Eight Million Ways to Die verus Sgt. Pepper January 29, 2010 7:14 AM   Subscribe

Why has this post been allowed to stay while this one was not?

Was there some sort of copyright issue with the 8 million ways to die post, or could I repost it with better context than vronsky used? And can we post video links to entire copyrighted movies or not?
posted by dortmunder to Etiquette/Policy at 7:14 AM (109 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Yeah, I wondered about that almost immediately. As much as I love the Bee Gees.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:16 AM on January 29, 2010


I with dortmunder. Supporting wiki links and an old Time article doesn't make it a better post.

I had to refrain from commenting in thread, but couldn't get myself to post a meta about it either.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:26 AM on January 29, 2010


I was also curious when I saw the post stay after an hour or so. It's not like the additional content that vronsky included really rounded out the post.
posted by moviehawk at 7:29 AM on January 29, 2010


They're both pretty much on the line, to my way of thinking. That said I at least know WHY this second post was made. The first one was a post that, to my recollection, said "here's a movie"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:29 AM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Because Cool Papa Bell came up with the Ferris Bueller Theorem, which scored him a barrel of Secret Metafilter Points to use in case of impending thread deletion.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:32 AM on January 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


They're both pretty much on the line, to my way of thinking. That said I at least know WHY this second post was made. The first one was a post that, to my recollection, said "here's a movie"

So vronsky's post could have been saved if he'd added a little context?
posted by zarq at 7:33 AM on January 29, 2010


So, theoretically, I could make a post about 8 Million Ways to Die and how it's the only time Lawrence Block's character made it to the big screen, and the history of the character, and the reaction to the film, and include a link to the entire movie, and it would be okay?
posted by dortmunder at 7:33 AM on January 29, 2010


I saw both posts (the 8 MILLION WAYS TO DIE I saw before it was cut) -- and, for me, the difference between the two was in the framing -- or, to be perfectly blunt, the SGT. PEPPER post gave some backstory to explain why I should care about the movie. And the 8 MILLION WAYS TO DIE one, frankly, didn't.

The 8 MILLION WAYS TO DIE post just was the link. The SGT. PEPPER post was a link and a bit of a review which told me why I should care. So my reaction to SGT. PEPPER was "wow, that sounds like a train wreck, let me check it out," and my reaction to the 8 MILLION WAYS TO DIE post was, ".....so what?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:36 AM on January 29, 2010


That said I at least know WHY this second post was made.

Why? To me, it's "here's a movie" vs. "here's a movie I think is trippy." From CPB's post, there doesn't seem to be anything newsworthy about the content...the Time article is from the 70s, the YouTube video has been up for a year-plus, and Billy Preston died a couple years ago. "Sgt. Pepper's" is readily available on Amazon for anyone who wants to see it.
posted by moviehawk at 7:36 AM on January 29, 2010


Upon review:

So, theoretically, I could make a post about 8 Million Ways to Die and how it's the only time Lawrence Block's character made it to the big screen, and the history of the character, and the reaction to the film, and include a link to the entire movie, and it would be okay?

That right there could have prevented my "...so what?" reaction, yeah.

I'm not a mod, of course, but I think that's what folks are getting at.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:37 AM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


So vronsky's post could have been saved if he'd added a little context?

I think we established that in the thread about 8M ways
posted by toodleydoodley at 7:37 AM on January 29, 2010


Would a link to only the first part be an acceptable compromise? And then anyone with half a brain -- I'm looking at you, Phineas Gage -- could find the subsequent parts without help, but MetaFilter would be linking to just a small part of the film.
posted by pracowity at 7:37 AM on January 29, 2010


I agree that the Sgt Pepper post should be axed.

Guidelines are nice and all, but this seems like the sort of situation where a hard and fast rule would serve the site better IMO. It would make it easier on everyone, I think.

Besides, is there anyone who doesn't already know about the Sgt Pepper movie?
posted by Sys Rq at 7:39 AM on January 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


So vronsky's post could have been saved if he'd added a little context?

Maybe? This "Why X and why not Z?" thing is a little difficult to manage. I miss vronsky too but there was a huge thread if I recall talking about his post and why it was taken down. Generally a post that is just "hey here's a movie" isn't going to be great because of the reasons we put in the other thread. Context matters. I probably would have taken the Sgt. Pepper post down maybe but there was this MeTa thread before I even saw it. So we talk about it instead.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:41 AM on January 29, 2010


For the record, I don't see much context in the Sgt. Pepper thread. Vronsky's was thin, but the other one is too. And I think everyone who's ever smoked pot even once has seen Sgt. Pepper's. 8 Million Ways to Die is a little more obscure.
posted by dortmunder at 7:41 AM on January 29, 2010


All it takes are two links to Wikipedia and a Time magazine review and yes, you too, can post full movies to Metafilter!*


*Be sure to post a movie that some know and enjoyed, and not unknown lousy films.
posted by Atreides at 7:41 AM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


So vronsky's post could have been saved if he'd added a little context?

I'm going to guess: yes.

But I think its more important to make good posts than to worry about what small changes might have to be made to nudge your post across a fuzzy line to save it from deletion.

/speaking-as-vacapinta-the-regular-mefi-user
posted by vacapinta at 7:42 AM on January 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


My reading of cortex's deletion reason was that it only applies to full length Oliver Stone films from 1986.

