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Google axes YouTube attack vid after Brazilian fuzz uncuff chief

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Google's chief in Brazil has been forced to take down the YouTube video that got him arrested on Wednesday.

Fabio Jose Silva Coelho, who did not make the video, was briefly detained for questioning by police for "disobedience" after Google refused to remove the piece. The vid broke the country's strict election laws by taking a pop at a Campo Grande city mayoral candidate. It is against the rules in the South American nation to "offend the dignity or decorum" of hopefuls.

Coelho said today that Google, which owns YouTube, had "no choice" but to remove the allegedly defamatory material because its final legal appeal against the move had been denied.

"We are deeply disappointed that we have never had the full opportunity to argue in court that these were legitimate free speech videos and should remain available in Brazil," he wrote on the Google Brazil blog.

He added that the user who published one of the two offending videos has removed the footage and closed their YouTube account, which he said showed the "chilling effect these episodes can have on free speech".

Google usually relies on the argument that it has no control over what punters post to YouTube so it can't be held legally responsible for it, but since a judge in Brazil had ordered the firm to take the video down, that defence wasn't going to work. ®

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