YouTube has banned the James Randi Educational Foundation!?!?

This is insane: YouTube has become an overzealous nanny, protecting kooks from offense, now banning the eminently respectable JREF.

There's only one way to respond to this, in addition to writing letters of protest: I'm going to have to stop using YouTube at all. I'll be posting no more YouTube videos until the JREF is fully reinstated, and even then I'll be looking for alternatives (XTube? RedTube? No, I know…GodTube! (seriously, don't go to any of those, they're awful)). YouTube is ubiquitous, but it's a common technology, there are lots of sites that can implement it, and there's no need to tie ourselves to the one host that seems to be run by nervous nellies with brain rot.

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Our fellow educators might find TeacherTube to be a viable alternative for posting and viewing materials for students.

By Patrick Q. (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

Well, I'm still waiting. Wot wuz the reason?
stephanurus

By Stephanurus (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

It should be pointed out to youtube's bankers that youtube has lost their critical thinking skills.

There's Google video, I haven't used it except to watch a couple of videos so don't know much about it, but that may be an option.

WTF??? But they have soft porn. How bad can JRF be? Spoon bending exposure is no worse than mammalian protruberance exposure.

Whereas, youtube is fucking retarded.

@Dinah:

YouTube is owned by Google

By Gruesome Rob (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

LiveLeak

By John Morales (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

The reason for this particular event is irrelevant, given YouTube's history of bowing to the demands of creationists and other kooks. Might as well give up and concede it to them -- it's on the road to being another godtube.

I don't know if there's anything that could mobilize skeptics like effing with Randi. The JREF site has a short and all-but-info-less message about it, and says they're "researching" it.

Really, how much does the company Google support freedom? Of course, only so much as it helps their business - but does this really help their business?

Insanity. (Or, better, uttah, uttah madness.)

What is the reason they've given?

The statement at JREF is:

Problem with YouTube
Written by Jeff Wagg
Monday, 30 March 2009 12:19 [timezone not known -blf]

Our YouTube account has been suspended, which means all of the Randi Speaks and other JREF videos are temporarily unavailable. We're researching the problem, and will be back online as soon as possible. Thanks very much for your patience.

I'm sorry to report that GodTube has changed its name to Tangle.

With "GodTube" you knew exactly the sort of crazy you were getting. But "Tangle"? What the hell does that even mean? While it still has the crazy videos, for all you'd know from the name it's just some generic Web 2.0ish thing now.

Hmm I wonder if arch nemesis Uri Geller is behind it...

I deny that "retweet" is a word.

By Sven DiMilo (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

My jaw dropped when I read this.

What? Astrology and psychics foundations threatened to stop advertising on Youtube if this did not happen? Or what?

"I'll be looking for alternatives (XTube? RedTube? No, I know…GodTube! (seriously, don't go to any of those, they're awful))."
Perhaps you can host them on your own website, perhaps even as a .swf flash file if it is a short video.

"I'll be looking for alternatives (XTube? RedTube? No, I know…GodTube! (seriously, don't go to any of those, they're awful))."
Perhaps you can host them on your own website, perhaps even as a .swf flash file if it is a short video.

Sounds like the crazy kook asses who kept banning our Minnesota Atheists Wikipedia page. Oh, and the person that kept denying it? A fundie, of course... Jack asses.

I don't really see any good way to contact them from the linked page. Aside from writing a snail-mail letter or phoning them, there doesn't seem any method of getting through.

Anyone find a better, more direct link to a complaint form?

Seems to me that the correct way to address this is to find out why the account was suspended -- whether in error or not, and for what reason. Google could have goofed, or they could have done something stupid, or (unlikely I'd think) there could be a legit reason.

And of course use not just YouTube but other video sources for any videom you want seen -- no one says you have to put all your eggs in the one company's basket. Another very good reason to do this is to make it more possible that your works can be seen in places that ban YouTube completely; the more places your videos can be seen the more likely one will be available.

Hulu doesn't work outside the Excited States, currently, so that solution is somewhat limited.

I realize that JREF getting suspended is not exactly shocking, given YouTube's tendency to kowtow to the Moral Majority brigade, but is there any kind of backstory available? Y'know, apart from "YouTube is managed by a bunch of twats."

JREF gets suspended but not Pat Condell?

What on earth could JREF have done?

I can watch JREF videos in U.K. Has YouTube seen sense?

By Pauline in UK (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

Utter madness. Complaint sent to YouTube and I uploaded the video to my YouTube channel.

Another alternative that no-one seems to have mentioned yet is dailymotion.com

The video quality isn't great but the service is entirely free.

@#29

Educated guess based on previous similar events with more or less popular YouTube accounts that promote reason and critical thinking: JREF got flag-botted or falsely accused of violating the DMCA.

I don't know how thorough and/or automated YouTube's review process is. Since Pat Condell exclusively posts unique material and doesn't use any music it's easy to see that DMCA claims just plainly can't apply. Perhaps that's why. Or he just hasn't been a target of vote- and flag-bots yet.

By Wildflower (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

YouTube seems to have a habit of banning first, asking questions later. I would place bets that some stupid psychic/dowser got their panties in a wad and filed a false copyright claim.

I weep for you my American brothers. This is ridiculous, what the hell could you have against a man such as Randi?

As has obviously been stated previously, YouTube is slowly becoming GodTube. If my 2 cents are worth anything, Vimeo is the greater solution, available everywhere and pretty friendly player with most browsers (Including IE6 used in most work places (hint hint)).

I'm still with YouTube, but only because I haven't had any real problems with it, plus I've been on it since 2005. I also use MySpace and LiveVideo as alternatives, though.

Some bozo whose woo was being slammed by the JREF probably sent in a false copyright claim. It's how all the other get away with it. Youtube has a "suspend first, ask questions later" policy that let's people get away with that. It's amazing what some people will do to cover their own ass.

Well, it looks like my little problem came along just in time...

Last weekend I did a hardware upgrade from my ancient Pentium III white-box to a dual-core Compaq with Mandriva Linux 2009, using the 64-bit version of the OS. Now Flash doesn't want to work, which is apparently a common but solvable problem with Flash and 64-bit operating systems. While I chase down the solution, I'm inadvertently boycotting Youtube - none of their videos want to work.

By lordshipmayhem (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

We do need to listen to the reason given, if any, though.

The reason is well known, as it has occurred to several other "atheist" accounts: the fundie have votebots that flag sites for violations, and over some threshold YouTube automatically suspends the account. Hitting JREF may actually be a good thing, if it gets YouTube -- which has ignored complaints in the past -- to change their broken policy.

By nothing's sacred (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

Someone said that it was banned for using copyrighted music in its videos.

Not sure if that is true.

Godtube/tangle refused to host my purity video (how I overcame watermelon lust), so I had to settle for the more secular (or are they) youtube. now, I guess I'll move it and the others somewhere else.

Methinks a flagging campaign against fundies is in order.

"What on earth could JREF have done?"

probably nothing. i bet all it is is too many wooists complaining. or another ridiculous "he quoted me without permission" BS

Don't know alot of details but do dislike the censorship. I may have my complaints about the JR"E"F, but they have a right to speak too.