On a serious note, though, pretty much every video on YouTube that was not specifically created for YouTube and uploaded by the creator is probably a copyright violation. For example, Rhaomi's extremely popular cartoon FPP was full of links to copyright-protected content that was uploaded by fans.
posted by burnmp3s at 7:42 AM on January 29, 2010


Billy Preston died a couple years ago

and I still can't stop crying. it's like a new shock every fucking time I see it. that's the train wreck right there, as far as I'm concerned. who's with me that his presence just fucking *makes* every song he's in on Let It Be, Abbey Road, Sticky Fingers and Goat's Head Soup, just for starters. Why, lord, why?
posted by toodleydoodley at 7:42 AM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


And I think everyone who's ever smoked pot even once has seen Sgt. Pepper's.

really? I saw this as a kid, and until just now, in this thread, I've never met anybody else who'd even heard of it, let alone seen it, let alone smoked it up to it. really, I thought the movie was (justifiably) obscure until just now.
posted by toodleydoodley at 7:45 AM on January 29, 2010


Issuing again the disclaimer that "I'm not a mod but this is how everything looks from my corner, do with this opinion as you will":

The course each thread has charted in response also could be a factor. The comments in Sgt. Pepper's thread seem to mostly be lively and active; yeah, everyone saw it, but everyone is talking about the fact that they saw it and swapping stories about how they begged their dads to see it and their dads were horrified or how they saw it after having a bong hit or whatever. But the comments in the 8 Million Ways thread all seemed to be, "....uh....thanks?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:45 AM on January 29, 2010


What about those of us who remember the movie but thought it was only a pot-fuelled dream?
posted by vacapinta at 7:46 AM on January 29, 2010


Fact and value rest on axes perpendicular to each other. Learn to plot accordingly, and nothing will ever confuse you.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:46 AM on January 29, 2010


Besides, is there anyone who doesn't already know about the Sgt Pepper movie?

Yep. It was made in the '70s, right? Many people on this site hadn't been born yet. (Not that this has anything to do with whether it should have been deleted.)
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:50 AM on January 29, 2010


I don't think any post that's basically "here's an hour+ movie on YouTube, go watch it" is good.

Except that Star Wars review.
posted by smackfu at 7:51 AM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


and my reaction to the 8 MILLION WAYS TO DIE post was, ".....so what?"

Funny, my response to the 8 Million Ways to Die post was "Awesome!" My reaction to Sgt. Pepper's was that everyone here is on drugs. Bad drugs.
posted by dortmunder at 7:53 AM on January 29, 2010


I miss vronsky too but there was a huge thread if I recall talking about his post and why it was taken down.

I know and I did read it. It's just that the purpose of CPB's post doesn't seem different to me, even with the extra links/context. It's still "here's an entire old movie you can watch online."

Context matters. I probably would have taken the Sgt. Pepper post down maybe but there was this MeTa thread before I even saw it. So we talk about it instead.

Fair enough. :)
posted by zarq at 7:53 AM on January 29, 2010


Why has this post been allowed to stay while this one was not?

Most of it's lifetime has been overnight, for what it's worth.

I feel like I might sound like a crank repeating this from thread to thread, so let me be clear that I'm not trying to be grumpy about this or anything: if something is up for eight hours in the middle of the day, that's very different from it being up for eight hours in the middle of the night.

So we're up and looking at it. I'm on the fence about this one; the big differences for me are (a) the post actually makes an effort to put the thing in context, (b) the thing itself is older and more esoteric, and (c) there seems to be a potent "oh my god this is one of the weirdest things from my childhood, I thought I dreamed/hallucinated it!" reaction in the thread that suggests there's some serious cultural-touchstone whammy in the mix.

That said, yeah, I dunno. If the collective feeling is "this post should not fly, period", that's good to know. If the collective feeling is more "wait they deleted another thing sort of like this", that's less useful, and it gets a little muddy when something ends up in metatalk after a recent brouhaha. That's not a negative comment on posting this, just some context for why first thing in the morning we're blinking at it a little bit longer than maybe some folks would expect.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:53 AM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Because it's not just a link to a movie most people have had a chance to see?That 8 Million Ways To Die FPP was shit, get over it.
posted by Artw at 7:58 AM on January 29, 2010




b) the thing itself is older and more esoteric

The Sgt. Pepper's movie is not more esoteric than 8 Million Ways to Die. Much, much worse, yes, more esoteric, no.
posted by dortmunder at 7:59 AM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


FWIW, I was inspired by this AskMe question, and was unsure if Sgt. Peppers filled the bill as an answer. Then I thought, much like toodleydoodley, since I've never met anyone else who's even heard of it, it'd be a fun post. This is still a fun place, IMO.

Moreover, I had no idea it was based on an off-Broadway stage production until hitting on Wikipedia. Interesting as a side note.

"Best of the Web" means different things to different people. I think there's a small niche in there for "incredibly wacky, campy thing featuring recognizable celebs that few people remember and not everyone has seen that, by corporate decision-making, doesn't even warrant being shown on late-night cable."

Look, here's another -- Legends of the Superheroes, another coke-fueled 70s production that few people remember. Batman! Ed McMahon!

Whether the mods agree is not for me to predict or decide.

Compare and contrast: The exploding whale video is copyrighted, too, and at some point in its lifespan as a meme, it too was "best of the web."

Prediction: This movie is the film version of abandonware, and YouTube will never, ever even field a single request by the rightsholder(s) to take it down.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:04 AM on January 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Also, on preview, I like the idea of there being a difference between "late night MeFi" and "daytime MeFi." Much like broadcast TV, you can take more risks at late night.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:07 AM on January 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, on preview, I like the idea of there being a difference between "late night MeFi" and "daytime MeFi." Much like broadcast TV, you can take more risks at late night.

Such ravenous, naked Hemispherism!
posted by Burhanistan at 8:09 AM on January 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


I am all about moderation being a gray area and sometimes there's a fine line and yada yada.

Maybe it's a personality context where this Sgt Pepper's incarnation is like 'WOAH! No way? Really?!' where as the 8 Million was 'Oh, a movie I didn't see. Hmm.' -- I'm guessing that's what's keeping it alive, because certainly it's a sight to see.

But if I put my lawyer hat on.. this freakin' movie is IN PRINT and available for purchas right now. The other one, as the justification was stated, is not.

