YouTube logoUsers who relied on free service locked out

YouTube has been suspending accounts at a dizzying pace over the past month. Part of the story is automated bots that find copyrighted material for publishers such as Sony Music and Warner.

The other part of the story is that YouTube may be getting too large to manage.

Users who have their accounts suspended are allowed to appeal; however, YouTube switched all of the email accounts to Gmail login accounts this month as well. Users are caught in the Kafkaesque state where YouTube refuses to acknowledge any email correspondence. The suspension without appeal is essentially permanent deletion.

Thanks for your email.

The email address that you have provided does not match the email address of the account in question. In order for us to review your issue, you must be the owner of the account. To resubmit your request, please return to the YouTube Help Center at http://help.youtube.com/support/youtube/bin/request.py.

Please keep in mind that if you don’t have access to your email account and have lost your username and/or password, we’re unable to help you. We don’t store private passwords, so we can’t email them to you. If you’re unable to write us from the email address associated with the YouTube account, we can’t release any information about the account to you.

Regards, The YouTube Team

Deletion with little chance for appeal is the price we pay for a free service. No one is paying for YouTube’s free hosting of videos. The widespread popularity of the service has been both the blessing and the curse.

Nowhere, so far, can a videographer find a ready audience for their work. It costs nothing to post video after video, until they cut you off.

Not a commercial service

YouTube is not a business service and the fact your account can be suspended without notice has put some people’s businesses on the ropes.

Accounts can be suspended if your ex-wife or enemy tells YouTube your videos are copyrighted or flags some of them as “inappropriate.”

Anyone using video for a business should have their own web hosting server or rent space on a commercial hosting site. People you are paying are less likely to turn off your video streams than a company like YouTube who are too busy to deal with individual customers.

Why does YouTube suspend accounts

The number one reason is copyright infringement. The rules are: only post videos you if you own all the copyrights, including your cover of “Stairway to Heaven.”

The reality is YouTube has been primarily a place for people to post covers and unofficial videos of their favorite artists. Some artists like the coverage. Let’s face it without fan promotion, most artists would be forgotten.

Other artists and labels protest they are losing revenues from videos you didn’t buy. This is the whole file sharing argument that rages back and forth on mp3s. The reality is the battle is almost lost for in favor of file sharing.

Bob Dylan has over 100,000 videos on YouTube but only 22 are official Bob Dylan videos. Who’s going to remember the guy if Sony is left to the job.

Rumor has it that over 40% of YouTube’s amateur and bootleg videos will be taken down by YouTube in the near future. When YouTube takes the video down, they take down the user’s channel as well.

There is a three-strikes-you-are-out policy at YouTube; however, the 3 strikes can come so fast you don’t have time to respond and you are outta there.

Only the future will tell if amateurs and fans take this lying down or move from YouTube to another service.

Our life on YouTube

Our account got suspended without notice two or three days ago – it’s hard to tell why and YouTube is  not taking emails. My guess is the video of LCROSS landing on October 9th.

The video comes from NASA which clearly states its videos are public domain. No one can claim copyright ownership and NASA encourages people to download their shots. They need all the fans they can get for Congressional budget reasons. There are billions of people around the world who could have their lives improved with the money that is spent on space programs.

On Oct 10th, Associated Press (AP) claimed the public domain NASA footage as their own.  Complaining about AP’s claim put me in the bad books. YouTube has no time for things like law and fair use.

They refused my public domain claim and probably deleted my account over it.

Time to move on to a paying service.

I still have all the original videos. Our losses are mostly time and access to the hundreds of millions of YouTube viewers.

We’ll survive and probably thrive since we won’t be distracted by what YouTube is doing.

It is always best to steer your own craft in rough waters.

We do apologize about the missing videos. They will be back on line soon.

Update – there is a new site NJN Video which is being updated with all our original videos. Slow going as we are adding new one’s constantly. Your patience is appreciated.