Facebook is abetting intellectual-property thieves

Summary: Facebook abets a shadowy, intellectual-property thief. This thief has stolen rights to all of my videos since June 2022.

Details:

I broadcast my bike rides. I throw a GoPro HERO9 on my helmet and live-stream the ride to Facebook. The camera uses my phone’s hotspot for data.

I know, it’s silly. It’s a gambit to get my Facebook friends to accost me for a $2 bill. (Only ten $2 bills have been distributed in the past 26 months.)

As self-created recordings of my own bike rides, these videos are my original creations. Despite that, since late June, every video ends up with a copyright notice:

Partial still of my video with a bogus copyright notice on top.

When I click on the notice, I get an error:

When I try to get more info on these bogus copyright notices, I often get an error. Did Facebook design this into the system to protect thieves?

Refreshing that page, I finally get useful info:

Facebook says a thief’s property matches part of my video.

Huh, so Facebook alleges that a thief’s fake property matches part of my video. Let’s click See details and find out more:

Faecbook says a recording of my bike ride has someone else’s “music”? 🤣🤣🤣

Facebook says the 14.72 minute recording of my bike ride has 93.25 minutes of someone else’s audio? 🤣 So many problems with this.

What are these 72 territories where the claim is asserted?

72 countries where my audio is muted, due to someone using Facebook to steal my intellectual property.

Heres’ the 72 countries where Facebook allows a thief to steal my intellectual-property rights:

  1. Andorra
  2. Netherlands Antilles
  3. Angola
  4. Antarctica
  5. Aland Islands
  6. Azerbaijan
  7. Bahrain
  8. Burundi
  9. Benin
  10. Saint Barthelemy
  11. Brunei
  12. Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba
  13. Bhutan
  14. Bouvet Island
  15. Botswana
  16. Belarus
  17. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  18. Central African Republic
  19. Republic of the Congo
  20. Ivory Coast
  21. China
  22. Cuba
  23. Djibouti
  24. Western Sahara
  25. Eritrea
  26. Ethiopia
  27. Faroe Islands
  28. Gabon
  29. Greenland
  30. Gambia
  31. Equatorial Guinea
  32. Greece
  33. Guinea-Bissau
  34. Haiti
  35. Hungary
  36. British Indian Ocean Territory
  37. Iran
  38. Comoros
  39. North Korea
  40. Liberia
  41. Moldova
  42. Saint Martin
  43. Madagascar
  44. Marshall Islands
  45. Myanmar
  46. Mauritania
  47. Mauritius
  48. Maldives
  49. Mozambique
  50. New Caledonia
  51. Niger
  52. French Polynesia
  53. Papua New Guinea
  54. Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  55. Pitcairn
  56. Sudan
  57. Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  58. Slovenia
  59. Svalbard and Jan Mayen
  60. Sierra Leone
  61. Somalia
  62. South Sudan
  63. Sao Tome and Principe
  64. Syria
  65. Chad
  66. French Southern Territories
  67. Togo
  68. Timor-Leste
  69. East Timor
  70. United States Minor Outlying Islands
  71. British Virgin Islands
  72. Wallis and Futuna

This is a diverse group of countries: Second World, Third World, Axis of Evil, microstates, client states, failed states, and more. The only commonality I can fathom is they might not take intellectual property seriously, making it easy for thieves to use them as property-theft tools.

If I hit Continue (see two screenshots above), I pass through some perfunctory dialogs:

Perfunctory dialog explaining the basics of copyright.

Continuing, copyright tips that are inapplicable to someone who, like me, puts his original creation on Facebook:

Another perfunctory dialog giving irrelevant information to people who own the rights to their own media.

Finally, I get to do something:

Dialog allowing me to choose my next step: accept changes, submit dispute, or remove video.

Selecting Submit dispute then Continue brings more perfunctory dialogs:

Perfunctory dialog explaining what it means to dispute a copyright claim.

Now I can submit the dispute. I filled out the Submit dispute dialog:

Submit dispute dialog, filled out with relevant information.

Pressing Submit nearly always brings me to a final dialog, saying that my dispute was accepted and more information that is irrelevant to people uploading their original creation:

Dispute-accepted dialog.

Now the original support message says the audio was restored:

Facebook’s support message changed, now indicating that the audio is restored.

This is not an isolated occurrence. It has been happening since June 28. Here’s a screenshot of my Facebook support inbox:

Sampling of where Facebook aided a copyright thief many times.

This usually works but not always. I am incapable of shoving the thief off of one of my June videos. Every dispute attempt on that video ends in an error:

I always get an error after disputing a particular June video.

Is this an example of Facebook providing even more aid and comfort to intellectual-property thieves?

This experience concerns me on several levels:

  • Facebook allows thieves to use its system to steal rights to others’ intellectual property.
  • Facebook does not tell me which part of my original creation is triggering the thief’s false claim.
  • Facebook does not identify the thief to me.
  • Facebook’s interface appears to be designed to assist the thieves, using error messages to thwart intellectual-property owners.
  • At what point will Facebook suspend my account due to too many intellectual-property issues?

Here’s the same video, on YouTube (no fake copyright violations!):

The video where Facebook lets a thief steal my intellectual property. Also, this is more than 2 minutes longer than Facebook’s video. I haven’t analyzed why.

I challenge you to spot a copyright violation in it.

