A reminder to all creative people:

If the RIAA's recent actions have reminded us of anything, it's that you cannot guarantee you have a copy of any of your work unless you have backups of it on your own system.

The 'cloud' is someone else's computer, and there is ample evidence that the someone else who owns that computer does not care at all about the hours of passion you've poured into things you make.

Act accordingly.

@RussSharek even Britain's public service broadcasters (BBC and ITV) have destroyed loads of their archive (including during the 90s/2000s by which time preserving the tapes and/or digital files was perfectly feasible); the only way for a creator to keep their content it to retain their own backups (and its probably worth keeping stuff like rushes, unused projects etc, physical backup media is still relatively cheap..)


I remember some stories of random episodes of BBC shows being found on tape in storage lockers, old offices and inside the k-9 robot dog prop.

@RussSharek same with ITV, the bigger problem being there aren't that many working 2" and 1" VTRs (video tape recorders) around to do the transfers and tape that is not kept in good conditions can deteriorate quickly (especially mid-late 1970s formulations which were horrendous for shedding oxide).

A lot of 90s/00s stuff (especially kids shows) gets wiped because it contains "pop music" and simply having it around is a minefield/risk due to PPL/PRS and RIAA were it to leak onto YouTube..


Storage keeps getting cheaper. I'm not going to make value statements about what "should" be kept. I'm saying more can, and now more people want to actively take it away from people who made it.

@RussSharek I help run a rave/EDM forum and Sony etc made us pull a whole load of DJ mixes because *one* indie label sold their archive to Sony in the mid 1990s (they expected us to pick individual tunes out of a beatmatched DJ set which is of course near impossible) - and this was happening back in 2005/06 (quite a few other DJ mixtape sites got hassle as soon as they became popular in USA as well as UK and Europe)..

@RussSharek there's even worse stuff going on; our live radio stream was first attempted to be DDOSed by "entrepreneurs" in Northern Europe, when this had 0 effect (due to the large bandwidth) they subsequently turned over all their recordings to various copyright authorities so the live radio stream had to close down (there are now startup companies which do this "to help artists", many are based in Germany along with the other "cool" startups..)

@a_breakin_glass @RussSharek

the chap who is the forum admin was perplexed as to WTF was going on to start with, it took months/years to piece together each bit of the jigsaw as to why people would even do that (and the last piece only was discovered when I later started doing tech work for community radio stations and wondered why we were getting "listeners" from hundreds of km across the North Sea with such a wide taste in music but who never interacted with the stations..

@a_breakin_glass @RussSharek

*real* listeners from NL and DE (mostly boomers, as there has been a long history of this since the analogue days) would always text or email the studios..

also there was all those rap/urban/drill producers in England who ran crying to the NCA (British Feds) a few years ago because a handful of their tracks got pirated and torrented and they thought they would risk losing a few quid..

@RussSharek @vfrmedia The archivist approach, which is admittedly impractical for most folks, is to record all for posterity such that the context of them is also preserved along with the media

I'm reminded of the story of Marion Stokes who, bedsides being an amazing person, also recorded 35 years of TV, creating a priceless snapshot of a generation for posterity

@RadioAngel @RussSharek RIAA filed a DMCA complaint against YouTube-DL's Github repository, and Microsoft's policy is to always take the target repository down immediately rather than waiting for the result of the dispute.

Meanwhile, there are now 50 million mirrors of the entire Git repository, because the nature of Git is that every user has cloned a full commit (and hopefully also tag) history of the repository, so are free to mirror it anywhere in the world, even if only on their personal machines.

@kode54 @RadioAngel

It was a nice opportunity to be reminded that git is a decentralized service, and not a hub owned by a large company.

@RussSharek @kode54 @RadioAngel But their issue tracker wasn't a git repo. :blobsad:
(should have been that or a mailing list)

@grainloom @RussSharek @RadioAngel Yeah, unfortunately, things like issue trackers and merge/pull requests and release archives are not parts of Git. Their losses are heavy.

@RussSharek Pretty happy I keep a good archive of all my academic publications. I started doing it when I wanted to show someone a table of data at a meeting, but couldn't access my own paper without paying money to the publisher to get the PDF.

Now I maintain a page on my website with all the PDFs free to download:

(Usually in the copyright agreement you're allowed to post a copy onto your personal or institutional archive as long as it's non-commercial.)


That's a really nice solution.

The lesson I learned about larger projects is to think about the future of your project *after* it's "over". I had lots of help during the run of the show. Afterwards, I was on my own to solve these problems.


Not just for music and literature.
Even the mechanical parts you create with Fusion360 "sleep" into an Autodesk server.
Here is why large industries rely on their own CAD/CAM software.

@RussSharek trying to live by that mantra as a consumer but it’s hard and time consuming


It was intentionally made to be difficult. That's part of the problem. What I said wasn't a guilt trip, but rather something to get you thinking.

I made little changes where I could, and am still doing so years later.

@RussSharek This is why distributed version control is so amazing. While it's not perfect for everything the concept of every contributor having not only a snapshot backup of something but also the entire history before that point is so useful in cases like this. Even mass data chunks can be feasibly served using distributed versioning, especially for those which change relatively little.


Agreed, with the caveat that it works better for some media than others.

@RussSharek When Apple, Google and Microsoft retroactively changed emojis, we all learned that saving locally is no more secure than saving in the cloud. A grieving parent who used an emoji while writing against "gun violence" is now retroactively a ridiculous message against "toy violence." That some phones leak information at the hardware level makes even self-hosting with open source on an air-gapped device not a solution.

I think there is no solution, and it's going to get much worse.

@onan @RussSharek 🍬 The correct solution would to give the old gun emoji a specific other it was for a pistol and then add modifiers for users who want a ray gun, rifle, or squirt gun. 🍬

@onan @RussSharek 🍬 The correct solution would to give the old gun emoji a specific other it was for a pistol and then add modifiers for users who want a ray gun, rifle, or squirt gun. 🍬

Operating system vendors have started to proactively remove files on your personal device if they didn't think you should have them. In some cases this turned out to be original or legally licensed work. So "on your own system" may not even be good enough.


Yes, it's a sad fact that so many systems are designed with dangerous things like this in place. I've slowly learned, generally one spectacular failure at a time, that any system which I cannot sufficiently control (especially in terms of security) is one which I do not "own".

I can be a terrific house guest. I'm great at parties. The trust levels are still different. :)

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