Friday, June 9, 2017

Face Back

Facebook let me back in the club yesterday about 2:30 after 9 days in the wilderness.

Here's what I learned:

- Facebook is too big to be even remotely responsive with these kinds of things. I was fortunate to have a friend that had a friend that works there. I'm certain this was resolved more quickly because of that connection. And I'm super grateful for it. Nonetheless, Facebook needs to figure out a more expeditious way of dealing with this kind of stuff.

- DO NOT SHARE COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL. EVER. It's not worth the risk. Make your own original music. Like I did. Promote your own material. Create! Share! If it doesn't catch on keep creating and keep sharing. Get better. Keep going.

- Do not allow yourself to be made an admin on any page that you are not 100% certain will be carefully run. That's what happened to me. I'm not sure if getting disabled was a glitch or what, but I don't really care. I will not be an admin on any page that allows posting of cover content. (speaking of that I need to go clean up the Best Boutique Basses page right now!)

- Appreciate Facebook for what it is to you. I had a pretty hard time being cut off from what has become a huge part of my social existence (not to mention the business aspect). I'm not going to apologize for that either. For many millions of people, this thing called Facebook has grown into something that is fundamental to a modern social existence. I'm not going to say whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, but it seems undeniably to be true. And it sure felt true to me when it was unjustly taken away from me. Just ask my fiancé. It was a rough time.

- Diversify. If you have other barely active social media accounts invest some energy and keep them going. I spent some time digging into Twitter and now have a much more active presence there (NordGuitar). If one of your accounts goes down for any reason it won't be quite such a big blow.

- For critical communications and contacts make sure you get email addresses or find some way to communicate outside of Facebook if your account gets hosed. I was about to do a podcast Skype call with a notable online bass press company right when my account went down. Because of that I was not able to communicate with the podcaster and we missed the scheduled appointment. Please realize that if you are syncing contacts with Facebook that that will all go away if your account goes down. Back up those important contacts somehow. Screenshots, anything.

That's all I got for now. Be careful with your Facebook account. Be authentic. Don't spam. Don't try to game the system to build yourself and your accounts. What goes around comes around. Karma. Et Cetera.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Plot Thickens - David vs Goliath

The plot thickens.

Wow, what a wild week it's been. Dealing with the disabled Facebook account fiasco has taken a lot of my time. As you can imagine it's kind of a big deal to lose access to the largest marketing platform in world history. Not to mention being cut off from all of my friends, who I enjoy following and miss dearly.

To summarize:

- My account was disabled on May 30th at approximately 4:45 pm.
- Repeated attempts to file appeals have been met with silence.
- As far as I know, the reason my account was disabled is that I was an admin on a page that shared an Ed Sheerhan cover video. (see below)
- The poster of the offending content has not been disabled.
- The page the offending content was posted on is still active.
- At least 10 other prominent music industry folks have had their accounts disabled as well. Including Sonia Adame (who works for me), and Sheldon Dingwall, a super well known successful bass builder.
- I have not ever posted or shared any cover song content. Ever.

So I learned tonight that Universal Music Publishing Group is likely behind what's going on here. Please check out this story here to learn about this contentious mess. In summary, UMPG is going after any and all content that is even remotely possibly covered by copyright, including even very short performance cover videos. And a lack of and licensing agreement between UMPG and Facebook is not helping the situation at all.

This seems to be the tip of a potentially huge iceberg. I'd really appreciate again if you read this, and feel so motivated, that you share it far and wide.

I am seeking legal counsel in this matter. This situation is at best wildly unfair and at worst blatantly illegal. Keep an eye on this blog for further updates as we learn more about what's going on.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Facebook Blowing it Big Time - Please Help

Well if there's one way to get me to write more blog posts it's certainly this. My FB account is currently disabled and has been so for about 36 hours. Here's what happened as far as I'm able to discern.

At 4:54 I received the following email:


Because of several prior reports that content on your Page ({lob_url}) violates someone else’s intellectual property rights, this Page has been removed.  

You can find further information about intellectual property issues in our Help Center:


The Facebook Team

This one came in right after:


Facebook has removed content, Video caricato in 29 aprile 8:39:48 PDT, "Shape of You - Walk off the Earth (Ed Sheeran Cover)" posted on your Page (, because we received a report that it violates someone else’s intellectual property rights. The content was posted by the admin Alberto Rigoni.

If repeat infringement continues, Facebook will be required to block the ability to upload videos and photos to your Page. Ultimately, we could remove the Page entirely. The admin who posted the content has also been notified separately.

You should delete all content you don’t own the rights to or don’t have permission to upload. You can find further information about intellectual property issues in our Help Center:


The Facebook Team

Then this:


We’re following up with more details regarding content that was removed from your Page ( We were required to remove that content because we received a report from Universal Music Group that the content violates their copyrights. They’ve chosen to report your content because they believe you don't have the sync rights for the musical composition from them.

We’re committed to our mission of helping people connect and share, and we’re working towards broader solutions. In the meantime, we have no choice but to remove the content in response to the report we received. If you have additional questions, you may want to contact Universal Music Group directly.


The Facebook Team

No where in any of this is any indication that my personal page has been disabled.  But it was. Repeated attempts to contact FB have been fruitless. Alberto's account remains functional. Mine and several others, including my good friends Sheldon Dingwall (and Sonia Adame who works for me),  are still disabled and no one has been able to get a peep out of FB.

It goes without saying that a functional FB account is critical to my business life, not to mention my personal life. On top of all that, I'm trying to promote an album that I've spent 2 years working on ( ;-) and without FB it gets very challenging indeed. I also have tons of communication with friends and customers where FB is the only conduit. I was even supposed to do an interview with Nick from Scott's Bass Page today. It was supposed to start 15 minutes ago but since I can't communicate with Nick the interview isn't happening.

I'm not here to lament that FB has become such a huge part of my life in so many ways. It is what it is. I really enjoy it and I feel it keeps me in touch with the world in a way that was inconceivable as few as 10 years ago.

But this current situation is extremely maddening. My account has been disabled through no fault of mine. I posted nothing offensive and am always extremely careful to stay clear of copyrighted material.

In a nutshell, I was added as an admin to a page. Someone posted something that was reported for copyright violation, that material was removed by FB. The original poster's account is still active. He tells me managed to have the complaint removed. I and several other admins on that page are STILL disabled.

Why is this situation not resolved yet? I ask you, dear reader, to help make some noise about this. Maybe we can get FB's attention and get this resolved.

Thank you.