Bogus DMCA Takedown Knocks Out Yet Another Political Ad

from the politcal-speech dept

We were just discussing how the DMCA interferes with political speech, and the EFF brings up another example. Apparently, John Kasich, who's running for governor in Ohio, put out a commercial that purported to show a local steelworker talking about how unhappy he was with the current governor, Ted Strickland. Strickland's campaign folks apparently realized that the "steelworker" was really an actor, and put together the following video, mixing in clips of some of the actor's other work:
The video was put up on YouTube... and then it was taken down via a DMCA notice. Now, it wasn't by Kasich's campaign. Instead, it was by Arginate Studios, one of the studios that had used the actor in a film. That particular clip is exceptionally brief in the ad. As the EFF notes, this is so blatantly a case of fair use as to be ridiculous. Beyond the fact that it's a tiny snippet, for political speech, used in a way that doesn't compete with the original movie (at all), apparently the film in question is already available for free online, as it was a part of a film festival, where the entries are viewable online.

What's troubling, yet again, is that this form of political speech has been removed from YouTube in the heat of an election battle. Even if the takedown was not political, it's clearly a case of copyright law being used to stifle political speech. The EFF asks Arginate to withdraw the takedown and asks YouTube to put the video back up (without waiting for the whole 10 to 14 day period in the DMCA).

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  1. icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), 8 Oct 2010 @ 8:44am

    Re: There has to be a penalty

    There (theoretically) is, but it's a pittance. Classic case of the deck being stacked.

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