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apple logo 2014Do you fixate on the laptop logo during a Zeitgeist Movement ZDAY presentation? It happens every time.  Someone thinks that "doing activism" equates to leaving a comment on a YouTube video about seeing the Apple logo on a laptop during ZDAY presentation videos..

In the words of William Shatner "Seriously, get a life..." Because it doesn't matter.  It has no bearing on the subject matter of the speaker. Some people use a Mac.  Some use a Windows PC, some use Linux.  Personally I use Keynote.  It's a great program.  It's on my mac laptop. I have a macbook because I'm a video editor and for me FCPX is unmatched in power and ease of use.  Disagree? WHO CARES! You don't edit my videos so I could really care less if you like my tools or not.

I will probably do all my presenting with Keynote for the foreseeable future because it works well for what I do.  That's the only reason I use it. Oh, and it's free.

The other thing that is obviously not considered with non-contributing commentary such as mentioned YT comments, is the momentous amount of work it takes to put on an event like ZDay.  The months of planning, organizing, researching, promotion and preparing a topic.  The stress of fitting it into a full time life. Dealing with the public, venues, graphics, etc.. And all the 1000 little things that have to come together to make a day go seamless for the audience.  The actual act of caring enough to get off one's ass to do something real in the real world. 

Q:"What did you do for activism today?"

A:"Oh, well, I left a comment on Youtube that had nothing to do with anything being said"

My 2cents - Maybe try discussing the subject matter instead.  Post it somewhere that might be of interest to a new audience.  I'm sorry if you hate seeing the logo. No, I didn't think to cover it because I was busy with 100 other things.  Why didn't you volunteer to mask it? When you start doing that you can start leaving comments about it.

YT removedThe Big YouTube Copyright Scam is in full swing.  If I extrapolate out the amount of outright stealing that is happening on the TZM Official YouTube channel alone, there has to be millions of dollars being made off this infringement scam on the whole.  Because that's what it is, a scam.  An automated system that accesses a secret database while scanning YouTube for copyrighted material under the guise of "protecting intellectual property rights" through an all-or-nothing scheme.

So here is what's happening:

The database that is used is kept under lock & key and no one knows who submits the data to it.  Although it wouldn't surprise me to learn that it's supplied from sources like the RIAA or Apple, Time Warner, etc..

This auto-bot overlooks fair use of material. It overlooks non-commercial use. It overlooks non-commercial use for education. Instead, it treats even a few seconds of music (i.e. a non-commercial TZM video exercising fair use) with the same "piracy" paint as someone that is actually trying to sell a commercial work via theft.

So here's how you get exploited as an independent content creator:

What you do:  Create a 1-hour original work meant for non-commercial educational use only.  In this 1-hour piece you place 5 seconds of a popular piece of music because it helps convey a feeling or message that is widely familiar to the audience. Not for personal financial gain since your video is published for free under fair use.

What "They" do:  Refrain from submitting a formal copyright infringement take-down notice on your work. Rather, they choose the right to monetize 100% of your original work for themselves by placing advertisements on it. They can claim the whole work. You cannot remove the ads if they choose to monetize it for themselves and they keep all the revenues.

That is Part I of the scam...  Now for Part II.

There are alleged "copyright holders" who are not the real copyright holders.  I'll take a case point from our own TZM Official Channel. 

Who made the Zeitgeist Trilogy of films?  I imagine you already know that it was Peter Joseph. Who wrote the original soundtrack to the film?  Peter Joseph.  Who is claiming 100% monetization on Peter's film "Zeitgeist Addendum" on the TZM YouTube channel?

This company claims that several seconds of the soundtrack during the New York Times Square montage is owned by them.  They did not waive this claim, but rather they keep the right to place ads on it and keep 100% of the money for 100% of Zeitgeist Addendum.  ( you really should be ashamed of yourselves.)  There is no checks & balance system that I know of to deal with false ownership claims other than YouTube's internal litigation process.

I could cite many more examples from the TZM channel alone and these claims are difficult to fight. If you try and appeal more than 3 claims at once you run the risk of your entire channel being automatically banned from YouTube if all three parties refute your appeal (especially with fair use).  So with hundreds of claims on one channel it's nearly impossible to do much about it.

