Archive for April 2008

New Home at Vimeo

April 25, 2008

The Register did a really nice article about my YouTube situation.

YouTube has vaporized a popular user account dedicated to criticizing The Church of Scientology.

Last Thursday, the world’s most popular video sharer removed the 10,000-subscriber-strong “Xenutv1” channel run by Mark Bunker, a television journalist/well-known Scientology naysayer. Earlier in the week, Bunker posted a teaser for his three-hour interview with Jason Beghe – a film and television actor who recently defected from the world of Scientology – and the account was yanked just before Bunker was due to broadcast the interview in full.

“I was planning to post the entire thing on Thursday,” Bunker told us. “But before I could do that – boom – the channel was gone.”

One nice thing coming from the YouTube story is that it made me take a good look around at some of the other services. Vimeo has impressed me the most. They have a damned foolish upload limit of 500 megs a week so it will take me some time to upload everything there but I couldn’t be happier about the quality and their ability to handle tons of traffic.

Thanks go out to Anonymous for making the HD ANONYcam a reality. This video was not shot in HD. I won’t waste the bandwith for a simple blog. But for pickets and interviews, it will make a big difference. It is clear I need to attach a better mic to the camera but visually it does a good job.

Subscribe to my Vimeo channel and feel free to download the videos and put them on YouTube — just like in the good old days.

Jason Beghe Interview

April 21, 2008

It was a great pleasure to meet Jason Beghe and his family a couple of weeks ago at their home in Malibu. Jason has a long list of acting credits in film and TV and has done extensive voice-over work through the years. His talents were also used in countless Scientology PR and training videos, including a recruitment video for Scientology’s Sea Org.

He is the first celebrity to leave Scientology and publicly discuss his involvement and then disillusionment with the group. He made it to OT V on Scientology’s “Bridge to Total Freedom” and discovered the best way to get free was to get up and walk out the door.

I think you’ll greatly enjoy this interview. That is, unless your name is David Miscavige..

My YouTube Account

April 19, 2008

UPDATE:

I’m back!  Check out the details here.  Thanks for all your support!

ORIGINAL POST:

Here’s what I’ve learned so far. My first account was canceled in early Feb. when the Tom Cruise tape was zipping around the world. Scientology found it on a private YouTube account and I got a takedown notice for it about at the same time I got a takedown notice from Viacom for a Stephen Colbert clip in which he goofed on Scientology. Before I could act on the takedown notices and remove the offending clips, the accounts were canceled.

I lost the xenutv account and all my uploaded clips about Scientology. I started over on xenutv1 and uploaded only my own self produced clips, making sure to not have any copyrighted material on the account.

About a week later, the Anonymous movement started in response to YouTube’s removal of the Tom Cruise tape. I started getting contacted by people asking me about this so I made a video about Anonymous urging them to not break the law and to instead use legal and peaceful means to protest Scientology. I thought they would ignore or attack me but instead they heard my message and understood what I was saying.

My first channel had about 3000 subscribers when it was yanked. In about two months, the new channel had reached 10,000 subscribers thanks to Anonymous. Many of my videos received high honors on YouTube and a lot of media attention was drawn to them and to me. The media wanted to know about Anonymous and I became the wise bearded face the media could go to get some answers about the group.

While my website xenutv.com has been very successful over the past years, YouTube brought in a new set of viewers and a new way to interact with those viewers. It was very exciting to be a part of it.

Last weekend I released the tease for my interview with Jason Beghe. That became my most successful clip yet, reaching over 595,000 views before my channel was canceled on Thursday afternoon.

My friend Tory Christman let me put a video on her channel about the takedown. At that point I hadn’t heard anything from YouTube as to why it had happened. Just two days prior, Tory’s account has been suspended and she hadn’t been told why. People complained to YouTube and her account was put back up. But not before someone bragged on alt.religion.scientology that they had gotten Tory’s channel removed and they were coming after mine next.

Then mine was gone. The obvious assumption is that Scientology was behind it.

People complained to YouTube about my account. YouTube got so much pressure that they called me to explain the situation. They told me because my first account was canceled I am not supposed to have had a second account. When it was brought to their attention that I had the second account, they took it down. They say the timing was a coincindence.

YouTube refused to tell me who complained about my second account. They said it wasn’t Scientology but they wouldn’t say who it was which I find odd. They told me who complained about my first account but not the second account.

They told me if Viacom would retract two DMCA complaints at my first account, they would happily reinstate both my YouTube channels.

“Scientology: Is Will Smith a Scientologist?” (Colbert Clip )
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMghKAiwWJM Submitted January 15, 2008, no notice ID.

“Scientology: Wag of the Finger” (Colbert clip on Scientology)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnYtsQ5yaEg Submitted February 2, 2007, BayTSP notice ID: 158-8236

I never saw the January 15th notice which has no notice ID.

