Feeds

GooTube snubs McCain's call for DMCA favoritism

'File suit - like everybody else'

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

YouTube has rejected John McCain's request for special treatment when his campaign videos are hit with DMCA takedown notices.

Earlier this week, the McCain campaign fired a letter at the Google-owned video sharing site, urging it to "commit to a full legal review of all takedown notices on videos posted from accounts controlled by... political candidates and campaigns." But YouTube general counsel Zahavah Levine didn't bite.

Yesterday, Levine replied with a letter of her own, telling the McCain campaign that her site doesn't play favorites. "We try to be careful not to favor one category of content on our site over others, and to treat all our users fairly, regardless of whether they are an individual, a large corporation, or a candidate for public office," she writes.

In an effort to comply with the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), YouTube removes videos when it receives notices from content owners complaining of copyright infringement. YouTube users can file counternotices, arguing for reinstatement of their videos. But in accordance with the DMCA, the site doesn't consider counterclaims for 10 to 14 days after they're received.

John McCain was among those who voted in favor of the DMCA, which provides safe harbor for sites like GooTube. But his campaign's general counsel, Trevor Potter, insists that the video site's DMCA takedown policy is "silencing political speech" by removing non-infringing political videos.

"Numerous times during the course of the campaign, our advertisements or web videos have been the subject of DMCA takedown notices regarding uses that are clearly privileged under the fair use doctrine," Potter writes in his letter to YouTube. "Despite the complete lack of merit in these copyright claims, YouTube has removed our videos immediately upon receipt of takedown notices... It is unfortunate because it deprives the public of the ability to freely and easily view and discuss the most popular political videos of the day."

Potter argues that YouTube should review takedown notices on political vids before they're removed from the site - rather than waiting those 10 to 14 days. "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."

With her response, Levine says that YouTube responds to all takedown notices immediately because reviewing each and every claim isn't feasible. "A detailed substantive review of every DMCA notice is simply not possible due to the scale of YouTube's operations," she says. "More importantly, YouTube does not possess the requisite information about the content in user uploaded videos to make a determination as to whether a particular takedown notice includes a valid claim of infringement."

Without counternotices, she argues, YouTube isn't in a position to judge the notices. Regardless, the site refuses to dole out special treatment. "While we agree... that the US Presidential election-related content is invaluable and worthy of the highest level of protection, there is a lot of other content on our global site that our users around the world find to be equally important."

The real problem, Levine says, is all those people who are abusing the DMCA by bombarding YouTube with invalid takedown notices. Like other video posters, she explains, the McCain campaign can seek retractions of "abusive takedown notices" and even file suit against copyright holders who overstep their bounds.

What's more, YouTube would like Senator McCain to beef up the old fair use doctrine, "so that intermediaries like us can rely on this important doctrine with a measure of business certainty".

In short, YouTube believes that it's the victim here. Not John McCain. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
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?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.