Kind of crappy dichotomy here; nostalgia aside.
posted by cavalier at 8:12 AM on January 29, 2010


Also, considering it's been on Youtube for over a year and not pulled says something, that its nostalgia is worth transcending rights or what have you, and I'm glad you brought this up CPB as it reminded me how insane it was, but, yeah, well, rights and all.
posted by cavalier at 8:13 AM on January 29, 2010


The film is available on DVD, so it's not some lost treasure. Using "context" as a criteria for which infringing content is okay and which infringing content is not is an invitation to bad behavior. If I write a fantastic post about James Cameron with links to interview and filmographies and
other information, can I then include a link to an infringing copy of "The Terminator"? I would hope not.
posted by DWRoelands at 8:17 AM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Such ravenous, naked Hemispherism!

Apologies to the Aussies, Kiwis and various other Southrons.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:17 AM on January 29, 2010


Yep. It was made in the '70s, right? Many people on this site hadn't been born yet. (Not that this has anything to do with whether it should have been deleted.)

I was born in the mid-80s and I'm pretty sure I don't know a single person my age (and younger) who doesn't know about this movie. The Beatles continue to receive a glut of exhaustive press to this day. You kind of have to live under a rock not to have heard even of the Sgt. Pepper movie.

I think the other post, context aside, has more value because it's something that many people have never heard of. Nothing the Beatles have ever been related to can be considered very obscure.
posted by ishotjr at 8:17 AM on January 29, 2010


Because it's not just a link to a movie most people have had a chance to see?That 8 Million Ways To Die FPP was shit, get over it.

Hahaha, this comment is shit. What is this, eighth grade?
posted by ishotjr at 8:20 AM on January 29, 2010


If the collective feeling is "this post should not fly, period", that's good to know.

In that case I need to weigh in. Context matters. I've never seen either of the movies in question. The framing of the Sgt. Pepper post gave me a reason to watch that movie, namely to see George Burns and hear the Bee Gees. It told me that this movie was the source of the Aerosmith "Come Together" that I've liked for years. Maybe it's just more interesting to me.

The 8 Million Ways To Die post is just another post about just another movie. It doesn't say "Hey, come watch this travesty! This is some kind of epic stinker." nor does it say "This film changed the way x saw movies forever. The long shot at 1:23:40 is film history." It looked like what TV Guide would show for a movie.
posted by irisclara at 8:24 AM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Such ravenous, naked Hemispherism!

Apologies to the Aussies, Kiwis and various other Southrons.


Actually Northern/Southern hemisphere difference mainly affects things like seasons rather than time of day. For time of day, you have to realize that Earth is composed of opposite hemispheres which rotate in opposite directions - equal to a zero value existence (plus & minus). As entity, the opposite hemispheres cancel out. Earth exist as 4 90 degree opposite corner quadrants, but not as a 360 degree circle. Earth is Cubic opposites, nothing as circle. A singularity inflicted scholar has not the mentality, freedom or guts to know that academia is a Trojan Horse mind control. Singularity brotherhood owns your brain, destroying your ability to think Cubicism. Evil academia blocks out Time Cube site and suppresses its discussion and debate. You are an educated singularity idiot who can stupidily deny Nature's Harmonic 4 simultaneous 24 hour days within a single rotation of Earth, or even make parody of the Cubic Creation Principle - but your mental ability to comprehend the greatest social and scientific discovery of all human existence has been lobotomized by the evil academic singularity bastards hired to destroy your ability to think opposite. You cannot comprehend Opposite Creation. Religous/academic taught singularity is the reduction of the human mind to android. The half of Earth seen from space, cannot exist without the opposite half not seen... existing as opposite values. Earth entity does not exist - for it is composed of opposite hemispheres which rotate in opposite directions - equating to a zero value existence, and to nothing as a "singularity". You were educated to live an evil lie - and your heirs will suffer hell for your stupidity. The entity you seek is death.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:25 AM on January 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


Waaah. Waah, waaah, wah-wah waaah.

Also, waaah.
posted by yhbc at 8:27 AM on January 29, 2010


CPB is mefi's own Conan O'Brien.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:30 AM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Waaah. Waah, waaah, wah-wah waaah.

Also, waaah.


Yes. Raising questions about moderation decisions along with the site's policy on linking to movies online, especially ones available on DVD for purchase or rental, is very, very, whiny. I apologize for being so immature. Whatever can I do to earn back your respect? Would it help if I let you know that I've finally learned how to go to the potty without my mommy?

Prick.
posted by dortmunder at 8:31 AM on January 29, 2010


Because this site is moderated by humans, not software. Inconsistencies will result. Move on.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:32 AM on January 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


OK, you make a convincing argument, kill them both.
posted by Artw at 8:35 AM on January 29, 2010


Waaah. Waah, waaah, wah-wah waaah.

Shut up! Don't Cry!

(Nominated for MeTa Theme Song)
posted by Burhanistan at 8:36 AM on January 29, 2010


Oh MetaTalk! Always full of charmers.
posted by josher71 at 8:36 AM on January 29, 2010


dortmunder, I like you. I like your comments. There's no need to be so defensive or hostile. It just makes you look bad. Comments like the one you replied to are just trying to start shit. Better to keep a higher tone when calling out the mods. I wish vronski hadn't left but maybe if he was taking Metafilter that seriously a time-out will do him good. Put things back in perspective. No one should base their self worth on the reception to a forum post.
posted by irisclara at 8:40 AM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


dortmunder, I like you. I like your comments. There's no need to be so defensive or hostile. It just makes you look bad. Comments like the one you replied to are just trying to start shit. Better to keep a higher tone when calling out the mods. I wish vronski hadn't left but maybe if he was taking Metafilter that seriously a time-out will do him good. Put things back in perspective. No one should base their self worth on the reception to a forum post.