In asking Viacom to retract the complaints, I’m not asking to keep the clips on YouTube. I simply never had the chance to taken them down before the account was canceled. Since then Viacom has come up with a great solution for bloggers. We can now embed these same clips on our sites and Viacom can sell an ad when people watch them. I have no problem with that at all. It gives me the content and Viacom the profit they deserve.

I don’t blame either YouTube or Viacom for this. Both are within their rights. But I’m asking Viacom to retract the complaints because I think my channel is worth keeping on YouTube. In the past few months, it has been an important factor in this whole ongoing story of Anonymous. It’s a story widely reported around the world. YouTube is in the very DNA of the story and my channel was a part of that. I can post my videos on any number of other sites and they will continue to be seen. People will find them, I know.

But I’d miss YouTube and I’d like to think that maybe in a small way they might miss me too.

UPDATE: Sunday Noon

Lots of people are offering me their accounts and suggesting I post the videos elsewhere. I appreciate all the suggestions and the time you are taking to contact people on my behalf.

Yes, there are plenty of other video sites out there and I have many other accounts. Yes, the videos are being uploaded now to other sites and yes, you are welcome to spread them virally and get them everywhere. I will tell you where the videos are on Monday. A couple media outlets will have them as well.

I would still love to have my YouTube account back. Viacom and YouTube are not in the wrong. I understand they don;t want to set precedent with their actions but I don’t think they would be.

Had I had the chance to remove the offending Stephen Colbert clips, I would have. Before I could react to the takedown notice, the account had been canceled. I am not asking Viacom to allow me to keep the Colbert clips on YouTube while making everyone else take them off their accounts. I’m asking Viacom to essentially give me the time to remove the offending clips and comply with the DMCA notice.

YouTube says it was a repeat offense that caused the takedown but I only got one takedown notice from Viacom. The other may have gotten lost in transit. YouTube could give me no notice ID on the January 15th DMCA request.

If I had a chance to respond and remove the clip, they would have not have had to delete the first account. I’m asking for a chance to comply. They don’t have to give me the chance and it wouldn’t make them an evil company. I’m hoping we can work this out and still fall within their policies.

I can go elsewhere. But I think there is some greater good if I were to be given the chance to remain a part of their service.

UPDATE: Monday Noon

I received this e-mail today:

Subject: DMCA Notice
Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2008 10:33:41 -0700
From: seanr@baytsp.com
To: xenutv@hotmail.com
CC: andreac@baytsp.com; elliottk@baytsp.com; evelyn@baytsp.com; seanr@baytsp.com

Mark Bunker,

After reviewing the Comedy Central clips it has been determined that the postings on your YouTube channel were clearing infringing. Retractions will not be issued for the notices sent.

Regards,

Sean Ray

Client Services

BayTSP, Inc.

408-341-2300 (Main)

408-341-2399 (Fax)

seanr@baytsp.com

www.baytsp.com


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Jason Beghe – “Today Tonight” Report

April 17, 2008


Australian TV did an amazing job of taking my 3 minute tease and building a longer story around it.

Scientology: Jason Beghe Interview Tease

April 14, 2008


I sat down and did a lengthy interview with Jason Beghe. He’s an actor with a long list of credits who spent twelve years inside of Scientology and wants to share his story.

Jason has a lot of important things to say and there are many inside the organization that will find his words compelling. I know I did.

You’ll see the full interview soon.

David Miscavige, you have to wait like the rest of us. Throwing a fit won’t speed up the process.

UPDATE:

Scientology forced YouTube to cancel my account.   You think you’ve won, DM?  Think again.

UPDATE 2:

A lot af attention has been brought to this and the media have been contacting YouTube along with all you folks.  I think it will resolve quickly.   The impossible-to-contact YouTube just e-mailed me asking for my phone number.  So I think we can work this out.

Thanks.

UPDATE 3:

I spoke with YouTube.  They are e-mailing me back soon.  They are being swamped with calls and emails about this.  You guys and the media are having an impact.  We’ll see how this goes but I feel confident we can work this out.

I’d like the ten minute time-limit lifted from my account so I can post longer videos again.  That would make it all worth while.  Feel free to suggest that option.

UPDATE 4:

About the FOX News “Exclusive” — that was for the FOX News website, not the cable channel.  I was going to let them have first crack at the video for all the good stuff Roger Friedman has written over the years.   But it would also appear on YouTube and elsewhere after he ran his column.

Roger’s going to have something about this affair tomorrow and will show another 25 minutes of the raw interview on his column then.

The Scientology Song

April 12, 2008


Here’s a fun little rip-off of Adam’s Sandler’s music.

Msg 2 Anonymous

April 11, 2008

Cool!  I’ve become the head of a terrorist organization — or a hate group — or something.  At least that what this YouTube video says.  Of course, they don’t allow comments so feel free to comment here.

By the way, I have been to a couple raids and will show up again.  But not as a leader.  More of a fan.

See you all tomorrow.

UPDATE:

Graphic artist Jeff Jacobsen blows my cover.

The True Face of Anonymous?