YouTube creators are using a hilarious tactic to combat copyright policies


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<img alt="Danny Gonzalez in his video about TikTok. " src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/yf-SCnFqwBEu8X4LCCMwLSIchOE=/148x0:1444x864/1310x873/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/63249194/Screen_Shot_2019_03_14_at_1.42.18_PM.0.png" />

YouTube creators and Twitch streamers have been performing terrible a capella covers of popular songs in hilarious attempts to get around YouTube’s widely criticized copyright strike system.

In recent months, YouTube creators have run into copyright issues while making TikTok reaction videos, where they collect cringey TikTok clips and either react or provide commentary on them. But those TikTok videos contain music from artists signed to labels like Sony and Warner, and those labels will issue copyright claims, preventing creators from monetizing their videos.

To work around that, creators like Danny Gonzalez and Kurtis Conner have started replacing the music with their own singing. Gonzalez and Conner half-heartedly sing songs like…

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Why can’t YouTube automatically catch re-uploads of disturbing footage?


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After a man used Facebook to live stream his attack on two New Zealand mosques last night, the video quickly spread to YouTube. Moderators fought back, trying to take the horrific footage down, but new uploads of the video kept appearing. It led many observers to wonder: since YouTube has a tool for automatically identifying copyrighted content, why can’t it automatically identify this video and wipe it out?

Exact re-uploads of the video will be banned by YouTube, but videos that contain clips of the footage have to be sent to human moderators for review, The Verge has learned. Part of that is to ensure that news videos that use a portion of the video for their segments aren’t removed in the process.

YouTube’s safety team thinks of it as…

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James Gunn is reportedly back on to direct Guardians of the Galaxy 3


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Despite being fired last year over a series of offensive tweets dug up by far-right provocateur Mike Cernovich, James Gunn is reportedly back to direct Guardians of the Galaxy 3, according to Deadline.

Deadline has reportedly “confirmed it with Marvel and Gunn’s camp.” The decision to re-hire Gunn was “mulled and actually made months ago, following conversations with Disney studio leadership and the team at Marvel Studio,” according to the report.

Gunn’s departure was met with criticism by reporters, Hollywood insiders, and even those working within Marvel. The cast of the first two Guardians of the Galaxy films signed a letter asking Marvel and Disney to reconsider the firing. Disney co-chairman Alan Horn reportedly met with Gunn and…

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Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel’s life is getting The Social Network treatment


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The story of how Evan Spiegel came to create Snapchat is being turned into a short-form video series by Quibi, an upcoming short-form streaming service designed for mobile users that’s set to launch next year. Quibi’s name stands for “quick bites,” so all the show’s episodes will be less than 10 minutes in length.

Quibi co-founders Jeffrey Katzenberg, the former CEO of DreamWorks, and Meg Whitman, the former CEO of HP, announced the series during a South by Southwest panel today. Called Frat Boy Genius, the series will be based on a screenplay that made last year’s Black List of best unproduced films. It “follows a disgruntled employee of Snapchat who tells the story about the rise of her former Stanford classmate, ‘preeminent douchebag…

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YouTube fought Brie Larson trolls by changing its search algorithm


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If you searched “Brie Larson” on YouTube a couple of days ago, the top search results were calls for a boycott of Captain Marvel, and angry rants about Larson’s involvement in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With one small change, YouTube made all of that disappear.

This week, YouTube recategorized “Brie Larson” as a news-worthy search term. That does one very important job: it makes the search algorithm surface videos from authoritative sources on a subject. Instead of videos from individual creators, YouTube responds with videos from Entertainment Tonight, ABC, CBS, CNN, and other news outlets first.

The algorithmic news tool was first rolled out in October 2017, following mass criticism over how YouTube’s search favored conspiracy…

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Disney is ending its vault program, giving Disney+ a huge boost in the streaming wars


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Disney+, the company’s upcoming streaming service, will carry Disney’s entire catalog of animated films, ending Disney’s long-standing “vault” program. CEO Bob Iger told shareholders today that Disney+ “at some point fairly soon after launch” will carry films that “traditionally have been kept in a ‘vault’ and brought out basically every few years.”