Someone said that it was banned for using copyrighted music in its videos.

(emphasis added.)

Oh for feck's sake! A citation or reference of linky-clicky-thingy, please.

While I chase down the solution

I got Flash working in FireFox on my AMDX2 Debian Lenny system by downloading the plugin directly from Adobe; other attempted solutions failed.

By nothing's sacred (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

i deleted my account a while ago anyway. vimeo is much nicer, with better quality video and nicer looking video-players.

The proper thing to do would be getting this on Slashdot, Digg and whatever else we can thing of.

Sure the bad publicity should be worth something.

Please don't use Hulu! Only Americans can watch videos on that site. As someone has already mentioned, DailyMotion is a great alternative.

Systems Online

Boycott sequence activated

Comic's guy at #38:
Hey, what's wrong with xtube?

Too many promotional previews, not enough full length, HQ videos?

Someone said that it was banned for using copyrighted music in its videos.

Not sure if that is true.

Wow, what a paragon of skepticism.

By nothing's sacred (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

Hulu content can only be streamed to users in the USA, so it's not a good solution.

By Heraclides (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

What is YouTube's email address? They keep it well hidden to avoid being found.
stephanurus

By stephanurus (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

maybe we need secular tube? Surely there is enough talent in the skeptical community to put it into operation.

By ocminimoto (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

Methinks a flagging campaign against fundies is in order.

Yeah. And let's all start believing in the literal truth of the bible, as long as we're emulating them.

By nothing's sacred (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

There's a site called Break.com. I don't use it much. The search feature is pretty good. I use it when I want to see their "Moments of Unnecessary Censorship" clips. It's from an ABC affiliate that "bleeps and blurs everything if it needs it or not". It's amazing at how with a few properly placed bleeps you can even make Sesame Street into a dirty-sounding program.

One thing nobody seems to understand is that if this is a DMCA takedown request, the content provider HAS to take it down before review. It's part of how the DMCA works.... not limited to just Google/YouTube. If you're angry, you should be angry about the ridiculous law that is the DMCA. On the flip side, false requests can be prosecuted by law, but sadly so far, this hasn't been tested in court.

This crap drives me completely insane. Why do people have to pull this garbage? In a free society, people are allowed to watch what they want as well as NOT watch whatever they want. I hate most things on television because I find most of it drivel and some of it offensive but I choose to watch or do something different.

If someone finds something offensive or not to their taste, they should use their own discretion and turn it off!

Youtube is becoming nothing but a bunch of pussies that will show videos filled half naked women and ones with idiots but shy away from anything with substance because it's "safe" and good for advertising sales to the lowest common denominator. We are moving towards societal idiocracy day by day.

By IceFarmer (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

Hulu content can only be streamed to users in the USA

...or to those outside the US who use Hotspot Shield.

Just sayin'...

What is YouTube's email address? They keep it well hidden to avoid being found.

There are other avenues:

You can contact YouTube at the address below.
YouTube, LLC
901 Cherry Ave.
San Bruno, CA 94066
USA
Phone: +1 650-253-0000
Fax: +1 650-253-0001

By nothing's sacred (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

Step 1: Suspend
Step 2: Check facts.......

Great, Who doesn't love the DMCA!!!!

Regards,
Rhysz

I don't know what kind of stupid game they're playing. They are claiming that they cannot censor videos that display criticism towards certain governments (take China/Tibet for example); in the next breath they remove videos that express atheist views?

It's not even sensible from a business perspective and it's not sensible from a legal perspective. That leaves me with the thought that some manager at SuckTube must be the Devil incarnate.

By mirshafie (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

To Joe, I don't know whether or not the DMCA has been "tested" in court, but the youtube user thunderf00t has certainly tested false DMCA reports out of court with the giant a**hat himself venomfangx. Hopefully if this is a false DMCA, the JREF can get whoever filed it to face the consequences. There is a possibility that it could be a real DMCA, i guess..., but I have more trust than that in the JREF.

Youtube is becoming nothing but a bunch of pussies

Sometimes I feel like SCisyphus.

I just went to youtube.come and searched for James Randi and got 11,200 hits.

By Slaughter (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

This is just typical, from the shennanigans pulled by Hovind's crew to kowtowing to Uri Geller YouTube has been ruled by knee-jerk suspension policy without actually investigating first.

Most likely someone's letter-writing campaign crossed a suspend-first-ask-questions-later-to-cover-our-ass threshold.

I was just watching videos on their channel last night. This is so wrong. What kind of sad little person would want this?

By zaardvark (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

I believe the channel is back on. I can view the videos now. However I'd still lodge a complaint on youtube demanding a public explanation of this, I'd suggest other users to do the same.

By Richard Kong (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

One thing nobody seems to understand is that if this is a DMCA takedown request, the content provider HAS to take it down before review.

Nice overgeneralized swipe. There's quite a bit that you don't seem to understand, like that this is an account suspension, not a takedown, what it takes to file a DMCA takedown request, and what the history is at YouTube in regard to "anti-Christian" sites. This is far more likely to be a fundie flagging operation than a DMCA takedown.

By nothing's sacred (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

Well, I'm no fan of censorship, but I'm not exactly a good friend of the JREF either-- I endured no small amount of BS while trying to sign up at their site a couple years back, and found the majority of people I conversed with on their site to be rude, overly self-assured, and less enthusiastic about sharing than with making fun of others.

Nonetheless, YouTube is being stupid. I'm all aboard with Vimeo-- it's a much more useful site, and the community is top-notch.

@ 77
It's probably a collective effort, that's why we need to make a stand. I feel very strongly about this, we need to help our friends, complacency is our enemy.

Regards,
Rhysz

Sometimes I feel like SCisyphus.

Rock & roll, baby.

By Sven DiMilo (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

Either its back or its US only. I just did a search for "james randi educational foundation" on YouTube from the UK and got over 100 returns..

By parkylondon (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

I'm not exactly a good friend of the JREF

Irrelevant much?

By nothing's sacred (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

There has been a rash of votebotting of smaller atheist/anti-theist video posters, flooding them with 1-star ratings. I would not doubt that such scum would engage in flagbotting as well.

Anyone been associated with the Under The Bridge folks for long enough to know how successful they've been in tracking down botters?

I just did a search for "james randi educational foundation" on YouTube from the UK and got over 100 returns..

So do I, but I can't imagine why you think this is relevant.

By nothing's sacred (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

Why can't skeptics, atheists and real scientists write Youtube flagbots too? Is it because we don't have the time 'cause we're still employed?

Youtube is the frontline of the current internet wars. I'm really surprised that the godbots have nothing left except for flagging campaigns. They have all of the resources and a larger constituency.

By bunnycatch3r (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

I just went to youtube.come and searched for James Randi and got 11,200 hits.

And a search for god gets 938,000 hits, but that doesn't mean that god has an active account there. Sheesh.

By nothing's sacred (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

A flagging campaign against fundies is a bad idea. Better to just flag anything and everything until Google realise that the policy doesn't work even a bit.

