Homeland Security Teams Up With YouTube To Take Down Controversial Videos -


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Homeland Security Teams Up With YouTube To Take Down Controversial Videos

(Mike Masnick)  We recently wrote about the fight over copyright/fair use in political videos. In the comments, someone anonymous pointed us to a YouTube page including a typical takedown notice.. Here’s a screenshot.

This is actually the first time I can recall that I’ve seen a takedown that had “multiple” takedown notices. So it’s interesting that YouTube even has such an error message. But what really caught my attention was the second claimant listed. United States Department of Homeland Security. Homeland Security? Issuing copyright takedowns? For what it’s worth, the commenter who submitted this pointed us to another video, which they claim is the same as what was taken down. I have no idea if it’s the same video or not, but it is some idiotic conspiracy mongering, taking one comment from a reporter completely out of context, and pretending President Obama said it, when he did not. I never understand conspiracy theories like that, but that’s really neither here nor there.

The real question is why is Homeland Security issuing takedowns? Works produced by the federal government, of course, can’t have copyright. However, it is possible for the government to hold copyrights — mainly if someone else gets it and assigns it to the government. So it’s possible that happened here, though it still seems like a strange move. If the video is the same as the other one pointed to, it’s just conspiracy theory claptrap, and I don’t see why DHS would even bother issuing a takedown.

But, even if we assume that the copyright itself and the takedown were legit, does this seem reasonable at all? Having a government agency directly using a copyright claim to take down a video? Especially when that group is DHS — in which national internet censor ICE exists. Giving it the power to censor videos too just seems like it’s going way too far. It’s not as if Homeland Security is going to bring the work “to market” to make money, so it’s not like there’s an “impact on the market” for the work. The only reason to issue the takedown — no matter how accurate the claim is — is to silence speech. A government organization using a government-granted monopoly to stifle speech may be all too common, but that doesn’t mean it should pass by unremarked upon.

I reached out to people at YouTube to see if they could explain why DHS appears to be issuing DMCA takedowns, and got back the equivalent of a “no comment.” I also reached out to Homeland Security, who at first seemed interested in looking into the details and then completely stopped responding to emails. Having not received further communication from them in over a week at this point, I’m just going with the post as is, in the hopes that maybe someoneout there can explain why the federal government is using copyright to censor speech?

  • JamesVelesquez

    if it looks like a dog;walks like a dog;wags it’s tail like a dog………….it is a dog.HOMELAND IS GESTAPO.CENSORSHIP VIA HITLERS’S HENCHMEN.AMERICA IS IN DENIAL;PERHAPS SOME CHEMTRAILS SPRAYED WITH A LITTLE DEMEMTIA DUST WILL MAKE IT WORSE.

    • http://na ranger banger

      In THIS COUNTRY the government and some pencil-penised bureaucratic authoritarians have NO RIGHT to censor the AMERICAN PUBLIC from expressing opinions contrary to their preferences!!!!!!!!!!

      Intercourse these mater fornicators!

      We have been betrayed by our own people! Bush and Obama are traitors to the American legacy! Both!

      • JamesVelesquez

        ATTENCION! ATENCION! IT IS REPORTED THAT THE PRINCE BANDAHAR HAS BEEN ASSASSINATED;WAS APPOINTED HEAD OF SECURITY IN SAUDI;IF TRUE.VERY BIG DEAL;NOT IN OFFICIAL PRESS AS YET;ANOTHER CENSORSHIP;ACT SUPPOSEDLY PERFORMED BY IRAN AND OR SYRIA.THIS COULD HAVE LIT THE FUSE ALREADY AS IRANIAN NUT CASE LEADER HAS TOLD HIS TOP OFFICIALS TO BE READY IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS FOR THE WAR THAT BRINGS THE MAHDI TO WORLD POWER WHO THEN KILLS ALL INFIDELS.THIS WAR WILL WIPE OUT ALL ECONOMIES FOR CERTAIN AND SET UP A NEW CURRENCY THAT ENSLAVES TOTALLY ALL THOSE WHO ARE NOT ON THE CHOSEN LIST.WELCOME BACK TO MONARCHY….NOW GET TO WORK YOU SLAVES;YOU HAVE A STATUS TO PERFORM;YOUR LABOR AWAITS YOU…AND IT’S FRUITS AWAIT THE GOVERNMENT…..MAY THE FRUITS BE ROTTEN!

  • https://plus.google.com/104038011479006036477 Gina Jordan

    Their actions just make what would otherwise seem a crazy conspiracy theory, seem TRUE, otherwise why would they get involved and don’t they have much bigger fish to fry? To me their actions make whatever claims the video had, MORE VALID because of their actions, than it would have ever seemed left alone.

  • http://margaretschaut.com Margaret

    There is a group called ‘Chilling Effects’ which addresses the issue of fair use copyright law and defends writers, video producers and others against the abuse of copyright law to take down such works.

    I wrote about it here http://www.squidoo.com/chilling-effects

    and I suggest that anyone facing this issue, no matter where it comes from, get in contact with these lawyers and experts for help.

    I think they are extremely well informed as to the laws and will know what to do to help, and they also offer pro-bono legal service for these types of cases.

  • JamesAt17

    I read about the things government is doing against the American people all day long and then reading the comments I read from people that say, ‘Let’s take action and do something’. Then as time goes by I see nothing more about what was talked about and then there is something new happening, and out come the same comments, ‘Let’s take action and do something.’ By now I hope that the voting public knows that whomever is put into public office is going to be worse then those that they replaced. How many of you thought Bush was terribe and when you compare Obama to him, many of you wish Bush was still president? So, I am just saying, here again we get to know about something, but what is truly going to be done about it. My guess is nothing.

    • Anonymous

      Yea. And I am sick of hearing the one “wake up
      people”.

    • https://plus.google.com/104038011479006036477 Gina Jordan

      What would be helpful is to suggest some actions at different levels of participation, so everyone could take part, and focus on the solutions.

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