Feeds

YouTube, Viacom bow to light-sabre wielding defender of online justice

Jedi Knight saves the world

The essential guide to IT transformation

The Register's favorite light-sabre-wielding school board candidate has stared down an army of YouTube-hating Viacom lawyers, defending the rights of internet users everywhere.

Late last month, as reported by The Reg, Viacom put the screws to Star Wars-loving North Carolinian Christopher Knight for posting his own TV ad to the world's most popular video-sharing web site. Yes, he also posted a sliver of Viacom-owned content, but most of the video was his - and he wasn't doing anything Viacom hadn't already done to him. Nonetheless, Viacom ordered YouTube to yank the clip - in which Knight waves a light sabre at federal legislation - and our hero received a digital form letter threatening to destroy his account.

But Jedi Knight filed a counter-complaint, risking a lawsuit from Sumner Redstone and company, and for once, YouTube justice was served. Viacom eventually bowed to internet common sense, and late Tuesday night, the clip was restored. It's a lesson for video and music sharers across the web: When the media giants wave copyright infringement claims at legitimate content, abusing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, you have the power to fight back.

We see this as a classic triumph of good over evil, but our hero takes a more modest approach. "I have nothing against Viacom," Knight told The Reg. "We just wound up converging in territory no one had ventured into - and I'm glad we were able to resolve it."

This past fall, as he ran for a school board seat in Rockingham County, North Carolina, Jedi Knight filmed a TV spot in which he promised to protect local children from a metaphorical Death Star. The ad was such a hit on Rockingham TV, he soon chucked it onto YouTube - where it was spotted by Viacom.

Several months after it first appeared on the net, the clip popped up on Web Junk 2.0, a cable TV show from Viacom-owned channel VH1. As the video appeared behind him, the show's host admired Knight's sexual restraint. "I'd actually feel safe with a guy like Chris on the school board," he said. "You know he won't be banging the teachers."

Chris was so pleased, he soon made a copy of his Web Junk appearance and threw that onto YouTube. But it didn't stay there for long. Viacom contacted YouTube, insisting Jedi Knight had violated its copyright under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and YouTube took the clip down. We can mess with your copyrighted stuff, Viacom seemed to be saying, but you can't mess with ours.

"Viacom says that I can't use their clip showing my commercial, claiming copy infringement?" Jedi Knight told us last month. "As we say in the South, that's ass-backwards."

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS
YouGov poll reveals terrible truth about the enemy within
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?