Let me show you what I'm dealing with here.
I'm still re-uploading my videos after The Great YouTubeocalypse (previously), and I've reached the one that The Belated Birthday Girl and I made in Prague during our Christmas 2008 holiday. I do realise that I'm in this mess because of my habit of uploading material that's at least partially owned by others. But this one should be okay, surely? Its soundtrack features a song by the utterly obscure Czech funk band Monkey Business: who's going to pick up on that?
Within seconds of the upload completing, I receive an email from YouTube informing me that "your video may have content that is owned or licensed by Sony Music Entertainment." Shit! Those guys! I go back to my video, and I find that YouTube have already embedded a set of adverts and an iTunes purchase link for the track A Song For All Nations, which their robots appear to have identified almost instantly without any clues from me. How in the holy name of Václav Havel do they do that? (That's a rhetorical question, by the way, and this is the answer.)
Still, I would tentatively suggest that having YouTube feeding ads into my videos is infinitely preferable to them destroying my account. So, as long as we're prepared to settle for that as a compromise, here's a cut-down version of the evening cruise we took down the Vltava River in December 2008, courtesy of the good people at Evropská Vodní Doprava.
Sure, it's not perfect. It was a cold evening, so we had to stay inside the boat for the whole two hours. Everything you see was shot through glass windows, with all the irritating reflecty problems you'd expect. But after a while, I decided to stop battling against the reflections and go for the obvious solution: treat them as art. I happen to like the messily layered combination of the outside scenery and the boat interior, particularly when played off against the slowly diminishing light as the journey progresses. And anyone who says otherwise is lying.