Archive for the ‘Legal’ Category

Google Doesn’t Like My Ads

06 Sep 2006

Hmm. This is weird. While I was going through my email from last week (when I was away to Djerba) I noticed a message from the Google AdSense team. In that email, Google states that I violate the terms of service from AdSense by publishing ‘mature content’ or ‘adult content’. Once again it concerns a post that’s rather ‘old’, being from December last year. They point to a URL in my HTML archive (which is the old site, from before the merge to WordPress) and they ask me to take it down (or ‘make the necessary changes’, which actually means the same thing). Google vaguely mentions ‘pages such as’, indicating that there are more pages alike that also violate those terms. Now I’m in great doubt. Where is the line between ‘mature and adult content’ and approved, published advertisement from brands? Any ’sexual’ content should therefor be removed, but since 80% of all advertising is about ’sex sells’, that would mean I have to take down a lot of posts, or drop out of the AdSense program.

The old post Google refers to has been taken offline, but the merged post is over here [I censored the images so you wouldn't be shocked]. Take a look at it and tell me what you think of it. The campaign is from the 25Peaces agency and was sponsored by the European Government. Okay, I admit, it’s controversial… but it’s an official campaign that has been launched in Austria. The billboards where placed along the roads as you can read in the description of the campaign.

The HTML archive is supposed be taken offline, but I still need to adjust the dates of about 200 posts, which are now all stuffed in January 2006, because when I merged, all the content was set to the 2006 date, instead of keeping the 2005 posting dates. I still need to do a part of August and parts of September, October, November and December. After that, I take the archive offline. But that doesn’t mean the content will be gone, since it’s all merged to the database of WordPress. So the problem remains, even if Google points to the past. This is a weird situation I’m in, and I need some advice.

While reviewing your account, we noticed that you are currently displaying Google ads in a manner that is not compliant with our policies. For instance, we found violations of AdSense policies on pages such as
As stated in our program policies, AdSense publishers are not permitted to place Google ads on pages with adult or mature content.
Please make any necessary changes to your web pages in the next 3 business days. We also suggest that you take the time to review our program policies ( to ensure that all of your other pages are in compliance.
Once you update your site, we will automatically detect the changes and ad serving will not be affected. If you choose not to make the changes to your account within the next three days, your account will remain active but you will no longer be able to display ads on the site. Please note, however, that we may disable your account if further violations are found in the future.
Thank you for your cooperation.
The Google AdSense Team



DMCA Take-Down Notice

19 Aug 2006

So. It finally happened. I got my first DMCA complaint notice for a commercial on YouTube. I never thought it would actually happen but here we are. This is a warning to all ad bloggers who upload Public Service Clips or regular commercials to YouTube to discuss them on their blog: don’t. My account has now been suspended. I’m officially out of YouTube and I most likely will never go back.

Thank you, LyleBailie International. If I ever come across any other of your campaigns I’ll refuse to write about them. You guys genuinely suck. As far is I’m concerned, your agency doesn’t even exist anymore, despite the nice work you’ve delivered in the past. Didn’t even bother to send me a note? Tsss. And this after a year? You guys sure work fast. Not.
(check Google’s cache, the clip was added on August 27th, 2005).

Dear Member:
This is to notify you that we have removed or disabled access to the following material as a result of a third-party notification by LyleBailie International claiming that this material is infringing:

Commercials – Drink & Drive:

Please Note: Repeat incidents of copyright infringement will result in the deletion of your account and all videos uploaded to that account. In order to avoid future strikes against your account, please delete any videos to which you do not own the rights, and refrain from uploading additional videos that infringe on the copyrights of others. For more information about YouTube’s copyright policy, please read the Copyright Tips guide.

If you elect to send us a counter notice, to be effective it must be a written communication provided to our designated agent that includes substantially the following (please consult your legal counsel or see 17 U.S.C. Section 512(g)(3) to confirm these requirements):

(A) A physical or electronic signature of the subscriber.

(B) Identification of the material that has been removed or to which access has been disabled and the location at which the material appeared before it was removed or access to it was disabled.

(C) A statement under penalty of perjury that the subscriber has a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled.

(D) The subscriber’s name, address, and telephone number, and a statement that the subscriber consents to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which the address is located, or if the subscriberis address is outside of the United States, for any judicial district in which the service provider may be found, and that the subscriber will accept service of process from the person who provided notification under subsection (c)(1)(C) or an agent of such person.

Such written notice should be sent to our designated agent as follows:

DMCA Complaints
YouTube, Inc.
PO Box 2053
San Mateo, CA 94401


Please note that under Section 512(f) of the Copyright Act, any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that material or activity was removed or disabled by mistake or misidentification may be subject to liability.

YouTube, Inc.
Copyright © 2006 YouTube, Inc.

YouTube only did what they have to do in a case like this. But I’m not taking any chances anymore. From now on I’ll use other services with anonymous logins and IP spoofers to mask my location when I really want to upload something. Good luck tracing me.

So far for my 13 months of membership at YouTube.

Lesson learned: You can’t upload a public service ad to warn as many people as possible about the dangers of drinking and driving.


