Why Self Hosting Matters

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From blog.tedchoward.com.

On Saturday, I wanted to share a video I had made with some friends. I used iMovie to produce the video, so I just used the built in sharing support to upload the video to Facebook. It was really easy to to, and just a second later my phone dinged with a Facebook notification for me, but it wasn’t what I expected. I figured my video was done encoding and was ready to be shared. Instead it was a message that Facebook had removed my video because it contained copyrighted material. I had to acknowledge that I had read the message and understand that if I uploaded copyrighted material again, I could be banned from Facebook.

Did I include copyrighted material in my video? Well, yes I did. The music was the opening theme to 2001: A Space Odyssey, which I legally obtained. I didn’t really think much of it because I wasn’t doing a promotional video for a company or trying to sell anything. I just wanted to share a fun video with my friends. Then I thought, maybe YouTube has a different policy. I’ve seen videos with copyrighted soundtracks in them there before.

So I uploaded the video to YouTube. It uploaded, processed, and I received an email telling me that they discovered a copyrighted soundtract, but that I shouldn’t worry about it. They took care of everything. So I went to view my video and discovered what they meant. The way they took care of it was by removing the audio completely from the video, which in my case, ruins the video.

This is completely ridiculious! I’m not trying to profit off of their material. I think 2001: A Space Odyssey has been out long enough that a silly video shared between friends isn’t going to dilute or damage their brand. Plus, isn’t everything a remix anyway?

Then my solution became very obvious to me: I’ll just host the video myself. That’s kind of the point behind ec2 for Poets, Blork and the World Outline: control your own content. Those tools made it very easy for me (once I had my video encoded) to build a landing page with a video player, create an easy to remember link (odyssey.infoted.com), and share it with my friends.

Self Hosting Matters.

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