Good point. You're right. I've had a bad week (like lost all my possessions in a fire bad), and I shouldn't have responded. And I'm not "calling out" the mods. I'm seeking to start a discussion, and maybe have some clarification on what's okay and what's not, so that we all know.
posted by dortmunder at 8:46 AM on January 29, 2010


It may as well just be easier for the long run to simply provide a blanket exception to anything posted to Youtube. This would stop the arguments revolving around whether the copyrighted material was "framed" accordingly as to pass muster. It seems at this time, the Metafilter standard is whether A) it's "framed" well and B) if it's popular or well liked. The status of the copyright of the actual material doesn't even come into play, unless its something produced within a set number of years [(Age of Average Mefite / 2) + 5].

So let's just take one big collective shrug and give up on this otherwise superficial policy on copyright and Youtube.
posted by Atreides at 8:46 AM on January 29, 2010


Apologies to the Aussies, Kiwis and various other Southtrons.

I knew they were all fricking robots! I knew it!

Oh sure, you all laughed at me, yes you did. But when the harvesters come, and start throwing your babies into the biodigesters, who'll be laughing then? Huh? Who?

And me? I'll be safe right here. Bulletproof glass everywhere. All I have to do is make sure they don't sneak any nanocompilers into my food, while you are going to have to worry about the harvesters, those horrible invisible screamers, and the metal wave.

The head nurse is a robot, but she doesn't know I'm on to her. She won't be sticking any nanocompilers in my food, nossir.

You, on the other hand, well you're just doomed.
posted by aramaic at 8:51 AM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


The new one should be deleted.
posted by RussHy at 8:56 AM on January 29, 2010


CPB is mefi's own Conan O'Brien.

Wait, wouldn't vronsky be MeFi's Conan? Considering that the network suits (mods) unceremoniously yanked his show (FPP) and replaced it with another—many would say inferior—product?

Which makes CPB Jay Leno, I guess.

(And this thread a program-length Slanket commercial.)
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:59 AM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


CPB is mefi's own Conan O'Brien.
Which makes CPB Jay Leno, I guess.

I'm as tall as Conan but as husky as Leno. Only without the chin. I do have an affinity for cars, though.

Or maybe ... Conan doesn't exist and Jay Leno is in his studio, just imagining it all...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:14 AM on January 29, 2010


If this was a relationship question, we'd all be like, vronsky didn't want to be in this relationship and he's made it clear, so let him go. But we'd all be like, vronsky, please don't go and have to inhale nitrous oxide to stop pining.
posted by anniecat at 9:15 AM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I agree that the Sgt Pepper post should be axed.

I agree that every known copy of this movie should be burned, erased, eradicated entirely from the consciousness of man.

Until then, we need to be reminded that it's out there, lurking, waiting to pounce, and that we should be afraid, very afraid. And as such, the FPP MUST STAND!!!
posted by philip-random at 9:24 AM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


This post has a dripping burger gazebo. The other did not.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:36 AM on January 29, 2010


dortmunder, I got kind of hot under the collar over the last vronsky related MeTa thread because of the way one user kept trying to pick a fight with the mods instead of having an open and fair discussion. As far as I can tell you're doing this the right way. So thanks for not being a dick.

I've had a bad week (like lost all my possessions in a fire bad), and I shouldn't have responded.

Yikes, I'm really sorry to hear that.
posted by nola at 9:36 AM on January 29, 2010


Also, on preview, I like the idea of there being a difference between "late night MeFi" and "daytime MeFi." Much like broadcast TV, you can take more risks at late night.

Metafilter After Dark on the other hand, is a special pay-per-view channel.

How much does it cost? You know how much it costs.
posted by electroboy at 9:41 AM on January 29, 2010


Being a little more serious now ...

atreides, I was with you up to your second point. That is:

It seems at this time, the Metafilter standard is whether A) it's "framed" well

I honestly don't see any other standard worth considering, whether the concern is copyright or even potential racism, sexism, other forms of offensiveness. It's always the task of a poster to put his/her FPPs in proper context (ie: justify them as being a contributory to the community's ongoing search for the "Best Of The Web"). Sometimes, this is enormously easy. Sometimes it's a fine art.

But please, let's not get hung up on any more arbitrary rules than we absolutely need. I get enough of that in the rest of my life.
posted by philip-random at 9:42 AM on January 29, 2010


If anyone wants to see this movie for "free" on their TV set, it plays on Comcast OnDemand in the US about 6 months out of the year.

And if anyone wants to rid themselves of copies of this movie a la philip-random, get in touch via memail and I'll give you my address (and I have a friend looking for VHS copies of Jerry MacGuire if you've got that, too).
posted by jtron at 9:43 AM on January 29, 2010


"It may as well just be easier for the long run to simply provide a blanket exception deletion to anything posted to Youtube"

FTFY

speaking as a long-time youtube-post hater
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 9:44 AM on January 29, 2010


They should both be deleted.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 9:47 AM on January 29, 2010


Be sure to post a movie that some know and enjoyed, and not unknown lousy films.

That's the most important rule here. No hamburger.

I think both posts should have been allowed to stay.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:49 AM on January 29, 2010


My reaction to Sgt. Pepper's was that everyone here is on drugs. Bad drugs.

Oh, they're just misunderstood.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:52 AM on January 29, 2010


I honestly don't see any other standard worth considering, whether the concern is copyright or even potential racism, sexism, other forms of offensiveness. It's always the task of a poster to put his/her FPPs in proper context (ie: justify them as being a contributory to the community's ongoing search for the "Best Of The Web"). Sometimes, this is enormously easy. Sometimes it's a fine art. -phillip-random


You're absolutely right. Though, in this instance, we're not just talking about a FPP due to how it was framed, but so much as to how that framing makes the copyrighted content deletable or not. Until the Mods adopted a much more clearly defined and simpler rule regarding Youtube and copyrighted material, we're going to have endless debates over whether it was framed well enough or not.

