Feeds

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

Jedi Knight saves the world

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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."

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.