Power to the People or Something

I think we all probably underestimate our individual power. On Christmas Eve, I shared a video on Facebook with a friend. I’d have texted it, but the file was too big. It was shared ONLY with her. It is a very poor quality phone video of her blind husband singing “From a Distance” with Bette Midler on a CD in the background. He LOVES that song; it makes him cry in a good way. When the song ended they had a “moment” which was the sweetest part of the whole thing. I stood in the living room and made a video of the part of the song I caught.

So… Sony entertainment (???) Immediately blocked it on Facebook due to a copyright infringement. It wasn’t for sale. The song was incomplete. It had an audience of one. I filed a protest. The protest was denied. All because, probably, I am an enormous threat to Sony Entertainment and a solitary blind man singing poorly on Christmas Eve is a WORSE threat, copying Bette Midler like that. Never mind his wife who, if she saw it, would be a REAL threat to Sony entertainment.

What’s most disturbing is how did Sony FIND that thing within seconds (yes!) of my posting it? Yeah, I know it’s a bot, but… I’d really like to get off Facebook but at this moment in time it would be unkind. Now I’m wondering if kind vs. unkind is even something to think about.

I haven’t followed the various Facebook sagas of the past years because I know I’m not leaving. I have all of 50 friends. BUT I have pages for my art work and books — one reason I’m still on Facebook. The other is it is the one place my very elderly beloved adopted art mother can “live” at this point in her life. She’s 96, in an assisted living facility, and Covid has restricted her life even more. It’s another element of our twisted reality, weighing the benefits with the liabilities.

In other news, I have a really good cup of coffee this morning and, sadly, it’s about empty. Dark times, dark times. BUT, on the bright side, Teddy is right here, waiting to lick out the cream and coffee mixture.

29 thoughts on “Power to the People or Something

  1. Well, in other crappier news…WP unfollowed me from your blog! I wondered why this post was on the RDP page and not in my Inbox. Nope, you are not in my Reader. So, following you again, Martha. **grumble damn WP grumble**

  2. Meanwhile, while you’re getting your hand slapped for a beautiful video, the country is still dealing with mass shootings, ignorance, REAL crime, poverty, (I’m not listing these in order of importance as they are all equally horrible), sex trafficking, massive deaths from viruses, and the list goes on…it just frosts my fritters! I did enjoy your good news because life is too short for bad coffee. And Facebook? It’s been nearly 4 years since I left it. I understand your reasons for staying; but am so happy it’s not part of my life anymore. Teddy, you’re a good boy and deserve that lick!

  3. Common sense doesn’t exist. As a songwriter I get occasional mailbox money and am glad I have pros monitoring my performance stuff. But it has just gone way too far. Locally, the ASCAP rep bullies pub owners about live music performances and demands money, etc. I’m now with BMI and they have been great. Still, it’s all just a mess. Oh, surprise.

    • Yeah, well, I’m disgusted. If that video has anything to do with Sony it’s an advertisement for that Bette Midler song. “Listen to this song and you will be this moved, feel this intensely, and get a big ‘Oh I love you so much!’ from your wife.” It’s marketing.

  4. That is endemic to social media in general. Do a review of a show by a major media company on YouTube and if you put in even one screenshot the distributor will have them take down your video. Sony and Disney are notorious for this. It is legal because social media platforms are privately owned and the owner of the platform can do as it pleases. Clearly a case of legit “fair use” under any interpretation of the law, but you don’t own a network or a newspaper. There are no free speech guarantees on social media.

    If you’re making money off your channel they’ll leave it up but any money you might have made will be transferred over to the complaining party. There is no recourse because somewhere in the vast fine print of the contract it says they can do that.

    It is all done by bots because the internet is too vast by far for humans to do it. That’s in your terms of agreement too.

    • I don’t care if it’s in my terms of agreement. It was stupid and unkind. Anyway, in the future, I will get off Facebook. I’ve already taken down most of my pages and “unfriended” everyone I don’t have contact with. What’s cool is that FB won’t notice my absence. 🙂

  5. Live and learn — although I’m not on Facebook anymore so this isn’t my lesson.
    Mt experience with Fb is minuscule. When I became an RDP prompter I had to join Fb to connect with that group and keep abreast of news. I posted a few friendly-type comments to other prompters– maybe 4 or 5 — to members of that group — and never intruded anywhere else. After several months of not hearing anything from the group or members, I went to Fb and learned my account had been cancelled for being in violation any of their policies. Owell.

    Those ever vigilant bots are a brainless lot. This one had no way of assessing your intention, just sent up a red flag at the tune because Sony does own the rights and must be contacted for permission, period. We can’t expect intelligence, much less compassion, where there is none.

    They’re impersonal like the weather, which doesn’t care how much we need rain, or want snow, or that people are freezing out in the cold. It was -42 this morning whether we liked it or not. 😦

    • I get that they are impersonal, but the difference between them and the weather is that the weather isn’t motivated by greed. It’s nature. I sent an objection, and it was not read by a bot, but by a person. 😦

      In the very very beginning I was an RDP prompter. I couldn’t do it long. It was too much like coming up with assignments for English class!!!

      -42 is too cold. I remember some winters like that in Montana. That’s close the drapes, stay by the stove cold. I’m sorry. I hope it breaks pretty soon. Here it’s windy, the wind chill is cold, but the so-called air temp is around freezing in the day. It’s not enjoyable, but it’s not deadly. We’re dealing with it which is, I guess, what we all do.

      • True, the weather isn’t usually motivated by greed, unless you count smog. 😉 Do you think it was read by a real person, or just a higher level of robot? No matter – I’m sorry that you couldn’t send your message to your friend. It could rather have been considered as a promo for the song or singer. I hope bots aren’t monitoring my WhatsApp, but who knows?

        I enjoyed coming up with words for RDP but the reading and commenting in some suitable way to everyone who posted a response got difficult at times. Such a variety would come up.

        We went to the city today and did some shopping. At one stop I overhead a weatherman on what must have been an Alberta channel telling viewers that this “Siberian cold snap” was so drastic. Yes very cold, but we often get a week of -40 between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Today the wind chill did make it worse, we can’t be outside for long, but today wasn’t an extreme for us. Newsmen do like to make things into “the worst that ever was!” It’s deadly for anyone who tries to live on the streets; my heart aches for those folks. I hope it breaks pretty soon, too.

        • Definitely a promo for the song and singer — a song that could evoke that amount of feeling in an old man like that? that’s an advertisement. OH well.

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