STOP SENDING TAKE-DOWN NOTICES FOR POLITICAL YOUTUBE VIDEOS ! - say the:
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); the ACLU of Northern California; the Citizen Media Law Project at Harvard’s Berkman Center; Anthony Falzone, the executive director of Stanford’s Fair Use Project; the Center for Social Media, School of Communication, American University; Electronic Frontiers Foundation; the Program for Information Justice & Intellectual Property, American University Law School; and, Public Knowledge.
Their demand is addressed to CBS, the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), Fox, and NBC.
Last week, the John McCain Sarah Palin organisers, “contacted YouTube after CBS, CBN, and Fox targeted the campaign’s videos for removal from YouTube,” says the EFF.
But wait! It’s not only McCain and Palin.
“The Obama-Biden campaign has had at least one of its videos removed from YouTube in response to a similar copyright demand from NBC,” says the coalition in an EFF press statement, going on »»»
“The videos at issue include clips of news footage that last only a few seconds, used as part of constitutionally-protected political speech. This is not piracy, but fair use, no different from what Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show do every night,” said EFF Senior Intellectual Property Attorney Fred von Lohmann. “Sending unfounded takedown notices is not only against the law, it also threatens to interfere with the vibrant political debate occurring on community video sites like YouTube.
Remixing the news to make your point is what political speech looks like in the 21st century.”
Using of copyright law in this way, “is especially disappointing as CBS, NBC-Universal, and Fox have all officially endorsed ‘User-Generated Content Principles’ (www.ugcprinciples.com) aimed at accommodating legitimate fair use of their material,” say the ACLU, et al.
And in a separate open letter to YouTube, “the coalition suggests two measures to protect all video contributors from unfounded takedown demands,” it declares, adding:
First, all “counter-notices” sent by YouTube users protesting copyright takedown demands should be immediately reviewed by YouTube staff, and the video immediately restored if it is a clear case of fair use.
“Second, once a user has already provided a valid counter-notice, then YouTube should also review any further takedown notice issued to any video posted to the account.”
McCain was, of course, an enthusiastic supporter of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) which allows the takedowns in the first place.
“We hope that as a content uploader, you have gained a sense of some of the challenges we face everyday in operating YouTube,” YouTube general counsel Zahavah Levine told McCain in, appropriately, a YouTube video.
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