Karma Meets Irony. “Freebooted” YouTuber’s Feel The Sting Of Piracy…

Watch and learn… We can’t make this up. Seriously you have to watch this video.

If we had a nickle for every YouTuber or Tech Journalist that advised musicians that “YouTube” was the SOLUTION TO PIRACY we’d be rich. Really rich. I mean, really, really, really rich. We we’re told YouTube was “promotion” and “exposure” to make money other ways.

We were told how if you just “made stuff people wanted” and “connected with fans” then they would reward you with loyalty and support. Musicians were told they were “whining” about piracy and that they should “adapt and evolve” to the “new way” and just embrace all of this “awesome internet empowered promotion”.

Funny how it is when the shoe is on the other foot. See here’s the thing. All of these YouTuber’s make money from the advertising that runs on their YouTube videos. But when those videos are ripped from YouTube by fans and uploaded to Facebook guess who doesn’t get paid? Yup, you guessed it… the YouTuber’s are getting stiffed and they don’t like it.

Where is Larry Lessig to help these folks out? Remember kids, don’t break the internet! It’s “sharing economy” afterall. You do the work and silicon valley shares the profits.

Soooo… when a musician’s work is pirated on Napster, Grockster, Kazaa, Limewire, The Pirate Bay, oh and YouTube… Musicians should “get over it”. But when a YouTuber’s work, labor and creative output is devalued, or worse monetized by a third party (Facebook) who doesn’t pay them anything, well then, you know, that’s “bad”.

The issue gained national attention this year earning editorials and reports from the likes of Slate, “Facebook’s Piracy Problem” in July. Time followed with a story in August, “This Is Facebook’s Biggest Problem With Video Right Now.” And recently as November AdWeek chimed in, “Facebook’s ‘Freebooting’ Piracy Problem Just Cost Casey Neistat 20 Million Views“.

This quote from the AdWeek story above kind of says it all…

But then they ran into a problem known as “freebooting,” which entails republishing videos on social sites without the consent of the folks who made the clips. In essence, it’s a practice of intellectual-property theft that’s plagued Facebook more than other digital platforms—PR-wise, at least—in recent months thanks to a few whistle-blowers.

They go on…

“I spent roughly a week issuing take downs on Facebook—a convoluted process,” Neistat told Adweek. “I crowdsourced the process of finding the freebooters because there is no way to search Facebook. In all, I took down well over 50 different posts—[which was] not nearly all of them. I simply gave up after a while. I anecdotally kept track of the view counts—over 20 million views on the videos I took down.”

Here’s more to chew on from a post by Hank Green on Medium, “Theft, Lies and Facebook Video“.

According to a recent report from Ogilvy and Tubular Labs, of the 1000 most popular Facebook videos of Q1 2015, 725 were stolen re-uploads. Just these 725 “freebooted” videos were responsible for around 17 BILLION views last quarter. This is not insignificant, it’s the vast majority of Facebook’s high volume traffic. And no wonder, when embedding a YouTube video on your company’s Facebook page is a sure way to see it die a sudden death, we shouldn’t be surprised when they rip it off YouTube and upload it natively.

Facebook’s algorithms encourage this theft.

Hmmmmm… where have we heard this story before? Maybe it was Daily Finance back in 2010, “Viacom vs. YouTube/Google: A Piracy Case in Their Own Words“.

• On July 19, Chen wrote to Hurley and Karim: “Jawed, please stop putting stolen videos on the site. We’re going to have a tough time defending the fact that we’re not liable for the copyrighted material on the site because we didn’t put it up when one of the co-founders is blatantly stealing content from from other sites and trying to get everyone to see it.” Four days later, Karim sent a link to the other founders, and Hurley told him that if they rejected it, they needed to reject all copyrighted material. Karim’s reply: “I say we reject this one but not the others. This one is totally blatant.”

• A July 29 email conversation about competing video sites laid out the importance to YouTube of continuing to use the copyrighted material. “Steal it!” Chen said , and got a reply from Hurley, “hmmm, steal the movies?” Chen’s answer: “we have to keep in mind that we need to attract traffic. how much traffic will we get from personal videos? remember, the only reason our traffic surged was due to a video of this type.”

Yup, Karma meets irony… How very interwebs… Ok, Ok, Ok… Sorry, just one more…

Everyone’s creativity deserves to be protected. All creators should be united against the illegal, infringing and exploitative uses of their work (especially for profit) without consent or compensation.

About Social Media and Internet Advertising | AdLand

Our friends at AdLand recently posted this story “Nice ad you got. Be a shame if no one saw it.” They detail how social media sites like YouTube and Facebook are becoming more and more aggressive in leveraging their platforms to require payment for engagement.

