Who was the first person to tell a US President to legalize & why did Youtube disable the audio of my PTV Obama show?

Louis Armstrong - lifelong pot supporter and legalization activistLouis Armstrong – lifelong pot supporter and legalization activistI came across a book the other day that contained evidence for perhaps one of the first examples of anyone petitioning a US President to legalize cannabis.

Let me show you the quote:

“… he came to use marijuana on a daily basis, until the end of his life. He did not apologize for it. He told John Hammond, “It makes you feel good, man. It relaxes you, makes you feel wanted, and when you’re with another tea smoker it makes you feel a special kinship.” Later on he wrote President Dwight Eisenhower, saying that marijuana ought to be legalized. It was, he felt, certainly less harmful than alcohol.”
– Louis Armstrong – An American Genius, James Lincoln Collier, Oxford University Press, 1983 p. 221

Fascinating stuff!

Now imagine if someone took that quote down from an internet website claiming that Oxford University Press owned the rights to those words in that order and that I had infringed upon their intellectual property rights. That would suck, right? Don’t we have a right to this information? Should people’s intellectual property rights protect artists and writers from PARTS of their work being reproduced and shared or just from having their ENTIRE work reprinted?

It’s an interesting question. I myself think that people should just let everything that is upload-able just be free from all copyright and just get paid out of “packages” of information like the rights to the sales of a particular book or CD or DVD. I think fair use includes the right of scapegoats to catalog their cultural history in order to explain themselves and avoid genocide … call me crazy, but I think human rights are more important than intellectual property rights.

Which makes Youtube’s decision to disable the audio on my new High Society show so baffling. The name of the show is “Obama on Drugs & The Racist Drug War”. You can see the comments generated by the censorship by viewing the Youtube page here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmWajnZh8EE&feature=channel_page

You can watch the show without the audio disabled here:

High Society – Obama on Drugs & The Racist Drug War from Adam Glover on Vimeo.

http://blip.tv/file/2152525/
http://www.vimeo.com/4808611
http://www.veoh.com/browse/videos/category/activism_non_profit/watch/v185096956mgjRhzS

Youtube has a “http://www.youtube.com/t/howto_copyright” section, and says under it’s “What about fair use” subsection:

“It’s possible that you may be permitted to include small excerpts from copyrighted material in your video if what you intend to use is insubstantial or is incidentally included, or where the intended use you have for the copyrighted material falls within a exception or limitation to copyright under the law in your country.”

On Wikipedia’s “Fair Use” page it states:

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

       1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
       2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
       3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
       4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use

To make a long argument short, I feel that my Obama High Society show
a) is intended to save the world by helping to end the biggest and longest running war in the world and had nothing to do with making money (the show cost me much more to make than I would get paid by Marc or Marc would get paid by advertisers),
b) is taking from stuff that could be passed over a photo copier or captured on my computer screen and therefore is already in the public domain,
c) is taking bits and pieces of other works rather than reproducing those works entirely, and
d) is not going to devalue the original raw material but rather add to their importance, value and their ultimate worth.

Please follow those links and check out the show. I put lots of work into it and am very proud of it.

Feel free to copy it and sell hardcopies for cost on the street corner. Send your friends and family the links. And send the links to the White House at [email protected] – maybe if enough people do this Obama himself will watch the show … you never know!

And please, if you feel as I do that the show falls under “Fair Use” guidelines, let the folks at Youtube know by putting a comment on the Youtube showpage … but be polite about it.

David Malmo-Levine

Comments

17 Comments

  1. David Malmo-Levine on

    “clean means respect to avoid contamination by various small filths of lax procedure in a shortcut DIY scenerio”

    Hmmm …. nobody else minded the small filths and the “procedure” I was following was the “Fair Use” or “Fair Dealings” procedure.

    Let’s see … Vimeo records the number of hits per day – the total keeps increasing every day!

    I guess I’m working clean enough for the web-video-watching public … who knew the show would be such a smashing success!

  2. Anonymous on

    and if you fuck you’re a fucker

    “…The most important part of education isn’t tuition or accreditation, it’s information and knowledge transfer…”

    You are describing educational materials, ie books and CDs-
    information transfer is what educators do. they work clean like a food handler works clean,- clean means respect to avoid contamination by various small filths of lax procedure in a shortcut DIY scenerio.