@80

The forum sign up on the JREF site is just as streamlined as most forums are, and the commenters are generally a friendly bunch, the only ones who seem to complain are those who post unsubstantiated claims and then get up in arms when asked to back them up.

in your case how did you find them rude (link the thread if need be?

The problem with hulu and the likes is that they are overzealous about the countries they are being available to.

Youtube... They are being more and more crazy.

By Michelle R (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

Why can't skeptics, atheists and real scientists write Youtube flagbots too? Is it because we don't have the time 'cause we're still employed?

Why do you confuse "have no desire to" with "can't"?

By nothing's sacred (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

Fora.tv is awesome. It's the YouTube for Science Geeks like us.

Here is mine under the 350 char limit:

My understanding is that youtube has suspended the account of user:JREF as some videos were flagged inappropriate by users who do not like the ideas presented in the videos. If the youtube team would take time to actually view the videos, they would see that the videos are not inappropriate and that the JREF account should be reactivated.

The account has been and still is suspended. While you can still view videos ABOUT Randi and the JREF, you can't view videos posted BY Randi anf the JREF

Fora.tv is awesome. It's the YouTube for Science Geeks like us.

My experience with it isn't that extensive, but I like fora.tv, too.

My experience with it isn't that extensive, but I like fora.tv, too.

You can actually watch videos? I didn't think it possible!

By MAJeff, OM (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

Do any of us even know what is going on? Let us no go off half cocked here.

By Aenthropi (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

Joe @#63 is correct. Under the terms of the DMCA Google *has no choice* but to take down videos when someone claims a copyright violation, as venomfangx has been known to wrongly do in the past.

The only way for JREF, or anyone else, to avoid this is to host *all* materials on a server outside the jurisdiction of US law, or any country with a similar law.

You could also petition your Senators and Congresscritters to rewrite the DMCA, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

By LightningRose (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

It would be funny if someone invented a bot to flag all videos on you tube. I imagine youtube would very quickly realize their policy is stupid.

I think a couple of people here are confused. Utube has not banned all videos showing Jame Randi, of these there are plenty, as you can quickly see. What they have done is suspended the JREF account, meaning you cannot see any videos posted by JREF. This explains the thousands of hits still available.

You can actually watch videos? I didn't think it possible!

In my office, sure.* :) And YouTube and a few other types here at home, but I usually pay the price. (I still think Emmet did some geeky fix to the antique laptop - does seem to be working way better.)

*Except at the moment, funnily enough, fora.tv videos.

Joe @#63 is correct.

Let's beat that strawman to death.

Under the terms of the DMCA Google *has no choice* but to take down videos when someone claims a copyright violation

We don't know that this is a DMCA case, which requires

the copyright owner must provide notice to the service provider with the following information:

* The name, address, and electronic signature of the complaining party [512(c)(3)(A)(i)]
* The infringing materials and their Internet location [512(c)(3)(A)(ii-iii)], or if the service provider is an "information location tool" such as a search engine, the reference or link to the infringing materials [512(d)(3)].
* Sufficient information to identify the copyrighted works [512(c)(3)(A)(iv)].
* A statement by the owner that it has a good faith belief that there is no legal basis for the use of the materials complained of [512(c)(3)(A)(v)].
* A statement of the accuracy of the notice and, under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on the behalf of the owner [512(c)(3)(A)(vi)].

By nothing's sacred (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

There's Google video, I haven't used it except to watch a couple of videos so don't know much about it, but that may be an option

Well youtube is owned by google, and last I heard they were actually going to ditch google video in the near future, but i could be mistaken...

Running flash on the newer windows systems can be a problem; my laptop (bought last year) steadfastly refuses to run several players. I went through all the suggested alternatives, but at the bottom of the troubleshooting list is a suggestion that you go into the windows code and alter it. Umm - no, how about invalidating your guarantee at a single stroke. Curiously my laptop also denies that the youtube site exists - I get a site not found message, which varios 'experts' have been unable to explain.

I just think my computer's atheist.

Someone needs to set up scitube, a woo free zone with regular erasure of inane comments.

BTW, talking of copyright issues, what happened over Expelled's hijacked Harvard 'inside the cell' clip?

By Tassie Devil (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

Ah, thank you for the correction on the YouTube videos - I'm not much of a YouTube-er.

I tried Hotspot Shield, it reduced my broadband speed from 1.9Mbps to 0.3Mbps. :-(

By Pauline in UK (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

I second XTube. That way Phil Plait can do his videos in the style of softcore porn.

NB: I only use Phil Plait because I haven't seen any videos that PZ has done. Obviously, if he were to do a video, we'd all want him to do it as explicitly--if not more so--that Phil. I think that's a compliment.

You've missed a good opportunity for making it really go viral.

Both in the video as well as the blog post:
1) You fail to explain what JREF is and what its importance is;
2) You fail to explain how it got banned from YouTube and what YouTube's reasoning is;
3) You fail to explain why YouTube's wrong.

With good reasoning, I'll gladly stumble, tweet and digg this and talk about it on Facebook. Without it, I won't spread it. I need to be informed.

Feel free to send me an email when there's content available including all of the 3 aforementioned points.

I know why James Randi was suspended from youtube!!!

The official reason is this:

Youtube tried to claim the one million dollar prize because the videos produced by Chris Crocker were GAYER than the natural laws permit. Only a supernatural force could explain the utter queerness, the unreal level of gayness, attainable in his videos.

Please don't everybody run into a kneejerk boycott. Think first.

The nutcase who made the complaint in question wants rational voices off Youtube. They'd love to see us all leave.

Stick around and make a noise until Youtube stops acting like this. Make sure JREF's channel is restored and Youtube (which is owned by Google) stops pulling this kind of crap.

1) You fail to explain what JREF is and what its importance is;

Oh, is Google down?

@113:

Are you serious? Yes, I'm sure PZ will be happy to comply with your demands. Get the hell over yourself.

In the meantime, let me address your "aforementioned points": we don't know why Youtube banned the JREF, and http://lmgtfy.com/?q=jref

Godtube/tangle refused to host my purity video (how I overcame watermelon lust), so I had to settle for the more secular (or are they) youtube. now, I guess I'll move it and the others somewhere else.

Folks, we have been visited by Jesus' General. Why aren't we celebrating in the streets?

This is likely the result of a fake DMCA claim or some other legal injunction. In either case, a more productive thing to do than boycott YouTube is to bug your congress critters to fix/repeal the DMCA and fix the severely busted copyright and IP laws that stifle innovation and creativity in the US.

a more productive thing to do than boycott YouTube is to bug your congress critters to fix/repeal the DMCA and fix the severely busted copyright and IP laws that stifle innovation and creativity in the US.

Anyone have as much cash as Disney, Warner, or NewsCorp?

I hate to say it, but DMCA ain't going anywhere until we can match the cash used by the media conglomerates to buy Congresscritters. Even SCOTUS has basically approved of perpetual copyright.

By MAJeff, OM (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

@Itzac

YouTube's knee-jerk responses have long been an issue beyond the DMCA's flagging campaigns have been carried out and videos have been removed in the past with little or no investigation by Google

"Why can't skeptics, atheists and real scientists write Youtube flagbots too? Is it because we don't have the time 'cause we're still employed?" I can't speak for all skeptics but I think part of the reason is, Because we have morals!