Bands take note, these platforms are charging you to reach the audience you built for them…

The article is a must read, a small except below.

In 2012, GM stopped advertising on Facebook. It took its 40 million dollars elsewhere. When Facebook started reducing organic reach it became even clearer that social media is not the bargain, or effective juggernaut it was purported to be.

Consider that analog media print for a moment. You spend money to place an ad in GQ, and it goes in GQ’s across the country. There is no guarantee someone will buy the magazine, of course, but if they do, there is a good chance they’d see your ad. If Facebook owned GQ, you’d place an ad in it, and then Facebook would hide 90% of the magazines unless you paid them to put the magazine featuring your ad on the magazine stands.

So we live in the digital age where media channels like Youtube and Facebook seem only effective if you pay for views to inflate your numbers (and likes if you’re even more smarmy). And remember, a vast majority of Youtube videos (ads or otherwise) do not go viral. Then in Facebook’s case you’re dealing with a a quasi-Mafia-style practice of paying them to “boost” your post to an audience you worked hard to cultivate.


Beggars said to have contributed more in UK Taxes than Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon combined. | Telegraph UK

The Government has been “seduced” by technology companies such as Google, and is “cosying up” to them, even though they keep their tax contributions to a minimum, leading music executive Martin Mills has warned.

Mr Mills, who founded Adele’s record label, Beggars Group, claimed his company pays more tax in Britain than Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon. But he said creative businesses like his receive less support from the Government.


Jean Michel Jarre: ‘Artists are the collateral damage of the tech giants’ | The Guardian UK

The ‘monsters’ of Google, Facebook and the tech giants need to work with musicians, the electronic music star said, to develop new ways of protecting creative property.

Jean Michel Jarre has called on music artists to work with the world’s most powerful technology companies, urging them to explore new ways of making money for their work.

“We are the people creating the future – not manufacturers of computers or cables. We are the extraordinary,” Jarre told the Guardian. “[The lack of enforcement of] intellectual property is not just a problem for artists from Europe and America – it’s a global problem . It’s one of the strongest elements of what democracy is all about.”



Google, Advertising, Money and Piracy. A History of Wrongdoing Exposed.

Two Simple Facts about Technology and Piracy : iTunes Vs. YouTube

If the Internet is working for Musicians, Why aren’t more Musicians Working Professionally?

Tashaki Miyaki Asks People to Please Stop Pirating Music

It’s not just mainstream artists like Tom Yorke and Beck who are speaking up about the challenges facing the new generation of musicians. We’re seeing more artists are speaking up as they face the financial reality that music piracy is having on their careers. We applaud Tashaki Miyaki for taking a public stand in an effort to educate and inform their fans about the challenges musicians are facing today.

the large number of people who are okay with uploading music which one does not own, is truly unfortunate. many musicians have multiple jobs in order to be able to tour and make recordings without becoming homeless. aside from it being copyright infringement, which is an illegal act, uploading tracks onto these torrent sites is robbing the artist of money which would otherwise allow him or her to continue to work. it doesn’t matter the level of the artist. more successful artists support more people, and often successful acts support their label, which then allows the label to take a chance on signing smaller, unknown artists.

please stop pirating music.

Support the band and read the full post here on their Facebook Page:

Lou Reed and Dead Kennedys Go Public Against Ad Funded Piracy with Facebook Posts

We’d just like to say a very big thank you to both Lou Reed and the Dead Kennedys who publicly posted to Facebook this week our posts showing how they are being exploited by major brands and big tech internet advertising corporations.



In the recent weeks we’ve heard from Aimee Mann, Pink Floyd, Thom Yorke, Blake Morgan, Lou Reed and the Dead Kennedys on various issues negatively effecting artists in the “digital economy.”

These artists have presented their concerns ranging from Spotify royalty rates, Pandora’s dishonest attempts to cut  their currently mandated rates by 85% and of course Ad Funded Piracy which pays artists absolutely nothing.

In each of the cases addressed above artists are speaking out against the exploitative practices of corporate interests destroying the ability of professional musicians to maintain sustainable careers.

Change happens when artists speak up and speak out.

Facebook Communities For Artists Rights

The Trichordist links through to FarePlay on Facebook  from the blog and there are also these other communities. Please support all of these pages and let us know if there are more.







Time For Silicon Valley To Grow Up And Take Responsibility For Their Online Advertising Business Model.

Time For Silicon Valley To Grow Up And Take Responsibility For Their Online Advertising Business Model.