    But hey, this doesn’t matter in your case as law breakers and their clients are not the public.

  3. David Malmo-Levine on

    “you are not an educator David– you re not affiliated with any recognised educational institution, nor are you an accredited teacher.professor, instructor etc nor do you have have any students studying towards anything..”

    The most important part of education isn’t tuition or accreditation, it’s information and knowledge transfer. Here is some proof of that happening:

    ganjaking187
    “i watched this from another source it was awesome”

    carybilcowski
    “Wow! I’ve watched this video on a less oppressive hosting site. Great job.”

    dg4rez
    “had to go to pottv ‘s youtube channel.. front page to watch with sound… and I watched the whole thing. was a great movie. pritty long, and informitive. 5stars!”

    HydroDay
    “Click the PotTv icon to view with sound on their main page, worth the watch.”

    rasheeda5477
    “This is available there, and it was very well worth the watch. Thanks”

    GombratoProductions
    “5 stars good watch”

    Freedom to think
    “In this case, YouTube isn’t even following its own rules! Shameful. Great show David!”

    Honors for this video (9)
    #97 – Most Discussed (This Week) – Canada
    #1 – Most Discussed (This Week) – Education – Canada
    #51 – Most Discussed (This Week) – Education
    #11 – Most Discussed (This Month) – Education – Canada
    #60 – Most Viewed (This Month) – Education – Canada
    #12 – Top Favorited (This Week) – Education – Canada
    #90 – Top Favorited (This Month) – Education – Canada
    #9 – Top Rated (This Week) – Education – Canada
    #81 – Top Rated (This Month) – Education – Canada

    “Real educators actually are astute enough to not steal (C) materials…”

    Real educators make “Fair Use” and “Fair Dealing” arguments all the time … that’s why they exist:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_dealing

  4. David Malmo-Levine on

    “…so what if you didn’t find a buyer? so what David ?”

    So making money from other people’s work is what differentiates “theft” from “fair use”.

    “You have an “inventory” of stolen things, not a “legitimate collection””

    What’s the difference between a “legitimate” public collection and an “illegitimate” public collection?

    In the case of the copyrighted work in question, I think Ray Charles wrote that song primarily to give stoners some dignity, not to make Disney millionares into Disney multi-millionares.

    “…you you admit to not believing in respecting the intellectual rights of others- the other archivists and creators…”

    Those who deny people the right to use “Let’s Go Get Stoned” in this manner are neither archivists nor are they creators – they are just people who view their investments as more important than drug peace history archiving.

  5. Anonymous on

    you are not an educator David– you re not affiliated with any recognised educational institution, nor are you an accredited teacher.professor, instructor etc nor do you have have any students studying towards anything.. so you have no ” educational purposes” excuse for stealing other peoples (c) works.

    You are in _business, you are doing an exchange in the free mat=rket- you-are-in-business- but you just aren’t making any money- too bad bout that part, Real educators actually are astute enough to not steal (C) materials nor do they allow their staff or students to steal (C) material..They do not pick and choose what rights they will abide by – they function at a way higher level of integrity than anarchists. and their nickel and dime intellectual pick pocketer ways. Just stick to selling weed to tourists which you are better adapted to do to do & in the meantime, keep out of the photocopier room.

  6. Anonymous on

    Hmmmm …. since I didn’t “keep it” or “sell it” I must be an archivist, then!

    you moved it into public, thats the same thing- Publish- make public-
    so what if you didn’t find a buyer? so what David ? You steal and push stolen words, sounds and images to the public, and YouTube called you on it- and so do we
    You have an “inventory” of stolen things, not a “legitimate collection”
    and you you admit to not believing in respecting the intellectual rights of others- the other archivists and creators in the world you share. You’re done..admit it, give it up while you can still fix your unprofessional attitudes. You are a grown up, start acting like one.

  7. David Malmo-Levine on

    “Upgrade from Thief to ASSHOLE”

    What is the difference between a thief and an archivist?

    thief – a criminal who takes property belonging to someone else with the intention of keeping it or selling it
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/thief

    a person in charge of collecting and cataloguing archives
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/archivist

    Hmmmm …. since I didn’t “keep it” or “sell it” I must be an archivist, then!

