Owning the Clouds – Apology, Withdrawal

Followup to Owning The Clouds and the update: I got an email from Sarah Bernard of 23/6, apologizing for the inadvertent pulling of my video due to Google/YouTube’s content identification. I forgive you, 23/6!

Dear Paulo,

I’m Sarah Bernard, President of 23/6. Please know that we certainly did not intend for our posting the video, “A Message to Rudy from Anonymous,” on YouTube to result in your work being blocked; it appears that blocking was an inadvertent result of YouTube’s content identification program. When we learned that your work was blocked, we worked with YouTube to remedy the situation as quickly as we could.

I’m sorry to hear about the unintended effect. It wasn’t intentional on our part.


Sarah Bernard

Meanwhile, the cloud timelapse video has been unavailable to me for more than a week at this point. Despite two emails from Google Video saying that the video is back up, they still have not restored the original cloud video page — at least, not for any IP address I check it from. (Interestingly enough, a bunch of international users have commented to say that they can see it.) I tried emailing one more time to ask if there was a problem, and got the following form response: (Note the addressee name. I’m not Alex.)

Hi Alex,

We’re always working to provide comprehensive online assistance, and we believe that the answer to your question can be found within the following help center link: [link]

If you have additional questions, we recommend that you review the Google Video Help Center at http://video.google.com/support/ for our most up-to-date information. You might also try our Google Video Help Group at http://groups.google.com/group/Google-Video-Help

Finally, if you’re still having trouble finding an answer to your question, you can respond to this email. Please keep in mind, though, that we’ll only be able to respond to your note if we can provide information that isn’t currently available in the online resources above.

We appreciate your taking the time to write to us.


The Google Team

Sigh. I’ve done this by email, on my weblog, and on Google Groups, and still I get an “unavailable” error screen, despite the video status showing as “Live” on my video uploads admin page (inset in image below):

Screenshot of error page with inset of admin video status

This is EPIC FAIL on a massive level that I would never have expected from Google. After more than a week of my content being unavailable due to a botched automated infringement takedown, they continue to ignore a simple request to restore a two minute video, then respond with the wrong form letter.

Since I can no longer trust Google Video to keep my content up, protect my rights against erroneous infringement claims, respect my authorship, or even provide automated support addressed to the correct user, I’m now in the process of removing all my videos from Google Video and YouTube. My stuff will instead be uploaded to Flickr and Vimeo, and all corresponding embeds on my site will change as well.