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Posts tagged Hank Green

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What People Don’t Get About Content ID



YouTube is great, right? Free video hosting no matter how many views you get and, hey, if you get lots of views, you get paid. Problem is, if I’m uploading episodes of Family Guy and lots of people are watching it, not only do I not deserve money, I deserve to be fined and possibly put in jail. 

This was YouTube’s biggest problem for the first few years it existed. In order to handle this they created an extremely sophisticated piece of technology that watches every single video ever and compares it to a library of pretty much ever piece of media copyrighted by mainstream media (and also lots of non-mainstream stuff added since then.) 

It’s pretty amazing that YouTube can do this…every single video compared against every song, video, movie, clip, sound effect, etc EVER…all instantaneously. I mean, it’s probably the most amazing piece of technology that YouTube has created. 

It’s called Content ID, and it’s the reason why YouTube wasn’t sued out of existence in 2011. It’s also the reason why I (and many other people) can make a living on YouTube. 

Of course, it also causes problems and can be gamed and used to make money by people who don’t deserve money. And since YouTube is so massive, there’s no way for them to handle things like fair use, which allow for a certain amount of use of copyrighted content as part of commentary or criticism. 

So in addition to being amazing Content ID is also a pain in the butt. 

Eventually, some creators (large companies, mostly) were granted the ability to handle copyright for themselves, so their videos didn’t go through the same rigorous copyright procedures as the rest of YouTube. That ability also came with two very important features:

  1. You can insert your content into the Content ID library, so the rest of YouTube is checked against it.
  2. You can add channels into your system so those channels, likewise, do not have to be policed like the rest of YouTube.

This is how MCNs (multi-channel networks) were created. They provide services for creators, add them under their parent channel, and those channels give up a portion of revenue (all of the revenue comes in through the parent channel.) 

The problem with this, however, is that a lot of networks offered only one service…they umbrella’d them under their “network” so that didn’t have to deal with YouTube’s copyright system. Soon it became obvious that, if you were a gamer and you didn’t want to have your videos claimed and taken down all the time, all you had to do was give away 30% of your revenue to a network, and they’d take care of all those pesky copyright problems. They’d “handle it.”

This is bad business…YouTube was simply allowing these companies to make tons of money by selling the ability to avoid the one thing that stands between them and being sued out of existence.

So a couple weeks ago, they closed the loophole. They said “Hey, networks, if you want to accept liability for your channel’s content, tell us that…but if we catch them violating copyright, YOU are responsible, and YOU will get fined…or possibly kicked off YouTube entirely.

"But if you don’t want to take responsibility, releases those channels into the normal, every-day, this-is-how-we-police-YouTube-videos-system that everyone who isn’t on a network has to deal with."

And so networks did that, they released the vast majority of their channels into the same system that anyone who isn’t signed has been dealing with for years. And yes, there are flaws with that system, but it was always the system for people who weren’t paying a big company their hard-earned money to exploit a loophole for them. 

This problem has a lot of sources:

  1. Networks were attracting people to them by offering a workaround of YouTube’s copyright procedures and that was unsustainable.
  2. Video game companies have built libraries inside of Content ID and they may not have realized what that meant for gaming videos on YouTube.
  3. Other video game companies really are dopey enough to think that they deserve the revenue someone makes with a gameplay or walkthrough video…or that gaming content is anything but free advertising for them.
  4. Copyright is complicated and there simply is no perfect way to scan and police the 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every single minute. 

I’m not one to keep quiet when YouTube is screwing up…obviously, but this is a really freaking complicated problem and I don’t think YouTube did the wrong thing here by closing the MCN copyright loophole. 

Maybe they should have been a little more careful about it, but I honestly believe that this is an overall good thing for the YouTube ecosystem because it means that the problems with Content ID will actually be addressed.

This is a very important read from Hank Green for those who want to make videos and subsequently money on YouTube

Filed under YouTube Hank Green Content ID DFTBA

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YouTube Music Awards; Not That Shocking

Some of the people I follow are talking about how bad the YouTube music awards were and how only two actual YouTubers won awards (I understand they only gave out 6 awards?  So that is 33%?).

I am a bit confused as to what we expected.

When YouTube announced that the nominations came in by views and thumbs up it was clear to me that most artists winning would be Vevo artists.  YouTube is clearly trying to cater to the big business these days and bring more “lean back” content to their site.  This is largely because the majority of the general YouTube audience is logging on to check a video a friend sent them or how to replace X part on Y device or the latest music video or cat videos; and the reality is that few people (by comparison to total traffic) actually subscribe to a channel and watch the majority of their videos.    As an example,  Pewdiepie, the number one channel that is not the YouTube spotlight channel, with just over 15 million subs worldwide counts for less than .1% of the over 1 billion unique users that visit YouTube each month.  So even Pewdiepie has a small audience compared to the amount of traffic that YouTube generates.  We saw something similar with the Streamy’s for their first two seasons.  The third season was better but still not full on YouTuber winners.

It seems the people who are the most vocal about how bad the show was are upset because “real YouTubers” didn’t win.  The way I see it this wasn’t a show for real YouTubers it was a show for people who post music on YouTube and unfortunately that means professional artists and the like.  I know some people  wanted a show where YouTubers were the only, or at least majority,  winners but the only way I see this happening is if the show is created by the very people (or their networks) that we want to honor.

Take the ApprenticeA team for example.  When they wanted to create a film festival highlighting content on YouTube created by YouTubers so they didn’t contact the Hollywood Foreign Press, or the Academy, or any of the myriad of other existing film festivals out there.  They just set out and created their own thing and when it happens this coming weekend we can all sit back and judge them for how well they put on a show; but we wont be able to judge them for excluding the people a lot of us consider to be the real YouTubers.

