Monday, September 28, 2009

(empo-utoobd) Jeff Pulver's YouTube story, October 2008

I've alluded to this a couple of times, but now it's time to revisit the Jeff Pulver-YouTube story and put it in context.

First off, let's review Jeff Pulver's mini-autobiography:

Jeff Pulver is the Chairman and Founder of, and one of the true pioneers of the VoIP industry and a leader in the emerging TV on the Net industry. Leveraging well over a decade of hands-on experience in Internet/IP communications and innovation, Mr. Pulver is a globally renowned thought leader, author and entrepreneur. His blog is well read within the IP Communications Industry and in high-tech communities around the world. He is the publisher of The Pulver Report and and creator of the industry standard Voice on the Net (VON) events. Additionally, Mr. Pulver is the founder of FWD, the VON Coalition, PrimeTimeRewind.TV, Vivox and is the co-founder of VoIP provider, Vonage.

(Uh...don't tell Jeff I signed up for Skype over the weekend.)

Anyway, Pulver's blog is at, and it includes post that go back to 2001.

In Pulver's October 5, 2008 post In Search Of: Customer Support from YouTube, he related what happened to him that day. Basically, he checked his YouTube account in the morning, and saw the "Your account has been permanently disabled" message. This was a surprise to him.

There has been no communication with me regarding why my account has been disabled. I have built a considerable audience and devoted an extraordinary amount of time and effort to attract viewers to my site and your service. It is confounding as to why this action has been taken. I presume, due to lack of notice, that this is simply a technical error or some other hiccup by YouTube.

Pulver then composed a letter to YouTube. The full text of the letter can be found at his post, but I'd like to extract a couple of points.

First, as noted above, Pulver had no notice that this was going to happen, or why it happened.

I have no clue why my account was disabled. If I have inadvertently done anything to violate YouTube rules, which I don’t believe I have, I hereby apologize and will work to correct any error on my part. But, I suspect the problem is an arbitrary decision or error on your end.

Second, Pulver discovered that he had lost all access to his data, even the data that was presumably compliant.

I request my YouTube account be reinstated. If for some reason that is not possible, I strongly request arranging some method so that I may be able DOWNLOAD and recover the archives of videos that I uploaded during the past couple of years.

I don't know whether Pulver specifically emailed the letter to anyone or not, or whether he just posted it on his (popular) blog. However, since Pulver had no way to contact YouTube about the issue, he had to issue a plea and a hope that someone from YouTube would see his post. And apparently someone did, because Pulver subsequently posted this comment:

My account has been restored!

Special thanks to everyone who helped make it happen. :)

Posted by: Jeff Pulver at October 8, 2008 03:47 PM

For whatever reason, Pulver did not reveal anything more than this, or whether he truly had material that violated YouTube's terms of service, or whether it was just a glitch.

The disturbing part from my perspective is that Pulver had no way to contact YouTube; he had to wait for YouTube to contact him.

P.S. If you want to see Pulver's YouTube channel, it's at
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