By Voldemort13 (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

Message sent. I can't believe the Youtube management would do something this supportive of everything JREF stands against. Surely a website like that Youtube would be run by people who valued critical thought.

Shockingtube. Nothing can beat that.

I'll just add youtube.com to my ad blocker until the JREF's account is re-established.

Don't forget to send a complaint!

By Ted Onion (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

That's not all - I also hear that AtheistMedia is suffering similar problems.

Anyone want to start a campaign to raise money so the JREF can host its own videos (and perhaps even videos from other reputable organizations)? I think it would be a great idea because then you don't have to sift through so much excrementa to find good videos.

By MadScientist (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

That's not all - I also hear that AtheistMedia is suffering similar problems.

And RationalResponse and cruciefiction

By nothing's sacred (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?hl=en-uk&answer=944…

Unfortunately it appears it is impossible to complain to YouTube. The only thing I have found is a statement saying they do not care for others' opinion on the issue of suspended accounts, which is odd considering they are so ban-ready on JREF, which is in turn odd considering the enormous number of copyrighted and sexually explicit videos they fail to take down.

Youtube tried to claim the one million dollar prize because the videos produced by Chris Crocker were GAYER than the natural laws permit. Only a supernatural force could explain the utter queerness, the unreal level of gayness, attainable in his videos.

Oh good. Pharyngula needed more homophobia.

Why in the world would you want to do something as stupid as counter-flagging? You want to become the same level of asshole who has to ban everything they don't like? It doesn't make any sense. You don't fight censorship with censorship. There's no point in killing the value they attacked with their intolerant bullshit.

It's such a common problem though. Even the most rabid fundie would be pretty tolerable if they could take no for an answer. But its not enough for just them to believe, everyone else has to play along to. Such childish crap.

Outrageous. I won't have anything to do with YouTube until he's reinstated.

By CalGeorge (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

Tulse @67

Cool! I hadn't heard of Hotspot Shield. Thanks for the link.

To #132: The reason to counter-flag is not to censor them; but to get the currently badly flawed flagging policy removed.

TheCid@135:

It's time to fight back. Let's start flagging the hell out of the fundies for everything possible.

Start with every single one of this guy's videos

Or we could wait to hear back from the JREF on the official response from Google about it:

Statement from randi.org

Phil sez they're in contact with YT. Relax and have some dip.

Also, don't you think (trying to) start a flagging campaign to censor "the other side" is... censorship?

By Discombobulated (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

This is ridiculous. In one week I will be deleting my YouTube account. Between now and then I'm going to try to convince as many of my fellow YouTubers to do the same.

YT is great for watching videos of apes eating poo and guys getting hit in the nuts, but for those of us who have something to say, it's becoming an oppressive environment. Fuck YouTube. We can do better.

I still can't figure out how to complain to youtube re Randi, but yeah, counterflagging is idiotic, counterproductive, wrong.

By Marc Abian (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

youtube's ban on JREF doesn't completely extend to all things Randi - I just viewed Randi's criticism of Peter Popoff from 2 years ago, and also a 1 year old clip of Randi and a dowser.

These sorts of comments are rather strong evidence for PZ's recent comment that atheists are not necessarily intelligent. JREF's account has been suspended; period. Of course YouTube has not removed videos posted by other people that happen to have James Randi in them.

By nothing's sacred (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

lordmayhem: You need proper linkage between nspluginviewer and your 64-bit browser -- which can be a problem and is very distribution specific; there may be a lib64/plugin64 directory you need the nsplugin wrapper in (and you may need to run nsplugin to pick it up).

An easy solution is to use a 32-bit browser -- most distributions have FireFox32 or IceWeasel as a 32-bit version of FF.

This is ridiculous. In one week I will be deleting my YouTube account. Between now and then I'm going to try to convince as many of my fellow YouTubers to do the same.

It's a huge pain in the ass when good videos, that we have bookmarked and used to be able to link to, suddenly disappear. Deleting your account will hurt fellow atheists more than it will hurt YouTube.

By all means, stop uploading new videos to your account. And disable comments before you disappear if you have SIWOTI syndrome. But don't take down your videos.

I highly doubt that James Randi was doing anything objectionable, except to the religious wingnuts that complain about anything that falls outside of their narrow religious beliefs. YouTube is notorious for bowing to the squeaky wheel and banning anything that gets complaints, we know that the fundies have bitch-bots that they use to take down videos that they don't like, I'm sure that's what happened here.

What we ought to do is use the same tactics. Since the Pharyngula audience is so good at crashing online polls, everyone here ought to go spend an hour or two on YouTube, complaining about EVERY THEIST VIDEO ON THERE! Give YouTube a choice. Either take all theist videos down, or stop pandering to them.

I have a youtube account, and several blogger accounts as well, BUT I ALSO HOST MY OWN DOMAIN. Maybe it isn't enough 'protection' to keep from being silenced by legal means, but it's a helluva lot better than having to worry about my content being totally disappeared from the web by some third party bullsquat.

I've always been leery of 'free' hosted stuff because of this kind of foolishness. FWIW, I've been paying for my own domain for almost ten years. No ads, no banners, no popups, nothing for sale. I used to own thetimtimes.com, but it got hijacked when the hosting fee came due and they sent my renew notice to a dead email account at my old job. So now I have thetimchannel.com. I could have 'bought' my domain back (maybe still could), but I'm not paying extortion fees for the privilege. I like thetimchannel better anyway.

I have followed Randi for years, even being credited by name in his column for a story lead I gave him. I have no problem going directly to his site to see his videos. Screw Youtube if they are going to be pulling crap like this.

Enjoy.

I only use Phil Plait because I haven't seen any videos that PZ has done. Obviously, if he were to do a video, we'd all want him to do it as explicitly--if not more so--that Phil.

something tells me it would be some sort of soft-porn with squid...

PZ talking about the development of neurons in squid while he rubs live squid all over himself...

*shudder*

I'm going to stab myself in the eye with an icepick now.

excuse me.

Why would counter-flagging be counter-productive? I see a claim, but no reason behind it other than personal squeamishness. A good way to get rid of a bad system is to highlight its weakness -- youtube wars would seem to be exactly in order.

Someone may have mentioned this already (I haven't read every comment), but Google (who owns YouTube) is notorious for closing down people's accounts (whether it's YouTube, AdSense, gmail, etc) without any kind of warning and without giving any reason for doing so.

I would place bets that some stupid psychic/dowser got their panties in a wad and filed a false copyright claim.

could David Mabus finally have had his revenge on Randi???

sorry, but I would laugh my ass off if that were the case.

especially knowing that it would be dismissed with prejudice within 24 hours, and JREF would be back up.

lordmayhem: You need proper linkage between nspluginviewer and your 64-bit browser -- which can be a problem and is very distribution specific; there may be a lib64/plugin64 directory you need the nsplugin wrapper in (and you may need to run nsplugin to pick it up).

