube considers “abuse” or how many people BR Enter/Gunther needs to harass before any consequences kick in? And then there is the repeated threat that my documentary may yet be removed again. The whole thing just gets, “curiouser and curiouser,” as Alice would say.

The Plot Thickens

I’ve been getting some more press for my copyright battle on YouTube, in English and German, and last night the United with Israel site invited me to do a blog post about all this for them. RECAP: BR Enter Music, speaking for the German National Library (DNB), had my documentary, You don’t know Hitler (2006), removed from YouTube because they claimed I was used the Nazi Anthem (the Horst Wessel Song) without permission. Today, however, I woke up to find that the DNB was denying any connection to BR Enter Music on Twitter.

dnb-torrentfreak-tweets

I emailed YouTube to tell them this and to asked that my film be reinstated. I also told them that this proves their system for dealing with copyright claims is inadequate and unfair. I have not heard back from them yet. I also have not heard directly from DNB or BR Enter Music, both of whom I emailed repeatedly when this affair began, and both of whom I tweeted today.

I am confident now that You don’t know Hitler will be returning to YouTube but the underlying issues remain: 1) Why are Nazi copyright claims considered valid, and 2) Why doesn’t YouTube have a more intelligent system for dealing with these questions?

TorrentFreak reports on my YouTube battle

TorrentFreak, “a publication dedicated to bringing the latest news about copyright, privacy, and everything related to filesharing,” (and one of my favorite sites, it should be noted) has written an article about my current struggle with the German National Library and BR Enter Music on YouTube.

torrentfreak-news

I hope this will help draw more attention to the matter and get my documentary, You don’t know Hitler (2006), reinstated to my YouTube channel. I also hope that this will help lead to a more fair and rational system for resolving disputes on YouTube, and more respect for fair use, even if that is wishful thinking.

Please like and share their article on Facebook and Twitter. I also recommend following TF on both Facebook and Twitter, if you have any interest in the changing and challenging legal landscape of the Digital Age. BTW, it happens to be TorrentFreaks’s 10th Anniversary today, so why not congratulate them and wish them well when you visit?

If you know any other news outlets who might be interested in this story, please let them know about it!

Thank you,
JKL

Now, I wait

youtube-takedown-br-enter-music

I received an email today from YouTube stating that they passed on my counter-notification to BR Enter Music and, “will allow them 10 – 14 business days from this date to respond.” When I look at my YouTube account page it still says BR Enter only has 10 days to respond, as I reported last time, but I guess I’m stuck with 14 now.

Wish me luck and feel free to continue to voice your thoughts and opinions on this matter to BR Enter Music (BRentermusic@gmail.com), their client, the German National Library/DBN (info-l@dnb.de and info-f@dnb.de), and YouTube (copyright@youtube.com).

Thank you for your support,
JKL

P.S. Remember that you can still watch You don’t know Hitler (2006) on my vimeo and pivotshare channels.

UPDATE:

After one day, my YouTube account page now tells me that BR Enter’s, “Claimant response” is due “by ‘Oct 6, 2016’,” which would mean that it is back to 10 days and not the 14 days listed in YouTube’s email. Good news, I guess, but still frustrating.