Daily Archives: February 26, 2010

Peerpex needs a friend

Two years ago, Peerpex.com was born. The idea was to tap into the increasing trend for smaller companies to use outsourcing, especially to search for overseas partners. That trend has increased and there is an increasing need for a tool such as Peerpex to connect smaller firms together, but the founders are struggling to make it happen.

Why? Because we are all really busy working on the things we need to do to keep the lights on at home.

Stephen Page runs Sapphire Group, and a number of other companies, including the ideas incubator Ortegra along with Jay Shah. Mark Kobayashi-Hillary is a well-known blogger and media commentator with several new books in production.

Since Peerpex was born we have built a strong technology platform and search engine. You can see the draft site at www.peerpex.com, which does work, but is not representative of the final product as there isn’t much data there.

Peerpex is not designed to replace Linked In – it’s unlikely anyone will do that for some time. It’s designed to be an international community for smaller companies interested in working together, to promote and facilitate a community of small and medium-sized outsourcing.

We originally planned a business model focused on the sale of qualified leads, but that idea cooled when we felt it presents Peerpex in the same light as the many sites that allow individual contractors and freelancers to pitch for work. Some of those sites work really well, but we want Peerpex to sit in a niche where it supports smaller companies, not just individual freelancers.

So, we think the idea is still good. P2P is a proven model. Outsourcing is expanding to be used by smaller firms. And there is no simple network helping smaller companies to find each other. Plus there is some strong technology that has been developed for Peerpex, along with a lot of ideas about how to make it work.

But Mark and Stephen don’t have the time each day to make this a success – we need an executive manager to take charge and redefine the business model, strip out the technology that’s not going to work, and to give the project some focus. It’s a success waiting to happen.

In return, you will get a significant share of the company. If you don’t have the time to do it personally, but you are interested in investing so we can hire a manager, that’s another option we could explore together.

Get in touch.

stephenp@sapphiregroup.com

mail@markhillary.com

Google responds to my messages – at last!

The press team at Google finally got in touch with me. I lost my Youtube account on Monday and it’s taken me a week, blogs, tweets, and introductions from various journalists and PRs to get a response….
——
Hi Mark
Amy passed on your email about your YouTube account and the story you’re writing for Computer Weekly. I checked out your blog to see the latest and I apologise for the fact you’ve found it frustrating to get hold of the press team. I also see that you’re in touch directly with YouTube’s copyright team and are planning to file counter-notices, and I’m glad that at least that process has started.
I understand your frustration at our repeat infringer policy, and wanted to provide a statement that explains the background to why we have one and why it operates as it does:
“Under the DMCA, the relevant law, service providers like YouTube are required to adopt and implement a policy to terminate the accounts of repeat copyright infringers.  YouTube implements its repeat infringer policy in a way that has become the industry standard, and the courts have confirmed that other companies with similar policies adequately implement this legal requirement.
“Of course, we do everything we can to help our users avoid being in the position of being accused of repeat infringement and losing their accounts.  We have clear copyright warnings when people sign up for accounts and when they upload videos; we have a copyright tips section in the Help Centre; we make it easy to file counter-notices if users feel they’ve been falsely accused; and we provide clear notice to our users when a video taken down for infringement that we will close down their account if they continue to post infringing content.  Also, we make it easy for rights holders to use our Content ID system so that their matched content can be monetised instead of taken down under the DMCA removal process if they so choose.”
If there’s anything else I can provide in the way of statements or answers to questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Best wishes
Oliver
——

Youtube responds… I am a repeat offender…

I *finally* got an email this morning from youtube about my deleted account.

—–

Hi markhillary,

Thanks for your email. We received multiple notifications from various
content owners regarding unauthorized content that has been uploaded by
your account(s). When we’re notified that a particular video uploaded to
our site infringes another’s copyright, we remove the material as the law
requires. Federal law requires that we terminate accounts when they are
found to repeatedly infringe copyright. Because you have had other videos
rejected in the past, we are unable to reinstate your account. Users with
suspended or terminated accounts are prohibited from creating new accounts
or accessing YouTube’s community. You will need to resolve at least one of
these penalties before your account can be reinstated. You may be able to
resolve at least one of the following video removals by filing a
counter-notification.

The following videos have been removed from your account:

Penalty 1:
“Oxygene (Part VI) Jean Michel Jarre” formerly at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0GFnKXa6PU
Removed due to a copyright claim by FRANCIS DREYFUS MUSIC on 04/03/2008

Penalty 2:
“Jager Yoga – CSS Shepherds Bush Empire London – Oct 6 2008” formerly at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jQVE_JP4hE
Removed due to a copyright claim by Stage Three Music on 09/04/2009

Penalty 3:
“Jimmy Carr – Bath Pavilion – 20 Feb 2010” formerly at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a65IMh2ynzo
Removed due to a copyright claim by Chambers Management on 02/22/2010

IMPORTANT: If you feel a content owner has misidentified your content as
infringing, you may be able to resolve one or more of these penalties by
filing a counter-notification. For more information, please visit our Help
Center article about counter-notifications at
http://help.youtube.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?answer=59826.

Regards,

The YouTube Team

—–

That’s three complaints against me over the past two years. I wouldn’t say that makes me a persistent offender, but Youtube seems to have a ‘3 strikes and you’re out’ policy – deleting my account and all the content without notice.

But, look more closely at these complaints. Jean-Michel Jarre in April 2008. I went to see him in March 2008 and I filmed some of the show, then credited it to him on the video. Take a look at what he asked his fans to do, back in March 2008… I saw this video before I went to the show. I knew that Jarre *wanted* his fans to film him and distribute the content. He even offered a reward for the best video from the tour! Yet, his record company came along and deleted my video on youtube.

The second one, CSS in Shepherd’s Bush in 2008, isn’t really something I can defend. I filmed the opening of the concert and put it online – clearly the band didn’t like it and deleted the video. I would argue that some shaky hand-held mobile phone footage from the audience is not going to prevent people buying music by CSS, or going to their gigs. In fact, quite the opposite. Someone seeing this might actively look out for their shows in future. But I can’t really argue against this penalty – if the copyright holder wants to remove the video then they have the right.

And then, the third one just recently in 2010, where I filmed some of the audience waiting to see Jimmy Carr in Bath. It didn’t feature Jimmy, or his material… there was nothing stolen, just some happy fans in a packed venue waiting to see Jimmy. Obviously I don’t agree with this one being banned, but Jimmy’s management have informed me they have a policy of no filming at the gigs – even if Jimmy is not on stage.

So in the five years I have been uploading content to Youtube, all 900 or so videos, I’ve broken the rules once. That’s 0.1% of the content I’ve uploaded that has caused an issue with a copyright holder. Is that consistent with the behaviour of a pirate, or a persistent copyright thief?

Jimmy Carr’s management have offered to withdraw their copyright violation claim, if it means I get my videos back. That’s a nice gesture by them and I hope it does allow my account to be restored.

I’ve sent a counter-claim against Jean-Michel Jarre’s record company. I never complained about it before, but if there really is a ‘3 strikes and you’re out’ policy, and I do manage to get my videos back, then it will still mean I am one complaint away from losing all my video again. One more incorrect claim I might stress, because I’m not sitting at home with DVD copies of ‘House’, uploading every episode.

More to follow, but I have not heard anything from Google’s press team yet. I’m writing the entire saga up for Computer Weekly and talking to some other journalists about what it means for those using Youtube as a video storage facility. But Google don’t seem to want to comment.