Whitelist vs Blacklist Advertising.

Last week much of the world was horrified to learn that Facebook was serving ads from major brands on pages devoted to what the Huffington post described as:

horrific rape-oriented Facebook pages… (including) graphic images of gore and horror, beaten children, naked children, women bound and gagged, or thrown down stairs.

The public outcry against the brands and Facebook was overwhelming. Facebook and many brands were forced to apologize and revise policies (let’s see how long this lasts!).  Dove may have suffered long term damage to their brand.

WAM (Women Action Media), feminist Soraya Chemaly and Everyday Sexism should be commended for bringing this issue to light and achieving real change (and the stunning coordination of their campaign should be a lesson to artists advocates).

What we find interesting here at The Trichordist  is that many of our brands were the usual ad-supported piracy suspects.  In particular  Nationwide and American Express.  We have repeatedly called out these companies for advertising on cyberlocker sites that exploit artists and others.  And as we have noted over and over again this is not just about music.  Generally these sites  include links to bestiality, rape, illegal pornography videos as well as music (Urban Outfitters and Lexus advertising against beastiality links.)  We’ve both publicly and privately reached out to many of these advertisers to no avail. www.adland.tv  actually ran an article entitled “American Express Thinks You Might Like Piracy and Child Pornography” after reviewing my research.

Just as Facebook was long aware of these horrific pages, American Express and many other companies have long known their advertising was ending up on these pages. This latest brouhaha shows (as we have noted) they have yet to take effective action.

And we know why.  Total obfuscation by the online advertising ecosystem: in house ad buyer, Madison Avenue advertising agency, online ad network, ad exchanges and possibly complicity by the brands themselves.

We have seen and documented the following responses from the online advertising ecosystem (In fact I just got a refresher course May 28th at Westminster College in London as I participated in a panel discussion  “Follow The Money: Can The Business Of Ad-Funded Piracy Be Throttled?):

Lame Excuse #1.   We can’t control where these ads end up.

Response:  Then why on earth would anyone pay for your product?  Are you  admitting that your product is faulty? Cause I can think of a couple of lucrative class action lawsuits.   We think you can control where the ads end up. You just want the money.

Lame Excuse #2:  We are not the internet’s policeman (most recently by Google at Westminster College London).

Response: This is a “straw man” argument.  No one is asking YOU to be the web’s policeman. We are simply asking you to run your  company ethically and responsibly. Please stop obfuscating.  Sure the police arrest the thieves, but just like pawnshops, Google and the rest of the online advertising ecosystem have a ethical, moral and LEGAL obligation to make sure they are not selling stolen pageviews.  If a pawnshop used this excuse to sell stolen goods they would be shut down and the owners would go to jail.

Lame Excuse #3:  We don’t know who the bad guys are.

Response:   Really? Then who get’s the money for the CPMs  and/or Clicks?  Are you just leaving suitcases of cash in lockers at greyhound stations?  And if you are doesn’t that seem a tad suspicious? Who pays the taxes on these transactions?   If you don’t know you are probably in violation of many tax laws in many countries. And that’s how they put Al Capone in jail. Don’t mess with the tax man.

Lame Excuse #4:  Apple and Coca Cola don’t end up on these sites because they use “White Lists”.   This was the response from Alexandra Scott the UK Public Policy Executive for Internet Advertising Bureau.  This as always was delivered with an undertone of dismissiveness. As if Apple and Coca Cola just “don’t get it!” and should be advertising on shitty file infringing sites next to trojan downloads and Russian bride ads.

Response: Exactly. Whitelists.  They actually vet the websites on which they are advertising. They check to see if these sites are legitimate sites.  Using the pawn shop analogy.  They actually check to see if the goods-in this case pageviews- are stolen.

And this brings us to the fundamental problem with the internet advertising ecosystem.  It’s not the obligation of artists, feminists, anti-human trafficking activists and animal rights groups to tell you where you should not be advertising. It’s your job. Grow up. Quit trying to force us to do your job for you.

Blacklist systems too often put the burden on the victims or advocates for the victims while enabling brand advertising and Madison Ave/Silicon Valley profits at the expenses of others.

Whitelist systems put the burden on those reaping the benefits:  Brands, Madison Ave. Silicon Valley and Publishers.   This is the ethical model.

Note:  whitelists and blacklists are not created by the government.  These lists are designed for a narrow purpose–brands should be able to spend their advertising dollars in a predictable way that results in the brand being able to control the brand’s own speech.  These lists are not designed to block anyone’s speech.