In regard to the success of framing a post, it would imply that we have a much more liberal standard for copyrighted material than restrictive. I.e, if it's framed well, it is much more likely to be allowed to stay. With that in mind, we should just go ahead and remove the question of copyright, at least concerning Youtube, from the equation. From this point, Metafilter should allow all material from Youtube, so long as it is framed well.

I wold not be a fan of this policy, but with regard to the position of the Mods and a substantial number of our community, it seems like the one best conducive for smoother relations and less headaches.
posted by Atreides at 11:19 AM on January 29, 2010


I'd be happier with a precedent banning links to entire movies or TV shows on YouTube, rather than this gray area where some are OK and others not so OK. I suspect we'll have a few more MeTas like this until a clearer line is set.
posted by rocket88 at 11:22 AM on January 29, 2010


I'd prefer the opposite, actually. Allow full movie links, but only with some sort of purpose or meaning.

Actually, pretty much what we have. I didn't read either post, but from what cortex said this one has some cultural relevance and import that the other one did not. Let it stand, then.
posted by graventy at 11:40 AM on January 29, 2010


oh no vronsky is gone?

vronsky if you can hear me please come back we need you

D:
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:44 AM on January 29, 2010


I have to admit, my first reaction to this Sgt Peppers post was exactly the same as my reaction to the 8 Million post... "Why is this here?" And that was doubled in the context of the deletion of the previous post.

If vronsky left because he felt like there's a tendency toward unequal standards, I'd suggest this is a good place to look for an example of this.

Also, did cortex really just say that if we want to get a bad post to stand, we should post it in the middle of the night? Because that's what it seems like he just said...
posted by hippybear at 12:10 PM on January 29, 2010


dortmunder: I hate this kind of callout, and I was about to say so in a pissy way, but then I got to your last comment. It's amazing how much and how little this online stuff can matter in a world where shit like that happens. I'm sorry it's been a shitty week for you. I hope things get better.
posted by koeselitz at 12:14 PM on January 29, 2010


Whether he says it or not, it's definitely true, as long as there are also midnight posters commenting to it.
posted by smackfu at 12:14 PM on January 29, 2010


Also, did cortex really just say that if we want to get a bad post to stand, we should post it in the middle of the night?

No, no, it's that if you want to develop a false sense of security about the viability of a bad post, before having that same sensation crushed and your name added to The List, 2am is probably your hour.

vacapinta will nuke the really unambiguously bad stuff if he's around, and I merrily delete the stuff when I get up in the morning. This post is still here not because it was posted at night but because as a mod team we're just collectively on the fence about the post, disagree with the idea that the two posts are the same, and have opted on just leaving it be in this case.

It's a weird edge-case where I'm not really happy with either possible decision because of the weird conflict of angles on the whole thing and some of the recent-history stuff coloring it, but it's a busy day and Matt and Jess are both traveling and the thread in question is apparently going well and being enjoyed and, eh. Maybe I'm being a big softie, I don't know.

If vronsky left because he felt like there's a tendency toward unequal standards, I'd suggest this is a good place to look for an example of this.

vronsky said nothing about why he was leaving. I hope he decides to come back, but, as we said during the other metatalk thread, we are not about to start shifting policy decisions based on the possibility that someone might decide to leave abruptly over standard operating procedures.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:20 PM on January 29, 2010


Also, did cortex really just say that if we want to get a bad post to stand, we should post it in the middle of the night?

Bad posts get deleted, 24 hrs a day.

Middle of the night is morning here in Londontown. And there are plenty of posters posting and commenting then too.

Its true though that if a post is more of a gray area then, yes, it has a better chance of surviving the night. If its not an obvious delete, I'll let it stand and let Cortex and Jessamyn make a call on it. As Jessamyn said above, she didn't even get a chance to make a call on it since this Metatalk post was here to greet her in the morning.
posted by vacapinta at 12:22 PM on January 29, 2010


rocket88: “I'd be happier with a precedent banning links to entire movies or TV shows on YouTube, rather than this gray area where some are OK and others not so OK. I suspect we'll have a few more MeTas like this until a clearer line is set.”

What if it's only part of a TV show? What if the show has a licensed contract with Youtube to show a few episodes? What if the copyright is up or has been released? What if there's no threat of litigation? What if the TV show link is only a small part of a post? There are so many individual cases and complexities with this stuff that introducing a flat ban doesn't make any sense at all, and moreover flatly banning things is (thankfully) not really the preferred recourse among the mods we have here. Moreover some posts might take a lot of time and work, but none of the posts I've seen cited in this debate are of that character, and even if they were they could probably be modified to remove any stuff that seems edgy. As such, though people might feel like it's a big fat inconvenience, and might be 'unhappy' or miffed or whatever, getting a post deleted isn't the worst thing in the world. Nobody here gets banned because they've had posts deleted; they might get banned if they get pissed off and start posting crap on purpose, but the mods wouldn't even think of penalizing somebody just because they posted something they loved that unfortunately didn't fly. And, again, getting a post deleted shouldn't be seen as a penalty.

The 'gray area' that a lot of people (including myself) are a little bit uncomfortable with isn't something devised by mathowie, jessamyn, cortex, pb, and vacapinta; it exists on the internet as it is, and especially on youtube, where google gets to make decisions every day about DMCA letters and such and cracks down apparently almost at random. If the law were simple – if the way the law was applied made sense – then we'd have a clear, understandable guideline here. But it doesn't. We're a huge site that gets a lot of traffic, and we don't really have any easy way to know what will draw a DMCA letter or provoke somebody's outrage somewhere. Moreover, we don't want to become known as 'that blog that posts links to lots of free movies;' that's not to say that there's anything wrong with those blogs, but I don't think we're equipped to take that risk, and I'd rather we didn't. It's worth it to stay out of that fight. Right now, for example, it seems like music has proliferated on Youtube, and I sometimes wonder if the RIAA is ever going to wake up to this fact and start sending out letters; who knows. Youtube is a huge bundle of litigious possibilities, to be honest.

