YouTube, the DMCA and politics — again

Originally posted 2008-10-15 21:03:04. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Slashdot reports:

It appears that CBS and Fox have submitted DMCA takedown notices to YouTube for videos from the McCain campaign. The campaign is now complaining about YouTube’s DMCA policy making it too easy for copyright holders to remove fair-use videos. I hope they pursue this by addressing flaws in the DMCA.

The McCain complaint is based on the fact that YouTube will wait at least 10 and up to 14 days before re-posting a video, upon the posting party’s compliance with the counter-notice procedure under the DMCA — even where, as appears to be the case here, the DMCA complaints are not meritorious.  That’s a long period for a political campaign to wait between now and election day, if in fact you believe political videos on YouTube actually matter.  The campaign is asking YouTube to establish special procedures for videos posted by official political campaigns.

Maybe.  This would be a more compelling point if it appeared that the DMCA were not being utilized evenhandedly by these MSM outfits.  Is there any evidence to that effect, such as outtakes from CBS and Fox (yeah, after all — we’re talking about Fox here) utilized by Obama people and not resulting in DMCA notices?

We’d figured YouTube would get back to them in, like, 10-14 days.  But we were wrong — it didn’t take 10-14 days!  YouTube slapped down the McCain campaign’s request almost immediately!  Declan McCullough:

YouTube has rejected a request from John McCain’s presidential campaign for a legal review of political videos that are the subject of deletion requests.

The Google-owned company said Tuesday evening in a response to McCain’s organization that it could not give campaigns special treatment and that it was “not in a position to verify” whether infringement complaints made under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act were legitimate or not.

“Not in a position to verify”?  Lame.  Here’s coverage from TechDirt, too (via Andie).

UPDATE:  Glenn Reynolds:  “But it’s also amusing to see McCain suddenly notice the dangers of politically-throttled speech.”  Yes, true!

UPDATE:  A good analysis of the trademark issues from Paul Alan Levy, via Overlawyered.

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Author:Ron Coleman

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