So if ApprenticeA, Phillip Defranco and SourceFed, Shay Carl and Maker Studios, or even the Vlog Brothers would like to create a music awards show that has only, or mostly, real YouTubers in it then it would probably be better if they took it upon themselves to create something and make the magic happen.  In fact I would purchase tickets right now.


Sure the YouTube music awards didn’t highlight that many people who make a living directly off YouTube.  Sadly, I don’t believe that was ever the intention of the show.   My hope is that this will spur somebody on to make a better show in the future that focuses on these people.  We should be the change we want to see (:


(YouTube stats: http://www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html)

Filed under DFTBA Music YouTube Awards ApprenticeA SourceFed Vlog Brothers John Green Hank Green Maker Studios

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Thoughts from brain

Would anybody be interested in a LBD-esque version of any of the following

  • The Great Gatsby
  • The Fault in Our Stars
  • Water for Elephants
  • Perks of Being a Wall Flower
  • Romeo & Juliet
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • The Hobbit
  • Fahrenheit 451
  • Anne of Green Gables
  • A Wrinkle In Time
  • The War of the Worlds
  • Around the World in 80 Days
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth
  • The Swiss Family Robinson
  • Of Mice and Men

And probably many others.  There are just the ones that popped into my head.


Filed under DFTBA LBD lizzie bennet diaries Hank Green John Green Vlogbrothers Reading Books Adaptation

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I know that Good Morning America isn’t news, I know that they don’t matter, and I know that it doesn’t matter what they think about online video. But after watching this puffy hatchet job, I could not not post about it. Let’s just go through this point by point.

  1. Jenna Marbles is the “Queen of Clicks.” This is a seemingly innocuous phrase, but it’s indicative of the attitude here, making Jenna’s success not about the significance of what she does, but about a meaningless activity that other people do “clicking.” It removes all significance from the interaction people have with Jenna. This is what we call a backhanded compliment. 
  2. “So Many teens and tweens hanging on her every word.” This is GMA’s attempt at attempting to make this story relevant to the people (moms) who watch their show. Except they miss the point that MOST OF THOSE MOMS WATCH JENNA MARBLES! They have no idea…NOT IDEA of Jenna’s reach because (apparently) they have NEVER USED AN INTERNET.
  3. Which is pretty insane considering that apparently she has “over a billion followers” on YouTube. This is a fact that can be checked and found wanting with a very limited understanding of reality (never mind the internet) since only 750 million people in the world SPEAK ENGLISH.
  4. “She may just be the most famous person you’ve never heard of.” Another backhanded compliment. 
  5. Next we compare her facebook to JLaw and her instagram to Oprah…more attempts to connect with the issues moms in America really care about.
  6. “And all for making videos about, well, nothing.” REALLY?! DID YOU WATCH ANY OF THE VIDEOS?! First, comedy doesn’t have to be about something. But more importantly, Jenna’s videos aren’t about nothing, they’re about culture and sexism and growing up. Hiding in amongst all that “nothing” are often poignant insights.

And now we arrive at the interview portion, which is the most frustrating for me, and has to be much worse for Jenna. They intersperse Jenna’s comments with the most inane and out of context clips they can find, and then ask Jenna a total of TWO QUESTIONS.

1. What does it feel like to get a bunch of views? Which is innocuous.

…and the kicker…

2. Do you think you deserve to have as many fans as you do?

Which is just…makes me…on fire…flames!

The only way to ask that question is if you, as an interviewer, have made your mind up that the person does NOT deserve their success. And in the end, that’s how the entire segment feels to me, a bunch of people making fun of a creator who they are threatened by and who they do not understand. And of course they’re threatened by it, Jenna Marbles (on her own, with a cheap camera) can make a video that gets more viewed by more people than an episode of Good Morning America. 

Instead of talking about anything interesting or criticizing Jenna for legitimate reasons (which they could have done) GMA spent five minutes making fun of one of the most influential creators that exists in the world right now. But what’s worse is they didn’t criticize her for legitimate reasons, they made fun of her for NOT MATTERING…for not being important…for being a meaningless cultural blip that they’re certain will just disappear. You wanna talk about something ridiculous…it’s you GMA, not Jenna.

Again, I don’t care that GMA doesn’t care about online video. I’m happy flying under the cultural radar for another few years, doing interesting things without legacy media paying attention (or, even with them actively attempting to marginalize us.) But I couldn’t watch this load of BS without commenting on it. 

So Jenna, while I don’t agree with everything you’ve ever said, you absolutely deserve your success. You are innovative, intelligent, and hilarious. GMA is acting like you’re the new girl in school that all the cute boys like better than them and, guess what, you are.

If I ever have to go on television and talk about online video (not sure why I ever would…) I am consulting Hank Green about it so I can make sure to school some fools.

Filed under DFTBA Hank Green jenna marbles

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And now on to the next video, this one is from Manchildtrollhair, and is in support of the excellent charity West Island Association for the Mentally Handicapped (WIAIH) It is a fun video about a serious topic, that really talks about the issues facing the intellectually handicapped and the issues facing their charities

Filed under nerdfighter awesome p4a John Green Hank Green DFTBA news cool stuff

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So the video here is about people who lack laptops. This may seem like a pretty First World Problem, but it isn’t, the real problem of lacking a laptop is the lack of informational and organisational ability. The ideas that we are presented with every day are presented often through our laptop, it allows the equality of people and the connection of nations. An awesome charity to support


Filed under project for awesome P4A john green Hank Green vlogbrothers Nerdfighteria nerd fighter nerdfighters DFTBA News