That’s a major policy change for the company, which, until now, has deliberately created artificial shortages of its films via extremely limited re-releases. For example, a movie like 101 Dalmatians would have been available to purchase during its initial home release run before being placed in “the vault” for a lengthy period. Disney initiated the practice as a way to control its own market…

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YouTube’s family vloggers worry about their future amid comment section crackdown


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     Without comments, YouTube is just ‘short films’

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Warner Music joins Sony as latest major label to legalize DJ mixes with Dubset


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Dubset, the rights clearance startup that helps DJs use licensed songs in their sets or remixes and monetize the content, has inked a deal with Warner Music. Warner Music Group is one of the biggest music labels to sign a deal with Dubset, meaning a large majority of music that DJs want to play — which includes artists like Daft Punk, Bruno Mars, Cardi B, and Migos — is now available to them with full monetization privileges. Essentially, artists using the Dubset platform are legally clear to include songs from Warner’s catalog in full-length mixes, and distribute those mixes to Apple Music and Spotify.

Dubset announced the partnership in a newsletter that was sent out today. “Dubset’s team has worked tirelessly to expand its catalog,…

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Game of Thrones’ final season trailer prepares us for the biggest fight yet


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The first official trailer for the final season of Game of Thrones has landed, and it’s clear that everyone is gearing up for the fight of their lives.

The main battle seems to be between Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, and all of the North as they prepare for the White Walkers’ invasion. Winter has finally come with a new enemy far greater than anything to the south of Winterfell. Game of Thrones’ seventh season ended with the revelation that the White Walkers now have their own dragon, which is sure to wreak havoc on the people of Winterfell. It’s a fight that Jon tried to warn Cersei about during last season, but she made it abundantly clear that she wasn’t interested in helping him defend the kingdom if he wasn’t ready to bow down to…

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YouTube still can’t stop child predators in its comments


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YouTube is facing a new wave of criticism over the alarming number of predatory comments and videos targeting young children.

The latest concerns started with a Reddit post, submitted to r/Drama, and a YouTube video, exposing a “wormhole into a soft-core pedophilia ring on YouTube,” according to Matt Watson. Watson, a former YouTube creator who returned with a single video and live stream about the topic, demonstrated how a search for something like “bikini haul,” a subgenre of video where women show various bikinis they’ve purchased, can lead to disturbing and exploitative videos of children. The videos aren’t pornographic in nature, but the comment sections are full of people time stamping specific scenes that sexualize the child or…

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Netflix cancels Jessica Jones and The Punisher


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Jessica Jones and The Punisher have been canceled by Netflix, bringing an end to all five of Marvel and Netflix’s live-action TV series.

“Marvel’s The Punisher will not return for a third season on Netflix,” a Netflix spokesperson told The Verge. “In addition, in reviewing our Marvel programming, we have decided that the upcoming third season will also be the final season for Marvel’s Jessica Jones. We are grateful to Marvel for five years of our fruitful partnership and thank the passionate fans who have followed these series from the beginning.”

Both shows will remain on Netflix for subscribers, even as Disney begins to move its original series and films over to its own streaming service, Disney+, which is set to launch this fall….

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PlayStation exec says PSVR will see a dramatic change in next 10 years


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PlayStation’s PSVR headset hasn’t exactly taken over the world, but the head of PlayStation says the company has big plans for its VR console.

Shawn Layden told Game Informer that the next 10 years of the PSVR’s development will be dramatic, but he didn’t provide any specifics on what the growth will look like. Instead, Layden compared game development’s future to its past, acknowledging the dramatic growth in fields like virtual reality, augmented reality, e-sports, and even mobile gaming. That kind of dramatic growth will only continue, and that’s something Layden believes will affect PSVR.

He used the growth in smartphone development, like the numerous Android and Apple devices that have been released since the first iPhone 3G in…

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President of United States reposts video from winner of Infowars meme contest


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President Trump tweeted a video today from a YouTuber known for winning an Infowars meme contest.

The video, from a creator who goes by Carpe Donktum, primarily mocks the reactions of Democrats who attended this year’s State of the Union. Trump didn’t call out Donktum or Donktum’s channel specifically (although there is a watermark on the video), but far-right personalities like Mike Cernovich and Scott Adams congratulated Donktum on the newfound attention.

Trump has tweeted images and videos that originated with the far-right online community before, sometimes provoking controversy. Trump found himself under international criticism last year after retweeting…

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Ja Rule is planning a new Fyre Festival-like event


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Rapper and Fyre Festival investor Ja Rule hasn’t seen either Netflix or Hulu’s Fyre Festival documentaries, which may help explain why he believes a second attempt at organizing a similar festival is a good idea.