You can say that you want a firmer guideline, but such a guideline would be purely artificial; it would be a mere whim that the mods had to invent off of the tops of their heads, and as such it would certainly ban things that wouldn't hurt anybody and might actually be good. You can say that you wouldn't mind that, and maybe you wouldn't miss those posts, but it would still be a nanny-state rule for people who couldn't govern themselves or appreciate the finer points of the debate. Making a rule like that would be treating us like children. As it is, the mods ask us to understand that the situation is complicated, and we just need to be careful and accept that sometimes posts will get deleted if they're near the border between kosher and legally provocative. I like that freedom they give us, and I can accept the tiny, tiny risk.
posted by koeselitz at 12:31 PM on January 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Then my second preference would be to allow them all. I'll admit that I'm no fan of video links in general and don't like that Metafilter is trending towards becoming TV Guide for YouTube, but what I'd ultimately like to see is fewer "Why was this deleted and not this?" MeTa posts.
posted by rocket88 at 12:39 PM on January 29, 2010


and the thread in question is apparently going well

Are you kidding? Someone just likened the Monkees HEAD to the at issue Sgt. Peppers debacle and Xanadu, the Olivia Newton John ELO rollerskating atrocity. This is how the world ends. Not with a bang but the careless inability to differentiate between the horribly horrible and the brilliantly, psychedelically weird.
posted by philip-random at 12:39 PM on January 29, 2010


rocket88: “Then my second preference would be to allow them all. I'll admit that I'm no fan of video links in general and don't like that Metafilter is trending towards becoming TV Guide for YouTube, but what I'd ultimately like to see is fewer "Why was this deleted and not this?" MeTa posts.”

Did you read what I said? If we allow them all, we submit ourselves to angry copyright-holders. You might be happy turning metafilter into a soldier in the copyright wars just so you don't have to see any more metatalk threads, but I'd rather not have that happen, as it will almost certainly mean metafilter wouldn't be here any more in any recognizable form.

I really, really don't think vronsky left because of this issue; anyone is as free as I am to check his comment history, but I don't remember and can't find any time when he even once mentioned the subject or raised it directly. He was a great member here partially because he was completely uncontentious; he seemed to avoid political threads, and he didn't really care to argue with people about stuff. In fact, to take one particularly telling example, in this thread about the novelist Mark Helprin's declaration that copyright should be automatically extended indefinitely and never released, a declaration which I would think anyone on a soapbox about copyright would find quite provocative, all vronsky wanted to talk about was the intriguing condition of synaesthesia which Helprin has. Since he's left before for unrelated reasons, and since he's never said anything that indicates that this is an issue which is important to him, it seems like assuming that he left over copyright is a little hasty.

That's not to say that he wasn't playing on the edge a whole lot with his posts. He'd actually done what he did in the deleted post several times – linked to an entire film on youtube, using as his text for the post only a brief description of the movie apparently quoted from IMDB. (One should note that he posted awesome, awesome stuff a lot of the time, but he clearly had no compunction against posting, say, an entire documentary. He'd done that half a dozen times already.) There's an interesting exchange in a similar post on the film Race With The Devil from almost exactly a year ago that's worth noting:

infinitewindow: “I worked on this title's DVD release. Now it's up on Youtube. I am this close to becoming one of those mythical little people who gets hurt by piracy—you know, the ones who don't even get mentioned in this thread. I don't own the content, so I can't file a DMCA takedown. But Marcus a.k.a. salemslotmov shouldn't bother applying for a job anywhere I work or anywhere people I know work. And if I see him on the street, I can't guarantee I won't punch him in the dick.”

vronsky: “... feel free to notify someone if you think that is right, but seeing these on YT probably make it more likely that I will buy the dvd. Is it available? Link?”

infinitewindow: “I worked on Race, and it's here on Amazon. $10 new, $4 used, or rent/Netflix it if you don't feel like buying (the disc has commentary and interviews that are as yet not available on Youtube). (Damn, I wasn't expecting to feel so helpless about this, and it hasn't even directly affected my job yet. I'm sure other stuff I've worked on has been pirated before, I don't know why this particular project hit me so hard. Maybe because it was posted to MetaFilter? Normally MeFi's such a cozy, comfy place. It feels kind of like I went to the local ice cream parlor and someone walking by kicked my dog for laughs. Anyway, no hard feelings towards fellow MeFites, folks, unless one of y'all happens to be Marcus.)”

Now, infinitewindow was really cool about it there, and that's an awesome thing. But no matter how you feel about copyright, isn't it clear that somebody could've easily started calling people and made at least a moderate amount of trouble for metafilter? And over flipping Race With The Devil, of all things – which goes to show that just the fact something seems obscure and old and strange doesn't mean that nobody will see that it's posted on metafilter and get upset about it. And compared to Race With The Devil, isn't an old Oliver Stone movie a billion times more likely to be recognized and make somebody angry?

I don't know where I stand on the Sgt Pepper's thing. But I know that the line is fuzzy, and unfortunately has to stay fuzzy, because of the way the real world works.
posted by koeselitz at 1:15 PM on January 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Did you read what I said? If we allow them all, we submit ourselves to angry copyright-holders.

Really, more to the point, if we allow them all then the whole idea of having to make an effort for posts goes right out the window. I don't believe a hardline rule in either direction would make this a better place, even if it did in one respect make it a slightly simpler place. I talked some about that in the vronksy thread.

