Vox lawyers censored YouTubers who criticized The Verge's PC build videos


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/02/19/vox-lawyers-censored-youtubers.html


“When this was brought to my attention a few hours later, I told them that although I fully agreed with their legal argument, I did not think we should use copyright strikes against legitimate channels,” Patel wrote in a Friday post.

I fully agree with our legal team that these videos crossed the line of fair use," he wrote.

Sounds like a bunch of BS. Why would criticism cross the line into not being fair use? If they were truly in the right they would’ve never rescinded the strikes.


I think I cringed more at the guy doing the criticism in that first video than I did at the Verge guy.


That build video should never have been put up in the first place as the builders methods were down right dangerous and could have cost some poor first time builder their expensive hardware due to failure and fire risk. what i don’t understand is that the video had so many people involved in it’s production, yet not one of them noticed anything wrong with it. Instead of admitting fault and pulling the video and posting an aplology they went all heavy handed on those who brought the vids many faults to light, thus triggering the streisand effect, making them look even worse.


Very simply, Vox abused YouTube’s unaccountable copystrike system. They got caught and this story has been making the rounds on social media, subjecting them to the wrath of St. Streisand. But it’s worth noting that interested parties regularly abuse YouTube’s copystrike system and get away with it.


Are we seriously expected to believe that the decision to request takedown was made without the knowledge of the Editor?
It seems alright for The Verge to express it’s opinions to the world, but not alright for others to express contrary opinions. That’s life; grow up.


Because they used most of The Verge’s original video. Fair use doesn’t grant that right.


The Verge video lost me at “an Allen wrench”.

What size?




Funnily enough Polygon (owned by Vox) posted something about Youtube updating its strikes policy, but makes no mention of companies abusing the strikes system to begin with


No surprise, the content on The Verge tends to be a weak rip of Ars Technica. I’ve been on The Verge for about a year now - it was a site where the writers could string a sentence together, let alone decent content. Now…the site is just written by clods who tend to think they are smarter / wittier than what they really are.

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Is this even news any more? The takedown system is broken. Youtube has no intention of fixing it. Only a whole lot of lawsuits will force them to fix it, and who can afford that? Therefore, I expect it to stay this way for a long time.


Wait…so…let me get this right.

  1. Big media corp sees that “How to build a custom gaming PC” vids have cropped up A LOT and decide to get in on the action.
  2. Big media corp does said scripted “make a custom gaming PC vid and posts it”. Waits for tons of traffic and hits and profits from ad revenue
  3. Other media people rip into it and laugh at said video because “OMG WHAT NOOBS!!!”
  4. Big media group is upset by criticism and asks OTHER big media group to take down said counter vids of criticism.
  5. everyone gets caught/outed.


As expected, very few posters here seem to be actually considering what fair use is and isn’t. It isn’t overlaying essentially the entirety of someone else’s piece of content with a bit of your own off in the corner. You don’t see many books with quotes of MOST of the rest of another book now, do you?

What seems like potentially reasonable feedback is that: The Verge’s video instructions were poor, and there may have been other avenues to pursue their complaint (I don’t know much about the requirements of how these complaints need to be handled procedurally, so maybe they didn’t have many options).

Can anybody summarize in a few bullet points what was particularly egregious about the video instructions? I’m def curious.

  1. Called zip ties tweezers.
  2. “Use a swiss army knife that hopefully has a Phillips screwdriver.” Direct quote.
  3. Use an “anti-static wrist strap,” which in the video was just a silicone bracelet.
  4. Built everything in the case, which you shouldn’t do. Easier done outside the case.
  5. Added thermal paste to CPU, when the AIO Cooler that was used had paste pre-applied.
  6. Even without the pre-applied paste, used too much thermal paste.
  7. RAM in wrong slots, so didn’t take advantage of dual channel.
  8. Used wrong length of screws when installing AIO radiator, could have caused the screws to puncture the rad.
  9. Plugged in all of the power cables on a fully modular power supply, instead of just using what is necessary.

That was Lyle, Kyle’s alter-ego who’s really bad at building computers and is intentionally cringe-worthy. The irony of the reaction video is The Verge’s video was so bad that even the cringey guy who can’t build a PC for sh*t was cringing and correcting it. So yeah, you reaction was perfectly on point! gz

The biggest irony is that The Verge have been insistent that they’ve had the last word and that no more reasonable discussion can possibly take place on this subject. Unfortunately, what they’ve failed to realise is that the last word most tech folks will remember The Verge for is “tweezers”.


I could believe that the editor didn’t originally know of the takedowns. I work as an in-house counsel and take minor legal actions without the knowledge of senior management frequently.

These minor actions are based on a policy that senior management has approved and my interpretation of the law. What some might view as a big deal (e.g. a takedown request) by people outside the company is often viewed as not of enough strategic importance to raise to the level of senior management who are busy enough.

  • The criticisms of the Verge’s video were noxious and motivated by primarily by racism.
  • Copyright on YouTube is fucking mess and Vox is in many ways not helping.

Both of these things are true.


You don’t see it often because you are correct about the legal issues. But you do see it - any decent (cough Arden cough) Shakespeare, for example. Or Mystery Science Theater 3000.


MST3K licenses all their movies.


Image result for oh my takei

Really though, like any two of those things would have been awful and embarrassing. This is a smorgasbord of face palm.

Appreciate your summary. Jesus. Amateur hour. I built my first PC rig about 4 years ago, hadn’t ever done it before (despite being a computer weenie for over 25 years), and I’m pretty sure I didn’t make any of these mistakes. That was essentially me following my gut – I’m hardly a well-known tech website.

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