Hell hath no fury like a celebrity gossip scorned. Celeb-blogger Perez Hilton is <a href=through with YouTube. “Fuck you, YouTube. Fuck you,” he says in a farewell video posted—where else?— on YouTube.
Hilton, who was one of the original partners selected to share ad revenues with the site (a program that was recently opened up) found his account temporarily shut down on Monday for purported copyright violations. YouTube had received a takedown notice related to Liza Minnelli concert footage he had included in a video. It was the third takedown notice that Hilton’s videos had received. However, Hilton says he had permission to post the video from the person who shot it. YouTube quickly reinstated his account.
Nevertheless, Hilton expressed anger at YouTube for sending him a standard, generic e-mail informing him of his account’s violation and temporary shutdown. Don’t they know who he is? They should, his YouTube videos generate millions of views, according to him. Doesn’t he rate at least a phone call? In his farewell video, Hilton tells his fans he probably won’t be posting any more videos to YouTube and that neither should they. Dis.
But here’s the funny part. The other two takedown notices had come from Viacom, which produces Hilton’s TV show on VH1. He had to get his lawyer to contact Viacom’s lawyers to rescind the notices, which sound like they were automatically generated. These automated takedown notices are just going to keep backfiring on Viacom and other media companies that use them too liberally.
The fact is that Hilton got caught up in the middle of a war between YouTube and Viacom, one in which the weapons are software-generated takedown notices, software-generated e-mails, and software-generated account closures. He is not the only casualty. He is just the most vocal. But he should be just as angry at Viacom, who arguably started this war with its $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube in the first place.