Feeds

McCain begs for YouTube DMCA takedown immunity

DMCA velvet glove treatment

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

After having several campaign videos removed from YouTube for alleged copyright violations, Republican presidential candidate John McCain wants the video-sharing web site to consider special takedown privileges for politicians and their ilk.

McCain '08 general counsel Trevor Potter yesterday sent a letter to YouTube execs claiming the site is too quick to remove their campaign videos based on "overreaching copyright claims." He wrote that on numerous occasions that the material in question was "clearly" privileged under the US fair use doctrine.

The letter (available here as a PDF) comes by way of Larry Lessig.

YouTube routinely removes content based on the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown provisions, which grants safe harbor to web sites that promptly remove content if someone alleges it infringes on their copyrights. McCain was among the Senators that voted in favor of the provision in 1998.

"We fully understand that YouTube may receive too many videos, and too many takedown notices, to be able to conduct full fair-use review of all such notices. But we believe it would consume few resources — and provide enormous benefit — for YouTube to commit to a full legal review of all takedown notices on videos posted from accounts controlled by (at least) political candidates and campaigns," Potter wrote.

The letter was addressed to YouTube founder, Chad Hurley; YouTube General Counsel, Zahavah Levine; and Google Senior Copyright Counsel, William Patry. It also CC'd Barak Obama campaign General Counsel, Rober Bauer.

Potter argues the videos taken down by YouTube are "paradigmatic examples" of fair use, because they are non-commercial, factual, extremely brief, and have no conceivable effect on the market for the allegedly infringed work.

"As you know, the DMCA (and YouTube's policies) do not contemplate re-posting of the video until at least 10 and up to 14 days following the receipt of a counternotice — even where the notice is frivolous and the counternotice entirely sound," Potter wrote.

"But 10 days can be a lifetime in a political campaign, and there is no justification for depriving the American people of access to important and timely campaign videos during that period," he added.

Warner Music Group, CBS, Fox News, and other media conglomerates have all sent YouTube takedown notices for McCain videos.

Warner Music Group demanded YouTube remove a McCain video that uses the 1967 Frankie Vallie song "Can't Take My Eyes Off You." CBS wanted a YouTube video removed that used a clip from Katie Couric. And Fox News had a similar complaint about a McCain video that used a clip about the financial crisis.

Obama has also had YouTube campaign videos removed for mashing-up clips from CBS.

While it's certainly nice to see a politician advocate against abuse of DMCA takedown policies from copyright holders without a valid claim or even as a tool to discourage free speech, perhaps these complications should have been considered before passing the law in the first place. ®

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.