So, I finally got my videos back from Youtube. Anyone following my blog over the past week will have seen that YouTube decided to arbitrarily delete my account after five years of uploads totally around 900 videos.
They never warned me. I never knew anything about the ‘three strikes and you’re out’ policy, which I have since confirmed with the Google press office is an official policy – you get three complaints against you and they just delete your account without any notice.
And did I get any help at all from YouTube or Google? No, not at all. In fact, they entirely ignored my rants about the injustice of what they were doing until the national media started paying attention to my plight… with comments from Computing and the Guardian helping to draw attention to this issue.
The only reason I got my content back was because I got in touch with the company that made the complaint and I asked them nicely to withdraw their copyright claim, in return for me deleting the offending video. By them withdrawing their complaint I could at least get my account reactivated.
But what if the team looking after Jimmy Carr had not been prepared to listen? What if they had their own procedures to follow that did not allow them to go back on a decision like that? I’d still be ranting and fighting the gigantic Google machine over my lost film collection.
And even now, I know I am one complaint away from losing all my video all over again. What if a copyright owner files another erroneous copyright claim? Am I going to face this problem all over again?
I’m going to chase up all those complaints now. This is not over yet.