Turkey Lifts YouTube Ban… But Only After Someone Made Questionable Copyright Claim On 'Offending' Video

from the censorship-by-copyright dept

It’s been years since Turkey “banned” access to YouTube in the country, after some (apparently Greek) users uploaded a video making fun of the country’s founder, Ataturk (which is considered a crime in Turkey). The ban has been considered ridiculous by nearly everyone. Earlier this year, reporters started speaking up about how stupid the ban was, followed by Turkey’s own President, Abdullah Gul, complaining about the bans (via Twitter of all places), saying that he was against the ban on YouTube (and other parts of Google) and had asked the “responsible institutions for a solution.” The issue, apparently is that the bans come from a different part of the government — one that is highly bureaucratic, with a person who heads the (I kid you not) “Ataturk Thought Association,” claiming that the block is “about respect” for Ataturk and saying that she is “not bothered by the impact of the court decision.”

However, over the weekend the news came out that the YouTube ban has been lifted, with a bureaucrat in charge saying that “common sense prevailed.” At first, you might agree… until you read further. It appears by “common sense prevailed” — he doesn’t mean that the bureaucrats realized how ridiculous it is to ban an entire website based on one immature video uploaded by random users… but in that the video had been taken down off of YouTube. That’s because after saying that, he also said:

“I hope that they have also learned from this experience and the same thing will not happen again. YouTube will hopefully carry out its operations in Turkey within the limits of law in the future.”

So… what happened to the video? Well, it’s been taken down, but YouTube has stated that it had nothing to do with the takedown directly. Instead, YouTube is claiming that the video was taken down after someone made a copyright claim on the video, which resulted in the video being automatically pulled. However, YouTube is now “investigating whether this action is valid in accordance with our copyright policy.” Of course, the likely answers is that it is not. It’s doubtful that the guys who made and uploaded the video made a copyright claim on their own video, so it seems likely that someone made a bogus copyright claim and got the video taken down (it’s also potentially possible that something in the video violated someone else’s copyright, but no one seems to have suggested that). That could mean that the video will go back up shortly, and Turkey might just go back to banning YouTube again.

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Companies: google, youtube

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Comments on “Turkey Lifts YouTube Ban… But Only After Someone Made Questionable Copyright Claim On 'Offending' Video”

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Hulser (profile) says:

The ban will not be put back

That could mean that the video will go back up shortly, and Turkey might just go back to banning YouTube again.

If the video goes back up, I don’t think they’ll ban YouTube again. When the video came down, the Ataturk Thought Association probably jumped at the chance to lift the ban on YouTube. They likely used the removal of the video as a pretext to do something they wanted to do, but couldn’t because they’d lose face. If I was conspiratorially minded, I?d say that the ATA could themselves have been behind the takedown request. Even Orwellian government agencies can feel political pressure.

Jimmy Rushmore says:

Turkey has a lot of laws and regulations (primarily resulting from Ataturk’s reforms) that from a Western perspective seem draconian and outmoded, but are the principle reason it’s a stable secular democracy unlike most other predominantly Muslim countries. It’s almost unfair to judge them by our standards.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I can respect that they want to govern their own people their own way, but thought police? I don’t think that’s just in violation of our western ideals, I think that’s a human rights violation.

Also, it’s one thing to ban Youtube, it’s another to expect anyone in the US to live up to their ideals and not post that video or another like it again (and again, and again, and again).

hmm says:

So basically anyone at all has a way to mess with Turkey and its economy just by either posting anti-ataturk commentary or uploading an expletive filled ataturk video?

wow…such control over the entire country given to anyone who wants it!!!

I wonder if you got some anti-ataturk sites to the top of google if they’d ban that? (there’s probably ways to get microsoft.com banned also..crippling turkish windows update)

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