An easy solution is to use a 32-bit browser -- most distributions have FireFox32 or IceWeasel as a 32-bit version of FF.

None of this is needed any more because Adobe finally released a 64-bit version of Flash: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashplayer10/

It's labeled alpha, but it seems to work fine.

By nothing's sacred (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

WTF?!! I finally got on board with Youtube JUST to watch Randi's videos...guess I have no reason to go there anymore!

PZ I hope when you find out their reasons you can post it here for us!

By Hipstermama (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

None of this is needed any more because Adobe finally released a 64-bit version of Flash: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashplayer10/It's labeled alpha, but it seems to work fine.

Strangely, it works for me in Opera 9.6.4, but not in Firefox 3.6.8 (64-bit Ubuntu 8.04).

For an alternative to YouTube, or other video hosting services, I suggest Flowplayer, an embeddable player for hosting videos on your own site. Of course, this can eat up a lot of bandwidth for very popular videos.

hrrrmmm... I just watch a James Randi video less than 12 hours hours ago... And Youtube had shut down the channel? That's cruel.

By mewletter (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

Most of the time when I try to watch Hulu links, they don't work as they are blocked for people outside the US. SO make sure that whatever video thing you use, it can be seen internationally.

youtube's ban on JREF doesn't completely extend to all things Randi

If you go to the top of this page, you will see a video, announcing that JREF's account has been suspended. Where is that video hosted? I realize that the clues are very subtle, but see if you can puzzle them out.

Why is it so difficult for some people to understand that, when PZ says that "YouTube has banned the James Randi Educational Foundation", he's characterizing information in the cited video; it's not like he's some onmiscient diety who knows all and whose words should be taken literally and without question. The account has been suspended; that's the only sense in which JREF has been "banned". Consider banning here at P -- it's not as if no one else is allowed to mention John Kwok (or his high school) just because he can't post here.

By nothing's sacred (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

Sent this complaint in:

I'm writing to complain about the banning of the JREF. It's an outrageous and blatant act of corrupt partisanship and it's incredible that you shun the very forces of free speech and scientific criticism that ultimately spawned your enterprise and sustain it today - try to run PsyTube with mental videos, see how that works out!

Remember, Google owns YouTube, so changing it from your default search engine and uninstalling Google Chrome if you have it are other forms of protest, I'm certainly doing that.

I'll just chime in with Joe (#63) and others who have pointed out that YouTube is bound by the DMCA to take videos down and ask questions later. Taking accounts down is part of YouTube's three strikes policy (meaning that there were probably at least three copyright claims filed against JREF) and that policy would be the only thing that YouTube could legally change on its own. However, I wouldn't hold my breath for that. YouTube isn't exactly a big money generator for Google, and quick resolution of false copyright claims would require hiring more staff dedicated to just that. JREF will get their account back (and will most likely soon get a YouTube partnership account) and the best thing that we can do right now to speed things up is to make a lot of noise to YouTube.

For the person who asked why Pat Condell hasn't been suspended, he has had a video wrongly removed and been placed on probation. That situation was resolved when scores of YouTubers did exactly what Thunderf00t is suggesting with Pat's deleted video.

As for all of you who are saying that YouTube is "targeting reason" or that YT is turning into GodTube, you're simply wrong. You're only hearing about atheists that get their accounts suspended wrongly, when this is actually happening across the board. Although when Christian or Muslim accounts are wrongly suspended it's usually not the atheists who went on flagging campaigns or filed false copyright claims. In fact, some YouTube atheists have been known to mirror falsely removed videos by Christians or Muslims in the name of free speech.

Doing what Thuderf00t asked is likely to be more productive than a boycott.

%lt;obligatory>
Methinks it is like an IceWeasel!
%lt;/obligatory>

By Benjamin Geiger (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

Despite Google's motto to "not do evil", it's a corporation and legally obligated to maximize their profits.

If you want to get their attention, kick them where it counts, in the wallet.

Stop clicking on Google sponsored ads.

And Google is not the end-all and be-all of search. There are hundreds of interesting and (sometimes) useful search engines. Here's an interesting up and coming search engine, one that seems to have a lot more respect for your privacy than Google has.

http://www.yauba.com/

Update - Received word from JREF about suspension:

"Sean: there were a few complaints about Oprah material and some from Dean Radin, as well. YouTube shut us down pending our resolution of these problems. I expect we'll be back up very soon...

James Randi."

Hopefully we'll see them back shortly.

I'll just chime in with Joe (#63)

You might want to talk to John Kwok about the effectiveness of repetition. Meanwhile, we don't know that this is a DMCA issue. More common have been fundie flagging attacks.

By nothing's sacred (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

"Sean: there were a few complaints about Oprah material and some from Dean Radin, as well. YouTube shut us down pending our resolution of these problems. I expect we'll be back up very soon...

James Randi."

So this may have been legitimate action on the part of YouTube and the reaction -- including my own -- was irrational and excessive. The question is, who will learn from this and who won't?

By nothing's sacred (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

did you seriously just say that Redtube and Xtube are awful PZ!!??

you need to pharyngulate YouTube,
start reporting nut case creationist and ID crap (except the funny stuff like bananas)

get them to start banning everything

*sigh*

so this falls back on "the DMCA is pure, unadulterated evil". i mean, who's ever going to allow quoting if they're going to be made fun of?

ffs, we really need to come up with some smarter way to regulate intellectual property. this is just stupid.

So where's Google's motto now?

So, how long before someone posts a tortured translation of a Nostradamus quatrain foretelling the suspension of James Randi?

Yet another DMCA-related debacle.

Whether the claims are legitimate or not, I can't come up with a good reason for the guilty until proven innocent notion embedded in the "safe harbor" clauses of the DMCA.

That said, this definition struck me:

In order to ensure that copyright owners do not wrongly insist on the removal of materials that actually do not infringe their copyrights, the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA require service providers to notify the subscribers if their materials have been removed and to provide them with an opportunity to send a written notice to the service provider stating that the material has been wrongly removed. [512(g)]

from: http://www.chillingeffects.org/dmca512/faq.cgi#QID670

...because it certainly sounded like the JREF had to do their own legwork to determine the cause.

I'm thinking of raising that question to both the JREF and Youtube: What exactly is expected or reasonable time to deliver such a notice?

By Ryan F Stello (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

If it's purely a copyright issue, why are the RationalResponse and AtheistMedia accounts also suspended? Is the timing just a coincidence? As Randi says: I doubt that.

I have to disagree with you, PZ, that we should just give YouTube up to the Creationists. YouTube is too popular for us to not have a voice on it, even if we have to fight for every video we have on it.

Now, in the long term we may need to look for a site that isn't so trigger happy with the suspensions, but I think that until that site gains at least some main stream recognition we need to at least mirror videos on YouTube and another site.

YouTube has been getting increasingly restrictive of everything. The Young Turks regularly have to fight for their channel's "life", and they seem to fall under some sort of claimed "misuse" regulation every couple weeks. IMO YouTube is very reactionary and basically goes right for the jugular when someone even hints that something is wrong.