Day After Tomorrow

09 Aug 2006

To announce the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” and make the press release more interesting, the product information from the Lusomundo Channels was placed in a thermic container filled with ice and was delivered by someone dressed up as an explorer. The idea for the press-kit was created by the guerrilla marketing agency Torke Stunt. Very nifty.

Day After Tomorrow

Agency: Torke Stunt
Thanks: Hugo Tornelo


Philips Blocks Your Zapper

21 Apr 2006

Philips filed a patent in which it states it developed a technology that will make it impossible to zap away if there’s a commercial break, thus forcing the viewer to either go away himself or to sit there and take it like a big boy. If you want to skip the ads you can, if you are willing to pony up some money for it.

The Multimedia Home Platform (MHP) pre-scans marked areas and if one of those areas is defined as a commercial break, a technical lock will prevent the viewer to switch the channel for the entire length of that commercial intermezzo. This would be applied on live television, but there’s also a part of the technology which would prevent you from fast forwarding through recorded data !

My little finger senses violation of the right of consumers and their privacy, and without any doubt Philips will have a ‘decent’ explanation ready to justify this business model.

From the US Patent & Trademark Office:

Apparatus and method for preventing switching from a channel during an advertisement display

An apparatus (270) and method is disclosed for preventing a viewer from switching from a channel when an advertisement is being displayed on the channel. The apparatus (270) and method comprises an advertisement controller (270) in a video playback device (150) that (1) prevents a viewer of a direct (non-recorded) broadcast from switching channels when an advertisement is displayed, and (2) prevents a viewer of a recorded program from fast forwarding the recorded program in order to skip past advertisements that were recorded with the program. A viewer may either watch the advertisements or pay a fee in order to be able to change channels or fast forward when the advertisements are being displayed.

Read the entire patent application. | Thanks, Ben

UPDATE: Philips wrote to Engadget about this:

“(Philips) filed a patent application, as yet not granted, that enables watching a television movie without advertising. However, some people do want to see the ads. So, we developed a system where the viewer can choose, at the beginning of a movie, to either watch the movie without ads, or watch the movie with ads. It is up to the viewer to take this decision, and up to the broadcaster to offer the various services. Philips never had the intention to force viewers to watch ads against their will and does not use this technology in any current Philips products, nor do we have any plans to do so.”

Funny. That’s not what I would interpret when I read the patent application. But if they say so…


eDonkey Going Down

23 Feb 2006

The federal police from Brussels, Belgium, has confiscated most of the eDonkey servers on tuesday. The servers, located in Zaventem (where the Brussels National Airport is), represented one third (1/3) of the download traffic of the eDonkey network. This network is mostly used for sharing illegal files such as software, music and video, tv series and games. The application that allowed this filesharing is eMule. Two of the confiscated servers kept logs of more than 2 million users and gave access to more than 140 million illegal files. The federal police will conduct further investigations.



Protecting Your Search Privacy

23 Jan 2006

SearchEngineWatch helps you cover your (local) search history with Harry Potter’s magic cloak. Too bad you actually can’t remove remotely stored information, but here’s five steps that help you deleting the local dirt pile and give you some insight in what’s happening with your information on the remote side:

1. Search Privacy On Your Own Computer
2. Search Privacy & Your ISP
3. Search Privacy & Your Search Engine
4. Search Privacy & Your Personalized Results
5. Search Privacy & Sites You Visit / Tracking Services

Interesting conclusion :

[...]most people probably think the conversations they have with search engines as being private. But to date, we don’t have any protected searcher-search engine relationship as we do with attorney-client privilege or between clergy and worshipper. Perhaps that needs to be enshrined in some way. But then again, others may feel that going out on to the public web and using publicly accessible search engines entitles no one to an expectation of privacy, or perhaps a more limited one.

Tune in to this article for more background information, follow the links at the bottom of the page.


Cory Doctorow in Antwerp

23 Jan 2006

Tomorrow I’ll go to a lecture by Cory Doctorow in Antwerp. Cory is a full-time blogger and is mostly known for his boingboing adventures, but he’s also the European representative of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an international organisation that stands up for the rights of the internauts, and he’s coming to tell us about how digital technology could limit the fragile rights of the viewer/consumer and about how the entertainment industry is trying to make its audience dependent of it (by means of something called ‘the broadcast flag’).

I hope I’ll be able to catch a moment to talk to mister Doctorow about some things, I’ll report about it tomorrow night when I get back home.

Cory Doctorow
Image nicked from Kottke’s Archive

‘Get your torch and pitchfork, for this genuinely sucks –
and you shouldn’t take it lying down!’

I’ll bring a pitchfork. See you there ! – Starting time : 7.30 PM at the MUHKA


Google Users Face Search Search

23 Jan 2006

In the light of the recent events about the case ‘Google vs. the Bushministration’, the TimesOnline came up with a pretty funny cartoon.

Google Search

Google users will face US government monitoring if the American authorities win a court case aimed at getting the website to hand over copies of every search conducted.

Read the article on the TimesOnline. – Thanks to my lovely girlfriend for digging this up !