Showing posts with label Movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Movies. Show all posts

25 October 2012

Open Letter To YouTube

Dear YouTube,

Earlier this year, in April to be exact, my five year old daughter Lola danced her very first ballet recital. It was too cute for words and naturally we, the proud parents, wanted to share this moment with friends and family. In our case they live spread out over the world and the easiest way to share a video is by broadcasting ourselves via YouTube.

I uploaded the footage I had made of Lola’s ballet and tap dance recital. Almost immediately I was hit with a copyright notice. In August you made good on your word and the two videos were blocked in select countries around the world. That turned out to be a bit of a euphemism because only if you lived on Guernsey, Jersey, Samoa or some other exotic island, were you able to watch either video.

Naturally I disputed both claims because a) we are talking about a bunch of non-commercial four and five-year-olds dancing on a carpeted stage for friends and family, and b) my daughter’s dance teacher pays a hefty monthly royalties bill to compensate the artists and the music companies that own the rights to their work for the use of it.

The first claim was almost instantaneously dropped. The second one, for Frank Sinatra’s “High Hopes,” was not. When I checked on the status the other day, I noticed that all but one music company had dropped the claim. The one remaining company was Orchard Music, a young and independent company from New York. They claim they own the rights to Franks Sinatra’s “High Hopes.” And because of that claim, the poor people of Germany were still deprived of the pleasure of watching my daughter and her friends dance.

Dear YouTube, the reason I am writing this public letter is because you are now owned by Google and no longer allow individuals to contact you directly. You see, there is something very wrong with the Orchard Music Group’s claim. They don’t actually own the rights to Frank Sinatra’s “High Hopes.” They don’t own the rights to a lot of the songs and lyrics used in the YouTube videos they have laid claim to. I don’t know why they do this. They like to harass people, evidently (see here and here). But you, dear YouTube, have grown too big to care.

For the record; I am aware that the initial Content ID Match is an automated process. However, once I as a user disputed the claim, it was manually checked by the claimants. For the Orchard Music Group to reinstate their false claim was a conscious act. Fortunately I am not that easily intimidated. I contacted Orchard Music Group directly to point out there was no basis to their claim and they were really being quite ridiculous. And lo and behold, within ten minutes they lifted their claim. With a mere 43 hits, they must have realized there was no money to be made here.

Your methods are seriously flawed, YouTube, and companies like the Orchard Music Group are taking advantage of that. Please consider updating your tools. If you cannot, ask your parent company, Google, to help you with that. They are really quite good at this. If you won’t do it for me, then do it for the Germans. And grandparents everywhere. Herzlichen dank.

The Dutch Girl

01 February 2012

Miss Representation

I ran into the trailer for the documentary Miss Representation this morning on Facebook. It was posted by a blog I follow. The movie “explores the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America, and challenges the media's limited portrayal of what it means to be a powerful woman.” (IMDb, 2011)

It’s important stuff. You should go watch it. Go. Now. I’ll wait.

It makes you want do something, doesn’t it? It did for me anyway. So I shared it on my Facebook page, and visited and pledged I will do anything I can to change the message that is being sent out to little girls and boys today. It’s not much, but it’s something.

What got me thinking were the comments on the original Facebook post by Little Acorn Learning, a Waldorf inspired blog. They boiled down to turning off the TV permanently, not allowing children access to computers, no video games, no cell phones, nothing. While I do understand this knee-jerk reaction, to me it is sticking your head in the sand.

There is no way we will be able to keep our children from the media, and the media from our children. Unless you go off the grid and never return, chances are your child will watch TV or play on a computer at some point. If it’s not at your own house, it’s at school, at a friend’s house, in a waiting room, in a restaurant, in a store. It is extremely hard to avoid.

We do not raise strong, confident, and respectful women and men by ignoring the topic. This approach is very popular with some but teenagers still get pregnant and people still get infected with HIV. Time has proven again and again that the ostrich method simply doesn’t work.

Instead we need to be aware of what we watch, what we say, what we do. We need to talk with our children about what they watch, what they say, what they do. This is how we raise children that are not interested in the current message because they know how limited it is.

So this is me, creating awareness. Please pass it on and help me change the message that is sent to our kids. Thank you.

I’ll get off my soap box now.

26 August 2009

Hole In The Wall

How to bring light in the darkness in eight simple steps:

Step one
Build the window frame. Careful measuring is crucial here!

Step two
Take a break to clean the gutters. Not really necessary for proper window placement, strictly speaking, but much appreciated.

Step three
Cut a hole in the wall. This is a VERY scary step.

Step four
Remove the cat from the new window opening. Essential.

Step five
Place the window. Enlisting the help of a good friend for the heavy lifting rather than working with your wife on this step is better for your marriage and her back. Unfortunately no wife means no photographer.

Step six
Take pride in your work.

Step seven
Mentally prepare for an eternity of grubby fingerprints on the glass.

Step eight
Enjoy the view. And the light!

Ryan did good. Real good. And did I mention he figured out how to light the oven without blowing up the barn, too? My husband rocks, people!

And never before have I enjoyed window washing this much!

20 July 2009

Summer Romance

The third weekend in July is traditionally Lake Fair Weekend in Olympia. And keeping up with our  family tradition, we did not go. It is the time of year when the days are sweltering and the nights are sultry. Rather than melting in a crowd of people we decided to go swimming in Summit Lake, and hang out in the backyard with friends. It was the perfect summer weekend.

It was three years ago this weekend that I came out to Washington for the very first time. A single girl, smitten, flying out for a summer romance with a dashing young man I met at a Wisconsin wedding. Four days later I flew back again, engaged and pregnant. If it weren't for that last bit, Jane Austen would be proud. How quickly and thoroughly life can change...

29 May 2009

Let There Be Light

We have all the windows we need for the downstairs but we cannot install them yet. First we need to frame in the walls and for that we need wood. And since we are focusing on no cost or low cost projects for now, the windows will have to wait a little bit longer.

However. We do have HUGE barn doors. We have just been waiting for the right time to open them. With temperatures in the high seventies and low eighties, that time has come.

25 February 2009

The Party Sink

It's called a party tub. Ours is bright red, oval shaped, and made of plastic. Its purpose is to be filled with ice and drinks at parties. For us it is a sink. It holds our dirty dishes until we are ready to clean them. And sometimes, like yesterday, it doubles as a wash tub or a bathtub.

Lola has obviously beaten the bug.