Seven years ago, when most videos available online weren't SFW or uploaded using crappy QuickTime or real player software/codecs, a Silicon Valley punk made a site called YouTube and posted a SFW video at the zoo -- the rest was history. Shortly thereafter, I came along and made videos mixing together Jewish and non-Jewish themes for music videos, which were entirely SFW and viewed by a million people. This was when a million views was the ultimate benchmark for going viral. One video, "Rabbis Dancing to 50 Cent" was even featured on AOL's welcome screen. However, this stage came to an end when the Internet became flooded with short films of people doing funny things without their consent, or without their parents' consent (where ARE the parents??).
As videos were being uploaded of music videos, movie parodies, and the kind of stuff you'd see on AFV (only more creepy), regular users like me were getting shut down, but major players with sophisticated equipment and millions of views were being lauded and featured for doing the same exact thing. How is it that a 30-second video I made with clips from obscure Jewish songs and general interest music videos a violation of copyrights? Such material is perfectly legal when used as a short review or parody.
There have been YouTubers who have posted lengthy videos using copyrighted characters and music. Some even got Starz distribution deals. But this isn't the path I wanted. I just wanted to express myself creatively, but when all my videos got taken down (not by the owners, but by YouTube), I panicked and erased all my videos. In reality, YouTube shouldn't rely on their faulty copyright-detection software and should wait until the owner of material posts a removal request. This is a joke, because regular users are not able to post requests for removal of copyrighted videos, and official requests can take up to 24 hours to remove. The Internet is filled with bootleg TV shows and movies. All I did was post short comedy videos like those that you'd see on Comedy Central (not as good as theirs, of course).
The video industry is just like the music industry. Protecting the big leaguers while leaving average folks in the dust. Music industry executives pay DJs thousands of dollars and give them no-holds barred access to songs. This promotes music and helps DJs reach super stardom. It's the little people who get busted. Of course I am totally disenfranchised with the whole business so I'm not going to post videos on some small video site for 100 views. Now all there is to do is dream and watch somebody else post a video of a Hassid singing Lady Gaga. Very funny, my friend. Very funny.
I think that trying to go after people who post short parody videos is an unfair and uneven policy. YouTube and the government should scrutinize videos like Rebecca Black's and see if any child labor laws were violated. Furthermore, protections have to be put in place to discourage people from bullying and posting videos of fights online. The Internet has turned into a Roman coliseum where everyone watches people fight it out; who will get the thumbs up or the thumbs down? People need comedy, but much of what's left online is the total opposite.
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