Youtube's automated copyright system is about a year old now and since its release I've seen some ad-hom criticism made towards the Movement about the hypocrisy of commercials on our published works on YouTube.  Let it be made clear now: We did not put them there.  The parties that hold alleged copyright claims through YouTube's system put the ads on there to monetize the whole work for themselves.

2014 year in reviewAs a coordinator for a TZM chapter I often fall victim to the thought of "I'm not doing enough. I should be doing more."  While this could be cause for motivation to take on new activism & projects, it also creates a pattern of never acknowledging all the accomplishments I have completed so far. 

So at the end of each year I've held a year-in-review meeting to help wrap things up and put it all in perspective.  In my case I'm only looking at my efforts along with the California Chapter of TZM.  So this is only a glimpse into what's probably going on all over the world.

ZMCA Accomplishments of 2014:

- Active chapters in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Orange County/Laguna Beach, Long Beach, Humboldt County, Palm Springs, Riverside, San Jacinto

- Chapters in development: Santa Barbara, Sacramento

- website maintained and online for all of 2014 with relevant articles, newsletters, resources and artwork for all of TZM

the site garnered 177,000 visitors with 96,000 of them being unique visits during 2014 (As of Dec 7th)

- host of major a Zday event for the 6th year in a row

- host of the 4th annual Zeitgeist Media Festival

- navigated the troubled waters of people that associate with TZM but then branch off to create new movements while ad hom attacking and spending time & effort to hurt TZM and the volunteers therein.  Kept the focus and have all grown wiser for the experience.

- hosted bi-monthly meetings for CA coordinators for most of the year.  All of which can be listened to by registered users HERE

Personal accomplishments:

- assisted the transition of USA Coordination from Jen Wilding to Reba Melfa

- put $400 towards the upgrading of ZMCA and the creation of a free & stable chapter platform which is being used by several CA chapters

- presented at the 2014 Los Angeles Zday along with producing/recording/publishing media from the day

- Core member of the production team for the Zeitgeist Media Festival and put together the technical teams for video/audio/webcasts

- recorded/mixed & published audio from the 2013 media festival

- Hosted/recorded/published media for several Los Angeles TZM townhalls during the year.

- host & publish all ZMCA meetings on

- Mastered the Zeitgeist Movie soundtrack for publication

- Produced several TZM Global Radio shows during the year, as well has help monitor it's health & syndication online through iTunes, Tunein Radio and RSS.

- Helped the Orange County chapter publish their newsletters

- Helped reverse the an action of Orange County Parks shutting down the OC Chapter's activism, and got them permitted & reinstated through publishing the story online.

Ok, that should do for now.  So when I write it down and take a look at what's gone on during the year, I find nothing to support my opening thoughts of "Hmm.  Am I doing as much as I can?"  That is the wrong question to ask.  What we should be asking ourselves is "How well am I doing what I do?"  That's more on point with being a social activist and keeping the focus within a global movement.

In Solidarity,


map-world-puzzleWhen the global events come around each year for the Zeitgeist Movement I usually do my best to get my hands on the graphics & artwork that get created and post them on the zmca toolkit page.  I do this so anyone can have easy access to the artwork to repurpose for their own TZM events.

I remember reading a comment in a google group that stated "Why isn't this on the global website?"

It was flattering to read and also made sense.  The global site is a hub and gets much more traffic than zmca.  I thought about it for a whlie and then realized it wasn't as much of a problem as it was presented to be.  What's important was that the information (in this case TZM event artwork) is posted and available on a TZM website.  In a way, all these sites are connected via the TZM main site and which make up a global network of related sites..

I know that it's ineffecient to have 100 different websites to visit and there are things to address there.  But with social networking and word-of-mouth, people looking for this info will find it, and I'll alway do my best to keep the toolkit updated.  Who know's, maybe someday there will be a way to have TZM as a cloud-type virtual space where the photos, graphics, articles and other created media can be databased into a library for the whole world to access..

We're getting there.

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