We will always, always have "Why was this deleted and not this?" MeTa posts until such day as we stop deleting things, and that's a bad day for Metafilter. Posts like this are part of the cost of doing business and part of how the community operates. That's okay.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:37 PM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Because Vacapinta is the sixth Beatle?
posted by longsleeves at 2:32 PM on January 29, 2010


you people need to get a life!
posted by HuronBob at 4:52 PM on January 29, 2010


But if I put my lawyer hat on.. this freakin' movie is IN PRINT and available for purchas right now. The other one, as the justification was stated, is not.

yeah but just because it *is* for sale doesn't mean it should be. I would not pay even a penny plus shipping to buy sgt peppers, let alone wait for someone to mail it to me. I would, maybe, watch several minutes of it on YouTube and then out of nostalgia, maybe I buy the soundtrack album (again - I had it when I was 8).

but the 8M Ways moratorium is just a fuckup on their part. because I actually *might* pay a penny plus shipping for that and wait for somebody to mail it to me.

just because somebody wants to make money off it doesn't mean I want to buy it (and vice versa)
posted by toodleydoodley at 6:17 PM on January 29, 2010


I'd be happier with a precedent banning links to entire movies or TV shows on YouTube, rather than this gray area where some are OK and others not so OK.

I don't see the problem - as an example, here's twp FPPs I've made: One features a BBC documentary which has since been ganked, the other a copyrighted film that is still available on Google video. Despite losing a chunk of its content, the former still works as an FPP, as would the second if its movie got the hook. I realize that some people may think the 'Supplementary Material' approach is weaselly ('Ooo. Wikipedia.'), but more often than not, they're the links I put the most work into when making an FPP and the ones in other peoples' posts that interest me most.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:13 PM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


you people need to get a life! Got to get you into my life!

FTFY.
posted by mediareport at 6:12 AM on January 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


we are not about to start shifting policy decisions based on the possibility that someone might decide to leave abruptly over standard operating procedures

But that's exactly the problem here. You have no standard operating procedure for these kinds of posts.
posted by RussHy at 7:45 AM on January 30, 2010


You have no standard operating procedure for these kinds of posts.

We do actually have a standard operating procedure for these kinds of posts, it's just not codified. I know that sort of doesn't make sense, but cortex and I both looked at both of these posts extensively and both of us drew basically the same conclusions. They were both right near the ok/not ok line and one was over and one was not.

The problem is that the things that go into those sorts of calculations aren't things we can codify into a flow chart so that someone can tell with 100% certainty before they make a post that their post won't be deleted. This is unlikely to change much. Additionally--and I think this is the toughest part--how a post is going is part of the calculation assessment. The 8MW thread was going sort of badly, the SPLHCB thread was going well. I'm sure this affected how people decided to flag them as well which is also part of our calculations.

MeTa threads are, as cortex says, part of standard operating procedures. A flow chart to pre-determine if a post will stand or not, is not.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:05 AM on January 30, 2010


You have no standard operating procedure for these kinds of posts.

We have no legalistic Code Of What Can Be Posted. Pretty much everything besides "don't self-link" is interpretative, here, and has been forever, and hand-in-hand with mefi's policy of letting users make posts to the front page of their own volition and on their own recognizance comes the expectation that people will be okay with seeing posts deleted sometimes.

We make a lot of effort to explain our reasoning and put into words our shared and community-driven sense of what flies and what doesn't when someone asks. I talked a little about my take on youtube/copyright/media style posts in the other thread; it's hardly exhaustive but it's a start down the road of the things we think about when making these decisions.

There will never been a firm, detailed written policy adherence to which guarantees post viability and variance from which guarantees a deletion. It's just not going to happen; it's utterly at odds with a decade of site culture and with the moderation work we've done. I appreciate that having a post deleted may feel like a rug pulled out from under sometimes, and I appreciate that people are bound to disagree about grey-area and edge-case decisions, but like may other things folks sometimes disagree about here that's part of what Metafilter is.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:15 AM on January 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Some people are not happy unless there is a black-and-white, clearly delineated set of rules that everyone will understand and apply in exactly the same way, so that there will never be any argument about them. These people will never be happy, either with MetaFilter or with life itself. It strikes me as a waste of time to go into long explanations every time they complain, because they are constitutionally incapable of understanding them. For them, there is no such thing as a judgment call, and the color gray does not exist.
posted by languagehat at 8:39 AM on January 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Some people are not happy unless there is a black-and-white, clearly delineated set of rules that everyone will understand and apply in exactly the same way, so that there will never be any argument about them. These people will never be happy, either with MetaFilter or with life itself. It strikes me as a waste of time to go into long explanations every time they complain, because they are constitutionally incapable of understanding them. For them, there is no such thing as a judgment call, and the color gray does not exist.

Yeah, or, you know, as is the case of the actual (i.e. non-straw) people in this thread, some people will be slightly puzzled and/or irritated at a somewhat arbitrary and ambiguous distinction between two very similar front page posts, and would prefer, in order that such confusion can be avoided in future, that a single rule is put in place with regard to a very particular kind of post.

Such gross generalizations are beneath you, lh.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:59 AM on January 30, 2010


Another one was just posted..
posted by smackfu at 11:25 AM on January 30, 2010


Yeah, I'm not really sure "you can't get it on R1, even though theres a 2004 R2 release of it" is really a good excuse.
posted by Artw at 11:39 AM on January 30, 2010


Some people are not happy unless there is a black-and-white, clearly delineated set of rules that everyone will understand and apply in exactly the same way, so that there will never be any argument about them.

Well, this is in part a copyfighter issue, so I suspect the real issue is they want to insist the other side to have a black-and-white, clearly delineated set of rules so they can shout about how unfair it is.
posted by Artw at 11:41 AM on January 30, 2010


or, you know, as is the case of the actual (i.e. non-straw) people in this thread

Actually, I agree with languagehat. Maybe he could've dropped a few "nevers" and "everys". But I do feel the tension in this conversation lies very much between a desire for clarity and non-ambiguity versus a reality which is literally gray. That is, this is The Gray, where MeFi shit gets hashed out, and as cortex just pointed out ...

