I am a documentary film director. Subjects of my films have included love, sex, 9/11, indigenous fisheries, hurricanes, refugees, HIV/AIDS orphans, and visualization of God. I am best known for the Real People, Real Life, Real Sex series of documentaries that simultaneously explore the vital role of sexual pleasure in committed relationships and the problematic place of explicit sexuality in cinema. This is my "Safe" blog.

Damon and Hunter: Doing it Together, The YouTube TOS compliant version, Part 1/4

Posted: September 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: YouTube | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

I got my first W-2 back in 1985 when I worked for about nine weeks as a dishwasher in a deli in Ashland, OR.

I didn’t get another W-2 until 2003 when my wife and I incorporated our mini-media empire.

With that as background, perhaps you can understand why my back gets up when Google, or the MPAA, or any other private enterprise gets accused of “censorship” when in fact they are merely running their business as they think best. (Add to that the fact that in the course of making, promoting and distributing our films, we have encountered actual real-deal jack-booted state thugs censorship.)

I do, however, find myself frustrated by the combination of algorithms and user complaints that run places like YouTube.

To wit:

We’re about to start a fundraising effort to submit our upcoming film BRETT AND MELANIE: BOI MEETS GIRL to the MPAA. Now doubt the “directors cut” would earn an NC-17, but I can ask the MPAA what I have to take out to get an R or a PG-13.

No such mechanism exists for YouTube, and it couldn’t. YouTube can only do what they do via mechanical processes. So the best you can do is see what’s on the site and use that as a guideline.

Of course it doesn’t take long for you to find out that some YouTube content providers are more equal than others, which isn’t surprising either. That’s the way the world works, and if you can’t make peace with that at some level, the years between now and death will pass slowly indeed.

But with the move to living our lives online, the boundaries between public spaces, spaces where we are citizen, and private spaces, spaces where we are consumers seem to be blurring.

So never mind art vs. porn. Let’s start talking about public vs. private in this brave new world we’re making.