This sort of policing by YouTube also makes me wonder why they seem to catch so much good content and filter it out, but miss all the rank racism, rampant use of vulgar language, and general lack of first grade-level intelligence on the part of most people posting comments. The internet seems like a very fickle place...and then you read the average page of YouTube comments for a video and realize the rest of the net probably isn't so bad. It is pathetic and stupid though. There are other YouTube-style services out there...but they don't have nearly the same quantity of content, and in RedLasso's case, their video player sucks big time.

By BlueIndependent (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

PZ, I can't believe you're comparing XTube and RedTube with GodTube. The first two are at least stimulating in one sense of the word.

JayQisAwesome @ 114

Youtube tried to claim the one million dollar prize because the videos produced by Chris Crocker were GAYER than the natural laws permit.

Does even mentioning YouTube's name somehow attract the kind of stupid commenters that its videos are notorious for?

Youtube certainly seems to have no problem leaving up videos that get spammed to forums, blogs, etc.

Jeez, do we jump to conclusions much around here? I feel like I wondered into a Digg post or something. What happened to waiting until the facts came in? Here's a video of James Randi speaking at Google on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTPj9VlNzQ0

There's probably not a vast conspiracy against him.....

Does even mentioning YouTube's name somehow attract the kind of stupid commenters that its videos are notorious for?

Apparently, yes.

I feel like I'm in a room with scientifically illiterate 14 year-olds.

I should mention that what probably happened was that someone abused the DMCA to take the account down. If JREF comes back up, at some point another creationist group/jerk will do it again. We need to find alternatives.

It's a huge pain in the ass when good videos, that we have bookmarked and used to be able to link to, suddenly disappear. Deleting your account will hurt fellow atheists more than it will hurt YouTube.

By all means, stop uploading new videos to your account. And disable comments before you disappear if you have SIWOTI syndrome. But don't take down your videos.

Good point. Fortunately I don't really have any videos on my account. I'm in it more to watch the videos created by people with more talent than me, and also for discussions in the comments. Kind of like why I come to Pharyngula I guess.

I also deleted my account a while ago. I don't make videos anymore, anyway, and I am looking for stuff on other pages, if they have it.

It would be awesome, though, if someone could construct an "anything-but-youtube" search engine for videos. Hehehee! Because we're never going to agree on whether everyone should all move to xtube, vimeo or dailymotion, or whatever!

Raiko, you can do this already. In Google's advance video search, you can put "don't return things from youtube.com". Works like a charm....

I think we should blame the Bad Astronomer - they are probably watching him closely since that "naked pose with a large telescope" picture.

It's not very nice to first become the most used video sharing site in the world, and then turn around and act like this. Why must they wait until it's too late before they start showing their true colours?

Lately I have started to just download every video I want to be able to watch again. Sooner or later, it will disappear.

By Liberal Atheist (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

eBay is the same way. I was banned from there indefinitely for requesting eBay usernames and passwords. One person made an accusation and then several people followed suit without actually investigating (only one person in the group questioned them). However I did no such thing, I simply had a link to a website that has a log in screen on one of its pages. Apparently they can't figure out the difference between a normal website and a phishing site.

This is almost certainly not just about the DMCA. YouTube has a nasty history of caving to complaints about atheist videos. Remember that guy who had all the videos of himself desecrating communion wafers in a variety of creative ways? He got kicked off, too. And those videos were pure, "this is my and my self-made content," copyright- issue- free videos. Exactly the sort of thing YouTube was created for. Except, apparently, when some people consider it "offensive."

THIS is where the narrow parochialism of the USA REALLY bites.
There are probably mort readers of PZ OUTSIDE the US than inside...
( All of Europe, NZ, Aussie, SA, Canada, etc.... )

Erm, DMCA - what that?
EXPLAIN, please?

By G. Tingey (not verified) on 30 Mar 2009 #permalink

I live in a city called Holon in Israel, which is adjacent to Bat-Yam - the city in which Uri Geller was born and raised in.

As someone who frequented Bat-Yam on many occasions, I can safely say that it's a shitty place to grow up in.

Perhaps this will teach people that you're better off posting your videos on your own website. Since the arrival of Bittorrent it doesn't even have to cost a lot of bandwidth anymore and as a bonus you don't have to use FLV and you get fullscreen playback without choppiness. Seriously, you don't need YouTube or similar services, so why depend on them?

By Anonymous Coward (not verified) on 31 Mar 2009 #permalink

Bah, fact check: Geller was born and raised in Tel-Aviv - an even worse place to grow up in. I still find it embarrassing to live in the country that exported that hack.

Too bad Americans fail to notice how good Israelis are with BS. Our entire culture is based on it - in that that the Jewish people survive thanks to trickery and deceit. The American woo public was like a fish in a barrel for Uri.

I contend Sylvia Brown is behind this JREF YouTube flap. And I need zero physical evidence to support that contention.

By Rick Schauer (not verified) on 31 Mar 2009 #permalink

Is this the beginning of an 'analyse and evaluate' campaign? Something in the line of the Oklahoma action against Richard Dawkins and the 'legal complaint' concerning Amanda Gefter's creationism detector in New Scientist? By the way: NS has still not answered any of the questions regarding their 'temporary withdrawal' of Gefter's piece (which appeared in their 28 February issue).

By Flip van Tiel (not verified) on 31 Mar 2009 #permalink

#167

The fact that he was shown for a spotlight in a google author video is not relevant to the fact that youtube suspended this account 2 years later.

By Turkagent (not verified) on 31 Mar 2009 #permalink

Dailymotion has a 20 minute and 150 megabyte limit.

Vimeo is a good host as they have a really great player and no length limit (AFAIK), but they only allow you to upload a maximum of 500 megs per week.

Viddler is another option, 500 meg limit per video and no length limit.

By OptimusShr (not verified) on 31 Mar 2009 #permalink

wait, what's RedTube?

Is it Youtube for Cold War PSAs?

By beanjavert (not verified) on 31 Mar 2009 #permalink

So this may have been legitimate action on the part of YouTube and the reaction -- including my own -- was irrational and excessive. The question is, who will learn from this and who won't?

I haven't seen the Oprah or Radin videos, but I can't believe JREF would use that material in a way not covered by fair use. Not that fair use means much to Youtube, or to the corporations which file groundless DMCAs.

First of all - yes, this is probably a joke of a suspension.

However, doesn't anyone see the problem with typically rational, fair people being incited to a letter writing campaign when we essentially know nothing? Doesn't that sound a little to close to the behavior of another camp we scorn (and for good reason)?

Pretty much the only thing anyone here can write to YouTube about would be a request for the reason behind the suspension. Their terms of service are clear, and the JREF agreed to them. Even if the terms are ridiculous and ambiguous, the JREF are still bound by them.

From the information presented so far, it is equally likely to be a simple mistake of the JREF or YouTube. Perhaps the crusade can wait until we know more about the Internet "brown people" we're marching against?

Admittedly, YouTube's history does show a trend. So this is as surprising as it is tolerable. Even if they rescind their suspension, perhaps it's time to move to pleasanter videonvirons as suggested.

