Saturday, April 23, 2016

An Angry Apology

I really feel that I should apologise for yesterday's post.  I was being petulant over something utterly trivial.  My only excuse is that I was feeling frustrated over other issues and, instead of addressing those issues, I took my frustrations out on easier targets.  So what if people haven't been getting back to me this week?  They've got lives just like me and it is unreasonable of me to expect them to drop everything just because I've got a week off from my job.  In my defence, part of my irritation was fueled by the events of recent weeks, when I had people contacting me out of the blue, expecting me to come up with all sorts of answers for them, making vague promises to meet up, then vanishing into silence again - especially when I then try to contact them.  I wouldn't mind,  but the individuals in question generally have even fewer commitments and responsibilities than me, not even working full-time, as I do.  Moreover, as I did think to point out yesterday, my friend who was on the receiving end of the giant ant picture (don't ask) was always exempted from my generalised whining: to be honest, I never take it for granted I'll get timely responses from her: she really does have more important things to deal with than me, but remains a much valued friend.

As for the things which were really frustrating me - one was simply lack of sleep.  After a late night, I'd been forced to get up early on Friday morning to give access to some guys from the electricity company for them to do some rewiring of the mains supply.  Consequently, I had to stand around for an hour with a cold wind blowing in through the open front door.  Not a great start to the day.  But that was a relatively minor irritation compared to what was to come.  I'd been involved in another of those bogus copyright disputes on You Tube, where some 'rights management' company tries to claim a piece of public domain music is actually something by one of their 'artists' and tries to monetise your video. In the past, I've won every one of these disputes.  This time, however, despite citing not only the real composer (who I actually know quite well) but also the public domain sites where the track is available, adding that the video in question was over five years old and the music even older, so if anyone was plagiarising anyone else, it was their 'artist', my counter claim was rejected.  Whilst You Tube/Google allegedly allow you to appeal this, they also make all sorts of threats against your account if you have the audacity to do this and fail.  Moreover, you can only follow this path if you 'verify' your account which, bizarrely, requires you giving them your phone number.  Good to see Google taking fraudulent copyright claims so seriously that they use them primarily as attempt to harvest further personal data from their customers.  I have a Gmail account which is used as a login for my You Tube account, why do they require further 'verification' of who I am?

Anyway, as I'm unwilling to give out my private phone number to a tax-evading multi-national for no good reason and bearing in mind that the fact that I can prove the track I used is in the public domain wasn't sufficient in the first instance, I really don't see the point in pursuing the issue.  Instead, I've made the video in question private, so that nobody but me can access it, (thereby rendering their attempts to monetise it futile - it's only ever been viewed twelve times in five years as it is), and I'm now in the process of uploading all my videos to Vimeo.  Once I've completed that exercise, I'll delete them all from You Tube and close my account.  I use You Tube to host my home movies, not to be bullied and harassed (with the collusion of You Tube itself ) by copyright sharks making fraudulent claims.  Google clearly doesn't give a shit that this is happening, so as far as I'm concerned the can go fuck themselves.  I know that they will give even less of a shit that I'm abandoning their service, but if enough people follow my example, then maybe they'll realise how disgraceful it is that they expose their customers to these fraudsters.  And for that, I'm certainly not apologising.



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