TMZ asked Ja Rule about his thoughts on the various Fyre Festival documentaries, which detail the massive failure and ongoing legal issues facing the most disastrous festival in recent history, his former business partner and festival organizer, Billy McFarland, and how he’s doing in a post-Fyre Festival world. Ja Rule admitted it was a painful experience, but added, “In the midst of chaos, there’s opportunity.” He’s been working on a new app, Iconn, which sounds similar to McFarland’s app. The goal is to launch a festival in…

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Indian lawmakers call for TikTok ban, alleging spread of ‘cultural degradation’ among teens


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TikTok usage in India has led teens and young adults to participate in acts of “cultural degradation,” according to Indian lawmakers, who are asking the government to take action against the app.

The government appears to be listening. M. Manikandan, information technology minister of the Indian state Tamil Nadu, said the state government will recommend that TikTok be banned in Tamil Nadu, according to a report from The Economic Times. Nagapattinam lawmaker Thamimun Ansari raised the issue in the Central Legislative Assembly, telling The Economic Times, “I raised an issue forwarded to me by community welfare workers that the mobile application (TikTok) was acting as a platform for heated debates inimical to law and order, and sharing of…

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Chuck E. Cheese’s denies it recycles pizza slices following Shane Dawson video


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Shane Dawson’s new two-part series investigates different popular conspiracy theories, including whether Chuck E. Cheese’s serves reused leftover pizza to customers. Now, following the success of Dawson’s documentary, a Chuck E. Cheese’s spokesperson told The Verge that claims made by Dawson are untrue.

“The claims made in this video about Chuck E. Cheese’s and our pizza are unequivocally false,” the spokesperson said. “No conspiracies here — our pizzas are made to order and we prepare our dough fresh in restaurant, which means that they’re not always perfectly uniform in shape, but always delicious.”

Dawson’s theory, which has popped up online before, suggests that because of the oblong slices and slice lines that don’t add up, the…

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Earth is dying and this couple is crowdfunding a sex button


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Millennials have killed many things: cable television, golf, McDonald’s, and now, apparently healthy sexual relationships.

A new gadget currently being Kickstarted called “LoveSync” is the Amazon Dash button for horny men and women who don’t feel comfortable telling their partner they’d like to have sex. Instead of leaning over and vocally asking your girlfriend or boyfriend, the LoveSync button does it for you. Essentially, there are two buttons — one for you, and one for your partner. If you’re feeling horny, you tap your button, which sends a signal to your partner’s button, basically asking if they’d also like to have sex. Your partner then has two options: they can either tap the button back, letting you know they’re ready to get…

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YouTube product manager addresses concerns over algorithm’s role in creator burnout


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YouTube’s creators have long blamed the growing burnout issue within the community on the platform’s algorithm, but a new video testimonial from YouTube’s product manager says that’s not always the case.

Todd Beaupre, product manager at YouTube, dug into data for hundreds of channels that took two-week breaks — a pretty lengthy time off for a full-time YouTuber. Beaupre suggested the data proved a couple of interesting details, specifically when it comes to vlog-type channels. While some channels can take breaks because their upload schedule isn’t too intense, others rely on constant output from creators, as that’s what their viewers have come to expect. This makes it difficult for those creators to take a break.

Beaupre and his team…

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New Aladdin trailer from the 2019 Grammys introduces Will Smith’s Genie


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A trailer for Disney’s upcoming live-action adaptation of Aladdin aired during the 2019 Grammys finally gave everyone what they wanted — Will Smith’s Genie.

The first teaser for the film, which debuted in October 2018, left the Genie out. New images of Smith in costume as the popular and beloved character have since been released. Entertainment Weekly spoke to Smith about the role, which was originally performed by the late Robin Williams, in December 2018. Smith also spoke about the differences between his version of the character and Williams’.

There’s a little bit less mimicking — there’s a James Brown piece that we do but a little bit less mimicking. The thing that will be the major addition from me playing the Genie is the hip-hop…

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National Enquirer’s parent company is investigating Bezos blackmail claim


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American Media Inc. (AMI), the parent company of the National Enquirer, is launching a full investigation into extortion claims made by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in a widely shared Medium post last night.

Bezos used his post, “No thank you, Mr. Pecker,” to allege that the National Enquirer is blackmailing him by threatening to publish nude photos of himself, along with sexually suggestive photos of Lauren Sanchez, the news anchor with whom he has been having an affair. Some of the photos include “full-length body selfie of Mr. Bezos wearing just a pair of tight black boxer-briefs or trunks” and a “naked selfie in a bathroom… wearing nothing but a white towel,” according to his Medium post.

AMI issued a statement this morning noting that…

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