Google Video is not an option. Google is in the process of divesting itself of that feature. OTOH, I just joined Vimeo--hope I like it.

"Even if the terms are ridiculous and ambiguous, the JREF are still bound by them."

Youtube doesn't make the rules. Your congress makes them. Everyone in the US is bound by them. To quote one of the courts in the Sapient v. Geller case:

"If that result [referring to a part of the DMCA process] seems asymmetrical and unfair, then the problem should be resolved by Congress, not this court."

If you find the DMCA ridiculous and ambiguous, join the EFF. Donate. Or at least skip over there and read their material on the DMCA, and the court cases they've been involved in (pay extra attention to what organizations and companies that's provided amicus briefs in support for the DMCA targets). Educate yourself, so you know what the fuck you're talking about. Then talk your congressman, or whatever you do over there when you want your government to fix broken things.

Ranting on the web doesn't change a thing; the congress doesn't read your blog. And uninformed ranting only makes things worse - why should anyone listen to you when you yell and threaten them?

And what's with the flagging campaigns and posting individual mail addresses for Youtube employees? You guys may not be Christians, but there's definitely no shortage of mindless fundamentalism and other sorts of battery/nuttery here...

Posted by: sean hogge | March 31, 2009 11:02 AM

First of all - yes, this is probably a joke of a suspension.

However, doesn't anyone see the problem with typically rational, fair people being incited to a letter writing campaign when we essentially know nothing? Doesn't that sound a little to close to the behavior of another camp we scorn (and for good reason)?

Since google doesn't deem it necessary for us (or JREF for that matter) to know why the suspension took place, tt is t is very reasonable to have a letter writing campaign.

I consider it very bad policy to ban with no explanation.

sean hogge #206: "However, doesn't anyone see the problem with typically rational, fair people being incited to a letter writing campaign when we essentially know nothing? Doesn't that sound a little to close to the behavior of another camp we scorn (and for good reason)?"

Yes, it does, I'm afraid. Since our problem with that other camp is their behaviour rather than their existence, we would do well to avoid copying it.

I'd just like to give a few bonus points to the poster who mentioned bit torrent. If I had anything controversial that I wanted to post and was worried that Youtube would ban it, I would simply blast it out on bit torrent AND EVERY OTHER VIDEO HOSTING SERVICE I could find. No need to put all your eggs in one basket anyway.

I'm not going to drop my Youtube account at this point. I still embed some of their videos into my website. I think I have all of three videos that I have uploaded myself.

The biggest thing that you can do to get banned is use ANY other clips of copyrighted material. The idiots at Youtube haven't got the time, energy or inclination to properly screen for fair use. It's easier, quicker and cheaper for them to just ban the account. Guilty until you prove yourself innocent I guess.

Enjoy.

#206

The outrage is in fact justified. This is not the first time that an account has been suspended or videos removed. This sort of thing has happened many times in the past so it is reasonable to assume that it's what's happening now. Obviously if we found out that this wasn't some baseless attack on the JREF then our position might change. This is perfectly valid.

Also, YouTube's terms of service protect them legally. No one has the right to complain that they violated what they said they'd do unless it appears that they did indeed violate it. The outraged expressed by people is about YouTube's policy: YouTube is too prone to knee-jerk reactions.

"or JREF for that matter"

Why do you keep reposting this crap? Here's the quote from #162 again:

"Sean: there were a few complaints about Oprah material and some from Dean Radin, as well. YouTube shut us down pending our resolution of these problems. I expect we'll be back up very soon... James Randi."

Still claim that the JREF doesn't know what's going on?

mas528 (#209): Agreed. I think it's in poor taste. However, that's their call. I run my sites the way I want, just as PZ does. So while it's not exactly politic, it isn't precisely a sign of moral turpitude. However, a campaign to ask for information seems entirely reasonable, if perhaps doomed to be fruitless.

Me (#213): I never claimed that JREF doesn't know what's going on or what the allegations are. I claimed that we didn't, and they weren't being clear with us on what they were. Though they probably have a very good reason for not being clear, that means our hands are tied.

The bottom line is that we don't know what JREF did, either mistakenly, or without proper research before the fact. I myself went to send my scathing letter. But when I set to typing, the only rational thing that appeared on my screen was "Can you tell me what the precise allegations are, and where they occurred?"

As I've said elsewhere, I'm on anyone's side only insofar as evidence and explicit knowledge allows. JREF has my bias, but they don't have my faith.

My office is about 5 miles from Youtube HQ in San Bruno, CA. Tomorrow (Wednesday 1 April) at lunch (noon Pacific Time) I'm going to head over there with printed complaints in hand. Maybe a physical visit will convince them more than emails or letters or blog comments. Are you in the Bay Area too? I'll see you over there. In the meantime, if you want your printed complaint hand-delivered to Youtube HQ, leave them below:

http://luckyatheist.blogspot.com/2009/03/im-going-over-to-youtube-tomor…

"Dear YouTube:

Though I have no affiliation with JREF, or access to any of its practices, policies or postings, I'd like to tell you that the claims you've made against them resulting in the suspension of their account are completely false, regardless of my lack of knowledge in any detail or determining factor.

Please accede to my wishes, especially if there are many others who share my ignorance and demand. Please overlook the fact that I may very likely be using the same tactic to reinstate the JREF as might have been used against it.

Sincerely,

Whining Vagina (with teeth)"

Posted by: nothing's sacred @#108

(quoting moi) Joe @#63 is correct.

Let's beat that strawman to death.

Under the terms of the DMCA Google *has no choice* but to take down videos when someone claims a copyright violation

We don't know that this is a DMCA case...

You're correct, we don't yet know for certain it's due to a DMCA take down notice, but I made an assumption, not a strawman argument.

It may be a false assumption, but it happens all too frequently. And, IIRC, Randi has had DMCA problems in the past with Uri Geller video clips. I believe these were resolved in Randi's favor, but it still resulted in his videos being offline for a time.

And my conclusion that the only way to avoid DMCA for certain is to host all your material beyond the reach of US (or similar) laws is still valid.

By LightningRose (not verified) on 31 Mar 2009 #permalink

Google are slowly ruining Youtube piece by piece, and I don't just mean ruining it for us. I realise it sounds silly for little old me to be criticising the business sense of a company like Google but just wait and see. They've already banned music video viewing here in the UK and that's forcing people to look elsewhere. This is the Internet, it's not like they're the only source for the service they're providing. People will inevitably start looking elsewhere for a better deal or will create one for themselves.

By Red Skeleton (not verified) on 31 Mar 2009 #permalink

Avoid Hulu if possible... I've never seen a video they hosted that I was allowed to view (in Europe...).

Prior bans on Scientology critics and Rational Responders have been rationalized on alleged copyright violation.
YouTube may be caught in a legal bind since they get a lot more copyrighted material uploaded than any other web-hosting site.
Quite a few copyrighted Disney movies in their entirety are on YouTube, as well as old 60s TV episodes which are technically not supposed to be there, but which they haven't taken much steps to stem the tide of. There is such an avalanche of such stuff (illegally) on YouTube that media lawyers are selective in choosing their battles as to what they will contest. As such, YouTube is so compromised herin that they probably have to err on the side on caution whenever ANY lawyer says an account has violated their copyright.
If YouTube had a better way to stop the posting of old movies, they could probably afford to give James Randi and others the benefit of the doubt when copyright infringement is alleged.