There’s another way to look at this from the brand’s point of view, which may be better than developing “lists” that are either/or lists that put a site in or out or operation.  It is entirely consistent with the brand’s ability to control the integrity of their products and their right to not be defrauded out of advertising money for the brand to put together lists of sites that they want to avoid, or “undesirable” sites as Google’s Theo Bertand said on our panel in London.

Time for the internet advertising ecosystem and their Silicon Valley enablers to learn to act ethically and responsibly.  Companies like Starbucks and Costco have figured it out.  Companies like Walmart that came under criticism for various unethical practices mostly addressed these problems.  What is Silicon Valley’s response?  “Censorship” and “You silly people don’t understand the internet.”

I call bullshit on this argument.  And we “silly people” understand you better than you think.

Silicon Valley is the new wall street.  Sure they have green buildings and make the occasional charitable donations.   But mob bosses were notorious for making donations to the local orphanages and policemen benevolence societies.

Silicon valley doesn’t give a damn how it makes money. It will do anything to make money.  No matter what the moral implications.   It has a fake censorship argument that it uses to mask it’s fundamental amorality and greed.   Entire PR campaigns (including fake paid bloggers and fake public interests groups) are devoted to promoting a techno Nihilism: If you can do it on the internet-no matter how horrific that act may be-stopping someone from doing it is “censorship” and  infringes someone’s “freedom”.

This is the kind of argument a 13 year old wouldn’t even make.  And it’s amazing that the mainstream press never calls them out on this.  Again why is it left to a 50 year old  moderately successful indie rocker to call them out on this bullshit?

Look it’s very simple.

Grown up style freedom:

“My right to swing my fist ends at the tip of the other man’s nose.”

Silicon Valley petulant 13 year old style freedom:

“My right to swing my fist is absolute.  And you’re not the boss of me!”

Silicon Vallley and the rest of the online advertising ecosystem needs to grow up.


Google, Advertising, Money and Piracy. A History of Wrongdoing Exposed.

ADWEEK : “Ad Industry Takes Major Step to Fight Online Piracy”… Again…

Over 50 Major Brands Supporting Music Piracy, It’s Big Business!

Look who’s Pirating now! University Of Georgia Music Business Program’s Preliminary Study Of Advertising On Copyright Infringing Sites.

Ready The Clown Car : Kim Dotcom Contemplates Suing Google, Twitter and Facebook

Serious folks, we can’t make this up.

“Twitter introduces Two-Step-Authentication. Using my invention. But they won’t even verify my Twitter account?!,” Dotcom tweeted.

“Google, Facebook, Twitter, Citibank, etc. offer Two-Step-Authentication. Massive IP (intellectual property) infringement by U.S. companies. My innovation. My patent,” he added.

But it get’s better…

“I never sued them. I believe in sharing knowledge & ideas for the good of society. But I might sue them now cause of what the US did to me,” he said.

However, he said a more productive approach would be if the tech giants helped cover his legal bills to fight prosecution under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA), which he estimated would exceed US$50 million.

“Google, Facebook, Twitter, I ask you for help. We are all in the same DMCA boat. Use my patent for free. But please help fund my defence,” he tweeted.

So essentially he’s threatening to sue the very same people he’s asking for money. Interesting strategy. We’re not sure that Google, Facebook and Twitter feel they are in the same boat. It’s difficult to believe these companies would want to be anywhere near the imploding public spectacle known as Kim Dotcom.


you may also enjoy…

Kim Dotcom claims he invented two-factor authentication—but he wasn’t first | Ars Technica

Dotcom’s European patent was revoked in 2011 largely because AT&T had a patent on the same technology with a priority date from 1995. (Thanks to Emily Weal of patent law firm Keltie for pointing out Dotcom’s European patent travails in the IP Copy blog.)

While Dotcom’s patent in the US is still in force, AT&T also has a US patent pre-dating hisThe Guardian pointed out that Ericsson and Nokia also have patent filings for two-factor systems predating Dotcom’s.

Loser Generated Content – The Exploitation Economy Explained

Essential reading by Soren Mork Petersen, “Loser Generated Content: From Participation to Exploitation.”

In this article [1] some of the critical aspects of Web 2.0 are mapped in relation to labor and the production of user generated content. For many years the Internet was considered an apt technology for subversion of capitalism by the Italian post–Marxists.

What we have witnessed, however, is that the Internet functions as a double–edged sword; the infrastructure does foster democracy, participation, joy, creativity and sometimes creates zones of piracy. But, at the same time, it has become evident how this same infrastructure also enables companies easily to piggyback on user generated content.

Different historical and contemporary examples are provided to map how the architecture of participation sometimes turns into an architecture of exploitation.