  8. Anonymous on

    “..I don’t believe in intellectual property so how could I protect it?..”

    four star asshole talking– selfish, grabby anarchist little poop making lame excuses to cover his itchy little fingers–

    “…When someone other than an anonymous do-nothing tells me that I’ll give a shit….”

    we are sure you will have a trainload when you do

    “…First of all, I’m not “anti-drugwar history”, I’m PRO drugwar history. I’m anti-drug war, but that’s a different thing entirely…”

    OK so you;re Uncle Drug War history. not anti drug war history
    The war you are so concerned with is ANTI DRUGS, not pro drugs, and its been that way for a very long time. Smarten up and don;t try to whip up so much dust when you fuck up – historians. even hobby historians should take stock of what they believe in every decade or so and especially what they say in public about what they believe- based on what they know and what they can prove. Its not about what you hope is true- its about what you can show is true..and if you don;t have permission to use other peoples property, to do this, they will bite your ass. YouTube did – there will be more remedial ass biting if you don’t smarten up with your help yourself to other peoples property .. take a lesson or take a court date

    Assholes finish last

  9. David Malmo-Levine on

    “all you do is steal other peoples material – words & images – and pass it off as anti Drug War history-”

    First of all, I’m not “anti-drugwar history”, I’m PRO drugwar history. I’m anti-drug war, but that’s a different thing entirely.

    Secondly, I wrote all my own articles and nobody has accused me (let alone proved) that I stole my material from someone else.

    “You claim you are a historian librarian – but you are not: as you do not preserve AND protect other peoples intellectual property-”

    I don’t believe in intellectual property so how could I protect it?

    Historians actually have a duty to protect history FROM “intellectual property”. If the Zapruder film or the Rodney King video were ever in dispute regarding whether or not it they be freely available to the public, it’s historians who usually argue against “intellectual property” and FOR easy public access.

    “You just cut and paste other peoples work together.”

    All historians, curators, archivists and documentary makers do that. You say it like it’s a bad thing.

    “get original
    or get lost”

    When someone other than an anonymous do-nothing tells me that I’ll give a shit.

  10. Anonymous on

    David-
    all you do is steal other peoples material – words & images – and pass it off as anti Drug War history- You claim you are a historian librarian – but you are not: as you do not preserve AND protect other peoples intellectual property- you are a looter and at best a hobby historian, a collector of drug war stuff – no more special than old ladies who collect antique Barbie Dolls. They love Barbie in her many manifestions// you love drugs.Same deal, Big deal. You are an overgrown pot Trekkie and this time you got your anarchist ass spanked by YouTube. What did you expect, Mr Adult working in the media ?? You got off easy breaking this law this time, – next time you may not be so lucky. Somebody, like a major publisher who takes (C) seriously who dosn;t appreciate your high minded theft being used to push drug history will wack you one good and sue your ass off and shut you down

    If you used your Barbie/Pot collection as a basis to create an original version of events , then fine- but you don’t- You just cut and paste other peoples work together. If you took your own photos, shot your own video footage, drew your own pictures sketched your own maps and diagrams fine- but you don’t: you cut and paste other peoples work.

    So what if you are not for profit, small, humble, serving your community ? ? That just says that you are in business but are not very good at making a buck or asking for permissions to use other peoples property- and you are seriously annoying the legal owners of the words, sounds and images you routinely steal from,
    Snap out of it, Circle A ranch employee
    get real,
    get it together
    get original
    or get lost

  11. Anonymous on

    I watched it and you definitely broke the rules – heh
    Still a decent production though.

    You used several copyrighted songs in your video. (likely YouTubes biggest issue) You could make a small argument if you only used an audio clip but even that is subject to permissions if the rights holder complains. The RIAA has been complaining for years and YouTube taking down videos with copyrighted music is nothing new. Using a copyrighted song in a video is a guaranteed audio mute, it is just a matter of how long it takes them to notice it.

    You also basically just ran “The History of weed” footage after your commentary at the beginning. YouTube has been taking that movie down as fast as people post it for a long time, as well. The rights holder likely complained.

    Sorry to say this is obviously copyright infringement.

