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).

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 8th, 2010 @ 8:18am

    I uploaded a public domain video, downloaded from NASA's site. When I uploaded it, after editing, I imediatly received a takedown notice. What happened? I think those videos are used in documentaries which happens to be owned by mega monolith media it possible that that's what happened here? Given the brevity of the clip. Either way, lastnight I realized the extent to which the power mongers have gone to sieze everyones rights. I can't express how sad it is that our nations history from the 21st century onward will be censored like this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Richard (profile), Oct 8th, 2010 @ 8:22am

      There has to be a penalty

      There has to be a penalty for issuing a bogus takedown - even if done "in good faith". This is clearly a case where the takedown was issued without due diligience. This will continue until there is a cost associated with getting it wrong.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Oct 8th, 2010 @ 9:18am

    Damn. Missed Opportunity

    Wow, the Strickland guys really had a great opportunity here to poke at their opponent...but who did they have edit and make that video? It's terrible!

    They couldn't have explained the situation better? Teed up the videos with an intro? And the steelworker at the end is incomprehensible - I can't tell what he's angry about. The edits chop around faster than an MTV video. I'm not sure that's the main voting bloc they're trying to influence.

    Could have been a great "Gotcha!", but instead was a tepid "Wha?"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 8th, 2010 @ 10:36am

    The funny part is that those same politicians were the ones that gave a small group of people that power, now is coming back to bite them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Josh Taylor, Oct 8th, 2010 @ 12:38pm

    One Day, DMCA will be used to silence the Gospel

    I can't believe DMCA can silence political opposition.

    One day, DMCA will be used to silence the Christian faith.

    ISOPHS, Ltd. a cyberterrorist organization, filed false DMCA against NintendoCapriSun and Chuggaconroy's "Let's Play" videos, causing them to be banned. Conjopi, the leader of the cyberterrorist organization, claimed that he owns Chugga's voice. This is insane. How can you copyright someone's voice?

    If I, for example, copyrighted someone's voice and I filed a DMCA against him/her saying he/she cannot use his/her voice which I own, I would force him/her to have his/her voice box (larynx) surgically removed at the hospital and hand it over to me. Sounds ridiculous, right?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    d-usa, Oct 8th, 2010 @ 6:46pm

    A preview of COICA

    If the DMCA can be used to remove a single campaign ad due to "infringing", who really thinks that COICA would not be used to remove entire websites of political opponents?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    KC Allen, Oct 9th, 2010 @ 7:09pm


    Filmmakers are overwhelmingly Democratic. Many are in unions. Gov. Strickland worked to have the Ohio Film Office reopened... let this is how the Democratic party treats their own constituents? Robbing them of their content without even asking for it? If this was a clip of "Twilight", there's no way the spot would stand. Because they're the little guys, the Dem party couldn't give a crap. Shame on them. They could have used any message at all to discredit the actor, but instead they steal footage from local filmmakers. Hard to believe they could stoop so low.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Wolfy, Oct 11th, 2010 @ 10:01am

    "One day, DMCA will be used to silence the Christian faith."

    Now that would almost be worth the collateral damage...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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