Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

On academia itself. Reflections, now at more than 40 years of age.


[A reply.]

My own experience with universities (plural) is so astoundingly negative that I try not to generalize about it.

You mention Hobbes as an example.

At Univ. of Toronto (supposedly the best university in the country) I enrolled in an advanced course on Hobbes (meaning 300 or 400 level, and only specialists are permitted to enroll).

When I mentioned the name of Cromwell, i.e., Oliver Cromwell, the professor said angrily, "WHO?"

I asked how she could be teaching a course on Hobbes if she did not know the name Cromwell.

She instructed me, both before and after that dialogue, that I ought to drop the course because it would be "an open reading", and should be unencumbered by knowledge of facts of any kind.

She started the class by asking if anyone had already read the book (Leviathan) and then instructed me, at that moment, that I should drop the course, for these reasons.

This experience was, in fact, extremely upsetting to me at the time (i.e., for many days after).  I am 41 years old now, and have suffered in both great magnitude and great variety, both depth and breadth, so to speak; today, such a thing might just inspire me to laugh and make some jeering remarks, however, it was really a disturbing experience at the time.

My experience with universities, then and now, was simply of a corrupt oligarchy of bullies defending their positions of unearned authority by denouncing and exiling anyone who challenged their authority —including, e.g., offering a "challenge" by daring to actually read the "required reading" book.

The accumulated "wisdom" even on the most mainstream philosophical questions (e.g., Aristotle) astounds me in much the same way, so that, after decades, it ceases to be astounding: the same corrupt oligarchy accomplishes nothing over many decades, so that when I search the archives for "progress" (again, even on the most mainstream of research/historical questions imaginable) I find instead "regress".  The computerization of past research makes this kind of survey now easier to do, and the embarrassment at the intellectual poverty of our institutions harder to endure.

In an area as obscure as the politics of Laos, the endangered language Cree, or the archaeology of the Pali language, one begins such a search with the excuse of "obscurity" in hand; but I find the intellectual quality on mainstream subjects (from Aristotle to the use of "Extraordinary Rendition" (i.e., torture) by the United States in recent years, or the reforms to the Chinese medical system) to actually be worse than the research in the many obscure fields I applied myself to before.

E.M.

Thursday, 28 November 2019

More lies and bullying about Copyright on Youtube.


[Message from Andrea Materia, 1 of 2.] 

Since you disputed the claim, there's no other course allowed by YouTube system other than a copyright strike.

However, I manually delayed this for 7 days before it takes effect. It will not, if you retract your dispute. It's how YouTube copyright system works.

It's not at all important my background (I have a degree in Law as a matter of fact), but what DMCA requires. Usage of copyrighted works without a proper license in a publicly distributed audiovisual content, specifically a commercial video, is not allowed.

You haven't asked for permission to the TV producers of the show, nor obtained an agreement in writing. Which would be exactly what a TV station offering a critique of Star Wars would immediately do, even before starting filming that critique segment.

In any case, I'm cc'ing a representative from The Dr. Oz Show online team, if you want to reach out to them.

Your freedom of speech is not impaired at all and we haven't blocked your video, but you cannot monetize works including copyrighted footage, notwithstanding the intrinsic cultural value of your commentary. It is indeed one of the four factors of the Fair Use doctrin: usage must be NON commercial in nature.

Andrea

[Message from Andrea Materia, 2 of 2.] 

Let me say something. . 
Blocking the monetization is not blocking you from showing the videos. Many channels bloc their videos making impossible for other channel to show their videos even if they use few seconds of their video. The problem is not the right of speech. Is the “right to monetize”. By the way I understand that this part has been used within a longer video. So it’s useless to discuss further. 
You will retract the dispute  and we will manually take the claim away so that you can monetize your video. 
Have a wonderful thanksgiving. 

—————

[My reply.] 

I will reply to both of you.

Please understand that I am explaining the sense in which you are "incorrect": this is a matter of being right or wrong.

Re: "Your freedom of speech is not impaired at all and we haven't blocked your video, but you cannot monetize works including copyrighted footage, notwithstanding the intrinsic cultural value of your commentary."

This is untrue: in the American legal tradition (and it is similar in the British Empire tradition, i.e., England and Canada) the right to earn money from your speech is identical to freedom of speech.  For example, if someone prevents a newspaper from earning revenue (from advertising) because of their political message, that is legally tantamount to repressing their freedom of speech.

If the government prevents a newspaper from selling advertising because it is too left-wing (or too right-wing) in its (editorial) political views, that is (legally) repressing the newspaper's freedom of speech.

Please understand: you are factually incorrect about this (in the legal and policy context of youtube).  In Communist China, there is a different legal tradition, but this is irrelevant to the discussion of youtube policy in 2019 (under American law, for the most part).

Re: "You haven't asked for permission to the TV producers of the show, nor obtained an agreement in writing. Which would be exactly what a TV station offering a critique of Star Wars would immediately do, even before starting filming that critique segment."

This is completely, factually untrue (both in principle and in practice).