Pretty much everything besides "don't self-link" is interpretative, here, and has been forever, and hand-in-hand with mefi's policy of letting users make posts to the front page of their own volition and on their own recognizance comes the expectation that people will be okay with seeing posts deleted sometimes.

I can live with that.
posted by philip-random at 11:50 AM on January 30, 2010


Sys Rq: No, I'm pretty sure I'm describing a real, and annoying, class of people. If you aren't a member, good for you, but that doesn't mean nobody is.
posted by languagehat at 11:53 AM on January 30, 2010


Actually, I agree with languagehat. Maybe he could've dropped a few "nevers" and "everys". But I do feel the tension in this conversation lies very much between a desire for clarity and non-ambiguity versus a reality which is literally gray.

Well, yeah. I didn't dispute that. I merely disputed the notion that arguing for the former in the context of this thread might not necessarily be a symptom of pathological black/white thinking.

No, I'm pretty sure I'm describing a real, and annoying, class of people.

Oh, okay. Is that real and annoying class of people anything like the real and annoying class of people who constantly feel the need to divide people into various real and annoying classes rather than treating individuals individually?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:34 PM on January 30, 2010


Er, um... I merely disputed the notion that arguing for the former in the context of this thread is a symptom of pathological black/white thinking.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:36 PM on January 30, 2010


I'm pretty sure I'm describing a real, and annoying, class of people.

Finally, I'm a member of a group here! Thanks, languagehat, for recognizing me and the class of people who annoy you!

I'm still your friend though
posted by Mike Buechel at 10:16 PM on January 30, 2010


nola: I got kind of hot under the collar over the last vronsky related MeTa thread because of the way one user kept trying to pick a fight with the mods instead of having an open and fair discussion. As far as I can tell you're doing this the right way. So thanks for not being a dick.

No, this is why you got hot under the collar. I didn't call anyone a dick or a jerk or an asshole. I wasn't picking a fight; you were. And you're still trying to do it.
posted by Mike Buechel at 10:27 PM on January 30, 2010


Mike Buechel, I don't really get what pointing out your own jerky comments in other threads is supposed to be doing here? nola wasn't even talking to you and his last comment in this thread was days ago. Please don't do this.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:41 AM on January 31, 2010


Some people are not happy unless there is a black-and-white, clearly delineated set of rules that everyone will understand and apply in exactly the same way, so that there will never be any argument about them. These people will never be happy, either with MetaFilter or with life itself. It strikes me as a waste of time to go into long explanations every time they complain, because they are constitutionally incapable of understanding them. For them, there is no such thing as a judgment call, and the color gray does not exist.

languagehat might be right:

Intolerance of doubt or ambiguity is another measured trait that has been found to strongly correlate with subsequent predictions of conservative thought and behavior. Dislike of uncertainty leads to dichotomous thinking styles (good and evil, black and white types of stereotyping of both people and issues, denial of complexity, and intolerance for any idea that there is no absolutes in terms of dealing with social issues).
posted by jtron at 12:01 PM on January 31, 2010


More sex is the answer. Ya pent up ol' gits.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:23 PM on January 31, 2010


Yes, yes it is. The trouble is I can't seem to think of the right question.
posted by koeselitz at 4:13 PM on January 31, 2010




Ah yes, 'get up/make a buck,' familiar with that one nowadays. Heh.
posted by koeselitz at 5:44 PM on January 31, 2010


jessamyn: Mike Buechel, I don't really get what pointing out your own jerky comments in other threads is supposed to be doing here? nola wasn't even talking to you and his last comment in this thread was days ago.

First off, it was a comment, not comments. It was in response to nola's post which read simply, "I've got a round trip ticket to New Orleans." My comment was, "I don't."
That's being a jerk? If you say so.

And yes, nola was referring to me in this thread, comparing the OP in this one (not a dick) to the OP (me/a dick) in the other one. He did exactly what you're warning me about, So why didn't you give a similar warning to nola? Had you, I wouldn't have made my comment. He was warned by another user in that thread and told to knock it off, but in his very next comment, just continued the attack with some nonsense about being really pissed off about how he was a real friend of vronsky and who the hell was this new guy who isn't fit to mention the name. That's some pretty messed up thinking. Where were you then? It's pretty clear some people are allowed to bring in previous threads, others are not. Some people are allowed to say things like, "You're an asshole", etc., and others are not. Some people you can disagree with, others you can't. In my opinion, the attacks were way out of proportion to my offense. They continued in this thread. I responded. If you don't want the response then don't allow the attacks.

Please don't do this.

I won't.
posted by Mike Buechel at 6:13 PM on January 31, 2010


Where were you then?

I honestly don't even understand what you're talking about. nola called a meetup in New Orleans which ended with "Don't think I don't love you." Your response was "I don't" and I didn't see you again in the thread you linked to. I have no idea what all the other drama is and haven't been keeping track or score. If you need us to pay attention to something, you have the flag queue and email, otherwise I have no idea why you were linking to that comment of yours.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:31 PM on January 31, 2010





Some people are not happy unless there is a black-and-white, clearly delineated set of rules that everyone will understand and apply in exactly the same way, so that there will never be any argument about them.


And sometimes even that doesn't work. If you remember the drama surrounding the banning of the scans_daily community on LiveJournal--in which several years' worth of posts got wiped out in an instant--you might not be surprised to find out that the new home for s_d is being moderated very carefully and closely for adherence to the rules of fair use and so forth. But that didn't stop one long-time community member from breaking them, repeatedly, because he knew better. And, of course, it didn't stop him from being thoroughly butthurt when he was banned.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:16 PM on February 2, 2010


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