By Jon Harvey (not verified) on 31 Mar 2009 #permalink

I posted this on BA; hope PZ Myers won't mind I repost here (he's looking for ideas just as much as the rest of us.)

I don't mean to advertise, but after sleeping on it I think Ning would be a good choice.

This is what Ningers can do: http://about.ning.com/product.php

This is Ning's ToS: http://about.ning.com/tos.php#14

It seems Ning is pretty liberal about the content posted. They used to (NOTE: USED TO) allow porn, believe it or not -- until the porn ones cost them too much money: http://help.ning.com/cgi-bin/ning.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=3…

So the point I am trying to make is that I think we would be safer over there. No "OMG atheism offends me so I'll falsify federal documents to shut them down" crap. (At least, I hope.)

Sorry about all of the links; normally I know multiple linking is kind of discouraged, but in this circumstance I hope everyone will understand my motives. I just think it may make a good alternative.

I've been using Ning for our website for about 8 months. As with our YouTube account, we can share the embed code and put them anywhere. They also give you the option of placing a watermark (either a graphic or text) on the your videos. The only drawback compared to YouTube would be that each Ning site would be your "channel", and viewers would have to visit each site, as I don't think there is a global "recent videos" function for Ning.

But for hosting and sharing videos, Ning isn't a bad alternative.

Changing sites would be avoiding the controversy. Skepticism needs more controversy, not less. More than 40,000 people have viewed dprjones' video about Randi getting banned. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7Cn_gjevik

A healthy amount of those people have never heard the name of Randi, a much smaller amount actually went out of their way to learn something about him. This is not a loss for skepticism, it isn't even much of an inconvenience.

By TheThomas (not verified) on 31 Mar 2009 #permalink

I'm not mirroring videos or saying anything until I know why the channel was suspended.

I mean, what if it was part of some wizard alliance police raid?

By Matthew Reynolds (not verified) on 31 Mar 2009 #permalink

The outrage is in fact justified. This is not the first time that an account has been suspended or videos removed.

The first statement doesn't follow from the second. Much of the outrage is uninformed and out of proportion to the facts in this case.

By nothing's sacred (not verified) on 01 Apr 2009 #permalink

If it's purely a copyright issue, why are the RationalResponse and AtheistMedia accounts also suspended? Is the timing just a coincidence? As Randi says: I doubt that.

That's a rather stunning distortion of, and exploitation of, Randi's skepticism. What about: "Can science explain the paranormal? As Randi says: I doubt that." Does that fly for you? In fact skepticism, the having of doubts, a caution toward epistemological commitment -- is the opposite of statements like "I doubt that".

By nothing's sacred (not verified) on 01 Apr 2009 #permalink

#226

The first sentence in #212 follows from the third, which is based on the second. This is induction. Admittedly I wasn't going about the reasoning in full detail (further steps are left as an exercise to the reader).

OK, why is there still an information blackout on this? Is there some sort of gag order? Is the JREF pussyfooting around YouTube, trying to kiss up to it until the account gets unsuspended? Is there some value in having paople who fancy themselves rational and skeptical whipping themselves into a hysterical mob, retaliating against anyone they think has caused offense and sending letters to protest a situation about which they have no background information?

There's still no further information on the JREF site, on Bad Astronomy, or here. There aren't even responses to requests for information. It's like all of the parties involved have just moved on.

P.Z. says "The reason for this particular event is irrelevant." I say, bullshit. Are you asking us to take this on faith? Give us information.

Hulu is only available from US IP addresses. Worthless if you're not in the US.

By Anti Hulu (not verified) on 01 Apr 2009 #permalink

Harold: The logic behind saying "the reason is irrelevant" is that this kind of crap not only has happened before, but will continue to happen. This "secret agent for jesus" phenomenon will not end on YouTube because YouTube simply cowtows to the behavior.

Frankly, if you ask me, forging a DMCA notice under false pretenses, especially for no other reason than to target someone else's freedom of speech, should be a federal crime. In fact, I wonder if it is... and if I were JREF, I'd pay the best fed lawyer to find out if charges could be brought up.

SourBlaze:

I thought it was a federal crime, but I could easily be mistaken. I recall when I signed up for YouTube that there was a lot of to-do about DMCA and the penalties for filing false ones. Not that I've ever heard of anyone filing a false DMCA getting in trouble, and it was my personal experience that the person who files, false or not, gets the upper hand in the situation courtesy of YouTube.

By Demonhype (not verified) on 01 Apr 2009 #permalink

SourBlaze: So do we KNOW that someone forged a DMCA complaint against the JREF under false pretenses? I haven't seen that on any of the official messages. This is now in its fourth day, and as far as I know, the information blackout is continuing - the information in comment 162 is as much new information as I'm aware of. If nobody who knows can tell us what led to this, can they at least tell us WHY they can't tell us what led to this?

I'd like information, not speculation, conjecture, guesses, and bets. Until then I'm going to try to do what the president of the JREF asked us to do: be patient. But that's getting harder and harder to do.

I warned JREF via email about Youtube's censorship practices. As much as I greatly admire Mr. Randi and his foundation, they and anybody else who uses Youtube deserve exactly what they get.

I'm sorry but you've all been blind to this for too long for me to be nice about saying I told you so.

JRF channel is back up and running. I don't have any further details, though.

By Goldenmane (not verified) on 03 Apr 2009 #permalink

"We're pleased to announce that our YouTube channel is back online.

Our account had been suspended by YouTube due to some copyright complaints on a handful of videos we had uploaded. The videos in question have been removed, the proper hoops have been jumped through, and YouTube restored the account. We are currently going though our inventory to make sure any videos that we even suspect might be in violation are removed. There are 200+ of them, so it'll take us some time, but we're on it.

I'd like to thank all our supporters once again for the outcry when this happened. But I'll also gently chide some of you: there were many rumors, accusations, and conclusions jumped-to when our account was taken down. As you can see, no one was attacking us, and no one acted unfairly - the complainants were within their rights, and YouTube acted according to their rules. In fact, when we started conversing with one of the complainants and with YouTube, everyone acted in a civilized and even friendly manner. The matter was resolved quickly and, I think, to everyone's satisfaction.

Because of this, I'd like to personally thank everyone involved with this as well.

So we're back on the air! You can expect to see more Randi Speaks soon, as well as our usual skeptical take on all things unskeptical. Thank you to everyone for your support and patience."

http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/jref-news/505-the-jref-youtube-acco…

"YouTube has become an overzealous nanny, protecting kooks from offense"

Thanks for demonstrating such stellar critical thinking without a single fact at your disposal and crying, "Wolf!" like that.

Well done.

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By canlı tv izle (not verified) on 01 Jan 2010 #permalink

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By ingilizce türk… (not verified) on 01 Jan 2010 #permalink

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By kadınlar (not verified) on 01 Jan 2010 #permalink