Technical notes that may be inconsequential:

  1. The video that Facebook sees is the broadcasted video, which is what the GoPro sends to Facebook through my phone’s hotspot. The above YouTube video is straight off the GoPro’s SD card. Having artifacts of running through a hotspot with variable speed, such as occasional skips or glitches, the broadcasted video will be lower quality than the SD-card-sourced YouTube video.
  2. My videos are usually much longer. The one that is the subject of this post is short because the camera turned itself off during my ride. That happens once or twice a month in hot weather, possibly due to overheating. The battery was at 77% when I restarted the camera.
  3. On occasion, when I ride by someone who has a speaker going, my video may pick up a brief recording of whatever music is playing. This is again unusual and is a brief recording further harmed by a lot of wind noise. These possible incidental recordings have never before triggered a copyright notice, so I don’t think they explain this issue. I once inadvertently included an incidental recording into another video–not bike-ride related–and I remember Facebook identifying the copyright holder, unlike what happens in this incident.

Why is Apache clinging to OpenOffice’s corpse?

Why is Apache clinging to OpenOffice?

It’s dead. Its last major release was version 4.1, from 2014!

In contrast, LibreOffice‘s release schedule is robust:

Timelines of major product releases. OpenOffice is light blue, LibreOffice is green. (source)

In 2020, LibreOffice wrote a constructive letter, outlining a path for OpenOffice to acknowledge reality.

Apache’s OpenOffice page doesn’t hint that it’s dead.

By declining to set the record straight, Apache is misinforming a lot of users, as the OpenOffice brand appears to have parity with LibreOffice:

Apache needs to declare OpenOffice dead, focus attention elsewhere, and redirect people to LibreOffice. Why is Apache not doing this?

P.S., Yes, I know, OpenOffice is not technically “dead”. Some users still cling to it for legacy reasons, and there could be a case for some maintenance releases. That doesn’t excuse Apache’s refusal to acknowledge reality, which is certainly misleading users.

Blocking unsolicited calls on Skype for Business

I hate cold sales calls or emails. All of these end up on a block list. If I want your service, I’ll initiate the contact.

Skype for Business lacks a native call-blocking functionality. Here’s a workaround, if you also use Outlook.

How to block spam callers

Follow these steps:

  1. Open Outlook.
  2. Create a new contact and fill in these fields:
    1. Full Name: Blocked Contact (xxx-xxx-xxxx) where xxx-xxx-xxxx is the phone number of the spam caller. That format is my preference, not a strict requirement. It’s also fine to use (xxx) xxx-xxxx, although that format has little meaning anymore since the area code is never optional when dialing numbers.
    2. Email: blockedxxx@fake.com where xxx is a unique number. I simply increment that number from the prior spam caller’s contact record.
    3. Business (in the Phone numbers section): xxx-xxx-xxxx, which is the phone number of the spam caller.
  3. Hit the contact’s Save & Close button.
  4. If you get a Duplicate Contact Detected dialog, it’s because a crude Outlook feature suspects this contact may duplicate another one. It may happen because the name and email address data on each blocked-caller contact is similar. Select Add new contact, then press Update.
  5. Open Skype for Business.
  6. Search on the phone number of the blocked caller.
  7. You’ll get two results: the phone number itself and the Outlook contact, named Blocked Contact (xxx-xxx-xxxx). Right-click on the Outlook contact and select Change Privacy Relationship > Blocked Contacts.

Now the caller will usually be sent directly to your voice mail!

Why “usually”? Sometimes Skype for Business is slow to associate a caller with a blocked contact, so you may get some rings before the caller is sent to voice mail.

Email is still the #1 marketing and communication channel

The “death of email” fad is over a decade old. It is wrong. Email is still key to marketing and communications (marcom).

“Death of email” supposes people move to other platforms. The “other platforms” part isn’t wrong. Social media platforms barely existed a decade ago, and now they are widely used. The “move” part is what’s wrong.

Email is effective

Email’s first strength: it reaches more people than any other platform.

If you search on this, two facts emerge:

  • Email is by far the #1 tool, measured by percent of people using it.
  • The pandemic has significantly increased email utilization.

Effective email communications should be a marcom starting point.

Other platforms

Email’s other strength: it’s a single platform.

Think about social media: some are on Facebook, some are on Twitter, some are on Instagram, some are on other platforms. Effective marcom on social media requires you to cross-post to several platforms. That’s a chore!

Other platforms can be secondary

For all important communications, email should be primary. That means what you need to communicate, or a link to this information, must be in an email. Other platforms must be secondary.

Want to also convey information over Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, etc.? Go for it! Just be consistent and thorough with what you do. If a social media platform’s users become satisfied with communications over it, they may pay less attention to emails.

Exceptions

Targeted or non-important communications? Do what makes most sense. A geofenced communication to find prospects may make sense exclusively on social media.

What about communities that are simply part of a social-media platform, such as Facebook groups? In that case, using social media as the primary or even exclusive communications tools could make sense.

Finally, your organization may have a practice of using selected platforms for communications. For communicating with affiliates, exclusive use of the selected platforms could be fine. This assumes enough of your affiliates are willing to watch for information on that platform.

Summary

Email is the dominant communication platform. Allegations of change have been hoaxes.

For typical marketing and communications, email-first should be the rule. If it’s important, it must be in an email. Other platforms are generally best for complementing emails.

Android is better than iPhone

UPDATE (the next day): I scored each of the 17 reasons why Android is better than iPhone (and four areas where iPhone is better), and the net score tells me to keep the iPhone.

I don’t understand why people like the iPhone so much. After 10 days, I am unimpressed. I wrote about my experience at iPhone is inferior to Android.

I’ve switched back to my Pixel 4 XL. If I don’t miss the iPhone in a couple of days, I’ll return it.