  12. David Malmo-Levine on

    What I mean to say is …

    1) There are groups of “hemp-substitute industry” corporations that put money into a “Partnership for a (soft) Drug-Free America,

    2) These corporations hold sway over US politics and have held sway since the introduction of the drug laws 100 years ago,

    3) What these corporations are doing to the happy, hungry, relaxed herb-preferring people qualifies as genocide under the laws as they stand today, specifically the Anti-Genocide treaty of 1951,

    4) These treaties are way, WAY more important than the drug control treaties … the anti-genocide treaties came out of a real threat and the demands of the public, and the anti-drug treaties came from an imagined threat and the demands of a few self-interested individuals.

  13. Freedom to think on

    YouTube is merely protecting their profit structure, choosing not to stand up to Corporate America in the name of free speech.

    Like the wikipedia entry says, in America, there is a thing called Fair Use that allows citizens to reproduce copyrighted work for educational purposes. YouTube is choosing to cave to their corporate ‘partners’ instead of standing up for what is right (and constitutional). Because YouTube, the newest method of mass communication, is also a private corporation, they can make any rules they want, as long as they don’t break the law.

    You are correct that YouTube is under tremendous pressure from the powers that be, but if the public puts pressure on YouTube to stand up for Digital Fair Use we may be able to change their direction.

    In this case, YouTube isn’t even following its own rules! Shameful.

    Great show David!

  14. David Malmo-Levine on

    “What’s baffling is you not understanding that YouTube is the one who’ll get in trouble, not you, if they host a video in which you may or may not have violated someone else’s rights, so it’s perfectly reasonable they want to protect themselves from the strife you’ll create for them, which they then would have to defend at a great cost to themselves.”

    And if the copyright laws extended into text and websites had to deal with the costs if quoted text remained up, would you start to wonder why those sites wouldn’t argue FOR freedom of expression and fair use taking priority over some non-cross cultural, nebulous fukt up notion as “intellectual property”? They are, after all, in the business of helping people share information – why would a company as big as Youtube knuckle under so quickly? And what makes the smaller video sites (vimeo, veoh, blip, dailymotion etc etc etc) who never enforce copyright less afraid of a lawsuit?

    “…because what you’re fucking with is artists, authors and other creative individuals’ right to make a living from their original works.”

    Please explain how what I did with the “Obama On Drugs & The Racist Drug War” interfered with the original artists, reporters and photographers ability to make a living.

    “though mentioning genocide is a bit over the top,”

    Here’s a link to the legal definition of genocide:

    http://www.preventgenocide.org/genocide/officialtext.htm

    I challenge you to explain how the stated plan of the world’s rulers (the corporations that fund Partnership for a DRUG FREE America and control the United Nations by controlling individual nations through making winning elections dependent on campaign contributions) does not prove the motive and means to wipe out the nation of cannabis users, growers and dealers.

    The genocide treaties were designed to stop genocides as they began, not just identify them as they end.

    “…then do it in your own words.”

    I am a historian, museum curator and archivist:

    An archivist is a professional who assesses, collects, organizes, preserves, maintains control over, and provides access to information determined to have long-term value. The information maintained by an archivist can be any form of media (photographs, video or sound recordings, letters, documents, electronic records, etc.). As Richard Pearce-Moses wrote, “Archivists keep records that have enduring value as reliable memories of the past, and they help people find and understand the information they need in those records.” [1]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archivist

    By definition my job entails more than just using words. I need access to the entire gamut of forms information take – music, news, movies, poetry, text, photography – everything … everything that the scapegoat in question can use to avoid being wiped out is fair game.

  15. Dave on

    What’s baffling is you not understanding that YouTube is the one who’ll get in trouble, not you, if they host a video in which you may or may not have violated someone else’s rights, so it’s perfectly reasonable they want to protect themselves from the strife you’ll create for them, which they then would have to defend at a great cost to themselves. I think that’s asking quite a lot from them.

    You notice the issue becomes more emotionally striking when you remove the qualifier “copy” and just leave the “right”, because what you’re fucking with is artists, authors and other creative individuals’ right to make a living from their original works.

    If you have a message so dire it must be spread, and I agree it’s an important one, though mentioning genocide is a bit over the top, then do it in your own words. Do not pretend you must violate others’ rights to serve your own ends.