TV stations do not require permission to criticize a clip of Star Wars, nor a clip of Donald Trump speaking: they DO NOT need to get an agreement in writing for this type of broadcasting (and they never do so in the United States).

Use of footage of a private individual is somewhat different (e.g., if you had "hidden camera" footage of a non-famous, non-political person who did not agree to participate), but any "public figure" is fair use and fair game.

I do not know how you made this error: you are both very badly mistaken about the basic reality of "fair use" law in the American tradition (and apparently you have no experience working in the media… whereas I do!).

Again, you can familiarize yourself with the principles and practices in the American tradition via Wikipedia:


"[A] reviewer may fairly cite largely from the original work, if his design be really and truly to use the passages for the purposes of fair and reasonable criticism. On the other hand, it is as clear, that if he thus cites the most important parts of the work, with a view, not to criticize, but to supersede the use of the original work, and substitute the review for it, such a use will be deemed in law a piracy ..."

That's the deal.

Using a one minute quotation from Jordan Peterson (a public figure) in the context of offering a political critique of Jordan Peterson is very clearly protected freedom of speech both under American law and under youtube policy.

It is astounding that you have failed to recognize this.

Re: "By the way I understand that this part has been used within a longer video. So it’s useless to discuss further. You will retract the dispute  and we will manually take the claim away so that you can monetize your video. "

This is a somewhat bizarre statement: are you (or are you not) admitting that you have been wrong in every single statement you made above?

Are you, in fact, going to cancel your malicious and false copyright strike against my channel, and the repression of my free speech through the intentional misuse of youtube's copyright system?

You say, "and we will manually take the claim away so that you can monetize your video."

We'll see.  Either you'll do it, or I'll see you in court.

You CANNOT win in court, do you understand this?  I won't even need to hire a lawyer: the only possible argument you could offer (legally) would be that "one minute" of the video is so extensive that it replaces the original TV program (akin to playing the whole of Star Wars in reviewing Star Wars), and you know very well that you could not win with this argument.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Every day I have to deal with (false) copyright claims against my channel.

Hi,

we will give you 7 days to retract your dispute before issuing a copyright strike.

You're severely misunderstanding how copyright law works.

We haven't removed your video from YouTube, nor prevented you from presenting your commentary and voicing your freedom of expression.

We have on the other hand claimed the part of your video which uses, WITHOUT a proper license, an entire minute of our property, since we manage all of Dr Oz assets on YouTube on his behalf.

Fair Use does allow your to transform the original, as you say, and indeed you have NOT received any copyright strike yet.

But it doesn't allow you to monetize intellectual properties not of your own. You have to negotiate an appropriate license for that.

I hope you will appreciate the fact that we try to reach out to Creators instead of just managing copyright and sending out notifications as all of the other networks do.

Thank you.

Andrea

Andrea Materia

Greater Fool Media Srl, CEO

—————

[My reply.]

You are incorrect on every point of fact here —including your
statement that you have NOT made a copyright strike against me (you
have!).

Re: "You're severely misunderstanding how copyright law works."

No, I might say these same words back to you: I'd encourage you to
consider both youtube's own guidelines and to just glance at a few
wikipedia articles on the "Fair Use" case law (court precedents) that
both define and describe what the American tradition is.

Please ask yourself this question: would a T.V. station be allowed to
play "an entire minute" (as you say) of the film Star Wars, in the
process of offering a critique of that film?  Yes, they would.  That
is fair use (a.k.a. "fair dealing", etc.) —and it is a clearly
protected form of freedom of speech.

Please ask yourself: would I be allowed to play "an entire minute" of
footage of Donald Trump speaking (that I did not record myself, but
someone else owned the rights to) in the course of offering a critique
of Donald Trump?  This is the most clearly protected use of freedom of
speech in the United States (and in most western democracies likewise)
and I am protected even in broadcasting on television and even in
offering advertisements (in a newspaper, on television, or on youtube)
because a law to the contrary would have "a chilling effect" on
freedom of speech.

You say that you are a C.E.O.

May I ask what university education you have?  My major was political
science.  I understand your (stated) good intentions, but you're wrong
on this: if you take me to court, you'll lose (a very casual glance at
Wikipedia-level summaries of salient case law will make this clear to
you, if you have some education in the field.

Thank you for your time, and by all means, please do cancel your
copyright strike against my channel.  Otherwise, yes, I'll see you in
court.

E.M.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

You know the lifestyle.

You can just barely see the Chinese vocabulary cards in the distance, past the maquette of Socrates.  This photograph was, in fact, taken at a time when I was using the blank (and red) memorization-cards (in the foreground) for modern greek, not Chinese.

Monday, 7 October 2019

Reminder: Chinese has Two Sets of Numerals ("Banking Numerals" or "Safety Numerals")


壹、貳、叁(参)、肆、伍、陸、柒、捌、玖、拾.

Several of these numerals have multiple, alternate forms: there is definitely a form of 貳 in use that just has two lines in the bottom-left corner, for example, and and 叁 can be written as 参, etc.