Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Changes to my Youtube Channel

This is probably of no interest to anybody, but I decided to make a big change to my donpfeff youtube channel: The biggest change being that I took down all of the videos and won't be updating it any more. 

Why? It's something I've been thinking about for a long time, actually, and the time finally became the right time to do it. Here is the explanation I posted on my youtube channel:

What happened to all of my other video reviews? Well, they have been deleted by me and I am officially retiring as a mash-up style film reviewer on youtube. Why? I have been doing this for years and for the most part the reception from viewers has been incredibly positive and encouraging, but behind the scenes I have had to deal with countless issues about copyrights, fair usage rules, and various other things that led me to believe what used to be a fun hobby could in fact get me into trouble, even though I don't believe I was doing anything wrong and all the clips I used were fair use.
However, I'm not a legal expert and it finally occurred to me if that you have to ask yourself if something is illegal -- or even just immoral -- then it's probably a good time to stop doing that. Right? 
What happened to all of my other video reviews? Well, they have been deleted by me and I am officially retiring as a mash-up style film reviewer on youtube. Why? I have been doing this for years and for the most part the reception from viewers has been incredibly positive and encouraging, but behind the scenes I have had to deal with countless issues about copyrights, fair usage rules, and various other things that led me to believe what used to be a fun hobby could in fact get me into trouble, even though I don't believe I was doing anything wrong and all the clips I used were fair use.
However, I'm not a legal expert and it finally occurred to me if that you have to ask yourself if something is illegal -- or even just immoral -- then it's probably a good time to stop doing that. Right? 
Also, and even forgetting issues of copyright, I simply wanted to move on from editing together those kinds of video projects and, instead, working on content that is solely my own to use and do with as I please. 
So Donpfeff may return at some point, but until then I'm going to be posting more original content on my So Awkward Show page. I hope anybody who loved my videos here check out my videos there, and please accept my gratitude for the love and support you all have shown me over the years.
Well, except for all the haters, but even they occasionally made me laugh.

Basically, what began as a fun way to learn more about video editing and share my opinions on films to more people turned into something I became increasingly uncomfortable doing. Take my Spielberg-a-thon for example: I intended for it to be a loving tribute to one of my personal heroes, but after so many of the videos were flagged for possible copyright infringements, I decided that might, in fact, be a lousy way to pay tribute to somebody. I don't think anybody who watched those videos would deny they were lovingly crafted and well-intentioned, but I still don't want to run the risk that what I presumed was fair usage was actually infringement. Over the years I have had many offers to monetize my channel, but I turned them all down because I was already having problems with copyright accusations.

So it just wasn't fun any more. The videos I have been doing with my friend Sarah for our So Awkward channel have been fun, although nowhere near as popular or well received. But then, when I first started doing those video reviews, nobody liked them much either.

Bottom line, if I'm going to be posting things online, I want to make sure they are all my own creation. I want to make sure everything I do is legal and moral and, mostly important, in line with my own sense of right and wrong. I realize I am probably over thinking some dumb video reviews on youtube.

8 comments:

Mugato said...

You know, I have heard this same thing from countless other people on YouTube. Not only borderline copyright issues (such as your stuff...very borderline at best), but just in general YouTube busting balls.

Ole Christian Hagen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ole Christian Hagen said...

I will really miss your reviews on youtube. It was always nice to have your voice in the background while sorting my dvd collection or reading a book. I always liked that you were clearly NOT a fully professional reviewer, and therefore let your own personality and opinions shine through. Your editing style was simple and easy to follow, and you got your points across very nicely. Your videos will be dearly missed.

A nerdy salute:
HyrulianViking

Anonymous said...

First of all I want to thank you for your great videos!

I'm a little confused though, I don't think you did anything wrong and I believe Youtube doesn't either. They just have this broken automated system that we all have to live with.

Also, just because you got bored with a hobby would you tear up the photos of fond memories?

Your stuff was good people liked it, don't go all George Lucas on us. Maybe you can reconsider, at least with "better" work...

JPS said...

I respect your decision. That said, could you bother posting the transcripts of your reviews, assuming your wrote them down first? I'd appreciate being able to at least reconstruct them in my mind.

Anonymous said...

Hi Don
Your reviews are real masterpieces and I enjoyed each word of them.
You made me love Youtube, but your reaction to the hastles of copyrighters shows that something is broken.
Nevertheless I hope you can continue to develop your talent as a commenter, as you know how to do great shortcuts and in the same time make use of your encyclopedic knowledge of James Bond and Spielberg.

Cheers from Paris
David

Justin Garrett Blum said...

That's pretty fucking dumb. Not you. I mean the fact that dumbasses were flagging your videos for copyright infringement.

aak said...

I did not watch a lot of your reviews, but I respected the amount of time and energy you put into them. And, though I did not agree with a lot of your opinions, I liked at least knowing about them. Too bad.