Homeland Security Issuing Its Own DMCA Takedowns On YouTube To Stifle Speech

from the seems-questionable... dept

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 someone out there can explain why the federal government is using copyright to censor speech?

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  1. identicon
    Mike, 1 Aug 2012 @ 3:59pm

    I made the Original Post MORE INFO

    I made the Original Posting. There are Several Hundred similarly removed videos by Homeland Security as well. I am not a conspiracy theorist, just very disturbed that "Homeland Security" is ripping the videos down, any videos.

    Regarding the First Video that You Reported;
    The video's URL is from an "Annotation Link" embedded within another YouTube video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_654674&feature=iv&src_vid=6vlYJ UM52yE&v=0CV8Xt2VWvc

    This is the STILL LIVE YouTube video with the annotation link pointing to the removed video;

    This is the "Removed by the Homeland Security Video" featured in this article
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CV8Xt2VWvc That results in the Homeland Security Takedown "Sorry" notification..


    Google Search the Unique Video Code for that removed video to find all the spots that the video was embedded. v=0CV8Xt2VWvc

    You will see ALL the Pages that had the Video Embedded. Look how the embedding rate Skyrocketed the week before it was removed.


    You will also find many Blog Postings pointing to it with the same Google Search; For Example, below.

    http://antimisandry.com/chit-chat-main/obama-calls-new-world-order-berlin-17886.html#axzz2 2KuT0Pe2

    This Blog posting dated 15th-January-2009; Shows this link with the original title. The embedded videos still display the original video title as well.

    http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=0CV8Xt2VWvc]YouTube - Obama Calls For New World Order In Berlin


    You can go to Archive.org The internet Wayback Machine
    To see the Cached copies of the video back to 2008

    Here is the Cache from March 8 2011, This video had 516,043 views

    Here is the Original Video Title and Full Description

    Obama Calls For New World Order In Berlin
    Uploaded by jettercat on Jul 25, 2008
    Taken from another vid site...

    Friday, July 25, 2008 The media hailed Obama's Berlin speech in front of hundreds of thousands yesterday as a call for a vision of America as part of a "new world order".

    Excerpts from The International Herald Tribune:

    "I come to Berlin as so many of my countrymen have come before," Obama said, confronting the delicate issue of campaigning abroad. "Tonight, I speak to you not as a candidate for President, but as a citizen a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world."

    Obama was warmly embraced by the German press, which frequently referred to his aura, or as the newspaper Bild put it in Thursday's paper, the "political pop star."

    "Yes, there have been differences between America and Europe," Obama said. "No doubt, there will be differences in the future. But the burdens of global citizenship continue to bind us together. A change of leadership in Washington will not lift this burden. In this new century, Americans and Europeans alike will be required to do more not less. Partnership and cooperation among nations is not a choice; it is the one way, the only way, to protect our common security and advance our common humanity."


    ===== =======================================

    Now go back to that same Internet Wayback Machine Page and look at the Related Videos


    Th e ones with "Grayed Out Thumbs" represent videos no longer available on YouTube. Several Hundred Similar were taken down by Homeland Security.

    Many "Grayed Out" uniquely refer to Obama and "New World Order".
    HOWEVER Videos with Bush+New World Order and Ron Paul+ New World Order Remain untouched

    Videos that compare Obama and Adolf Hitler also display "Homeland Security Takedowns"


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