Fake Cable Ad Apparently Hits Too Close To Home; Bogus Defamation Claim Censors Video In Canada

from the what-is-defamatory? dept

Back in March, we had written about an absolutely hilarious fake cable ad by the good folks at Extremely Decent Films. It's funny, and you can watch it again here... if you're not in Canada:
Why not in Canada? It appears that YouTube has pulled the video based on a defamation claim. I confirmed this by logging into a Canadian server on my VPN, and got the following:
This raises all sorts of questions, none of them good. There's nothing defamatory in the video at all. I don't care how ridiculous Canada's defamation laws are (and they are kind of ridiculous), this video isn't defaming anything. It doesn't name a particular cable company, and it's clearly parody anyway. It makes no statements of fact about any particular cable company anyway. Furthermore, it's clearly focused on the US, not Canada (at 24 seconds it shows a map of the US). So, it seems like an interesting question to know who made the defamation claim against the video? Furthermore, this is the first time I've seen that particular error message on a YouTube video (it's usually a copyright claim). I'm curious as to how carefully YouTube reviews the defamation claims and if the counternotice process is the same as with a copyright claim. Either way, it seems like whoever decided to file such a claim on the video basically decided to censor a video because they don't like what it says... and, of course, that's only going to serve to give it that much more attention (yet again).

Update: YouTube has now reinstated the video, telling us: "Sometimes we make the wrong call. When it's brought to our attention that a video has been removed or blocked mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it." It's still not clear who made the original defamation claim, unfortunately.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Michael, Sep 4th, 2013 @ 12:54pm

    I confirmed this by logging into a Canadian server on my VPN

    Hacker!

     

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

    •  
      icon
      SolkeshNaranek (profile), Sep 4th, 2013 @ 1:04pm

      Re: "Hacker"

      I'm sure he is already on a N.S.A. watch list for writing embarrassing things about our embarrassment of a government.

      Probably have him listed as a terrorist because he uses a computer.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Josh, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 4:14pm

      Re:

      I live in Canada, luckily Youtube has not blocked me from seeing this. They were promptly corrected by our local media and CRTC to fix the false claim. It was probably made by someone in one of the big 3 telecom providers here.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 4th, 2013 @ 1:11pm

    if changing your ip to get around a block is a violation of cfaa, is the converse true?

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Cowarder, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 8:29am

      Re:

      I don't know! (Yet!)

      Definition:
      Proposition. Something declarative, which inherently can only be either true, or false, but not both.

      Consider now the sentence:
      "if changing your ip to get around a block is a violation of cfaa, is the converse true?" to be two propositions p and q

      p: changing your ip to get around a block
      q: Is a violation of cfaa.

      In the scenario, it is the implication that if p, then q is also true. (p -> q)
      That is, if p is true, then q must also be true.

      Now let us examine the converse where (q -> p) that is, if q is true then p must also be true.

      Semantically this makes no sense: Is a violation of cfaa, change your ip to get around a block!

      Now! remember, if q is true, that is, you are in violation of the cfaa, then p must also be true!

      Thus we conclude inconsistency as you can be in violation of the cfaa but not have changed your ip!

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      chadaa, Sep 6th, 2013 @ 6:17am

      Re:

      Canadians do it often enough just to get Hulu and other video clips that aren't allowed to be viewed outside the US. NFL.com used to be real bad for that, just to see highlights.

      Screw you Entertainment Industry and and the various bs acronym named groups you hide behind.

       

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

  •  
    icon
    sorrykb (profile), Sep 4th, 2013 @ 1:14pm

    From the dslreports.com link:
    In the film, a fake cable industry representative (Nick Smith) promises poor service, underwhelming broadband speeds, and a "plethora of hidden fees," before educating viewers on the finer points of what being an oligopoly really means.

    I thought truth was an absolute defense to defamation.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      crade (profile), Sep 4th, 2013 @ 2:23pm

      Re:

      "In the film, a fake cable industry representative (Nick Smith) promises poor service, underwhelming broadband speeds, and a "plethora of hidden fees," before educating viewers on the finer points of what being an oligopoly really means."

      (all canadian cable providers)
      "He is obviously talking about OUR company! Sue!"

       

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Sep 4th, 2013 @ 1:15pm

    OR some copyright minimalist filed an equally fake claim!

    Or someone else mis-using the system for some end, perhaps only the childish pranking so popular here. May be highly significant that an event of so little weight was even noticed. And then ginned up.

    Since you don't know, and apparently aren't going to bother, don't need facts to gin up controversy among your twenty or so fanboy-trolls, then your claim that "whoever decided to file such a claim on the video basically decided to censor a video because they don't like what it says" is on same level as Kerry's claims about Assad regime behind the chemical attacks: SHEER ASSERTION.

    This post mainly to point up how little substance Mike has, and how easy his technique is.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Sep 4th, 2013 @ 1:23pm

      Re: OR some copyright minimalist filed an equally fake claim!

      This comment [sic] mainly to point up how little substance Ootb has, and how simple his brain is.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      crade (profile), Sep 4th, 2013 @ 1:26pm

      Re: OR some copyright minimalist filed an equally fake claim!

      Like it makes a difference who posted the fake claim. The problem is that it can be done, not who does it.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      S. T. Stone, Sep 4th, 2013 @ 1:40pm

      Re: OR some copyright minimalist filed an equally fake claim!

      The identity of who made the defamation claim doesn’t matter.

      The claim having no substance whatsoever matters.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 11:32am

      Re: OR some copyright minimalist filed an equally fake claim!

      You posit a false flag operation and wonder why people discount everything you say.

      It's weird that in amongst the endless stream of nonsense that pours out of you, every now and then there's a bit that looks like a well considered thought.
      Unfortunately, as it's smothered by the torrents of inane drivel you propound it takes on a dreamlike quality where you recall very clearly that you were piloting a plane but then the hood on the car you were a passenger in flipped up and totally blocked your view of the WWF match your grandparent's were in as a tag team, but then granny switched sides and it was 3 against 1 and you were shouting no no it shouldn't be 3 against 1 it's supposed to be two, two, two, number two and then woke up having had an undefined accident.

      Right up until the moment you say it out loud, it seems to make sense and then you realise you don't even have that type of carpet, either at home or work.


      ***** scanned for sense *** none found

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2014 @ 5:27am

        Re: Re: OR some copyright minimalist filed an equally fake claim!

        I don't like that shithead regarding the usual topics. But he's right about the Kerry thing.

         

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 4th, 2013 @ 1:20pm

    You're so vain...

    ... you probably think this [video] is about you...

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Lirodon, Sep 4th, 2013 @ 1:32pm

    You actually don't know that its illegal in Canada to post or disseminate any negative commentaries on the state of our broadcasting system? It's really- *CENSORED*

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Sep 4th, 2013 @ 1:46pm

      Re:

      really? would it be ok to disseminate negative commentaries about Canadian broadcasting from the USA? I might do that for fun.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 4th, 2013 @ 1:34pm

    this reminds me of the joke that ends with
    ..."Sheep lie."

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 4th, 2013 @ 2:00pm

    hmmm...

    Okay...so where's the defamation part?
    This is just truth in advertising...that ALL the major American cable companies live by while trying to shown themselves as the ”good guys” and not the lying cheating thieving bandits that they really are.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    PopeRatzo (profile), Sep 4th, 2013 @ 2:02pm

    You broke it, you bought it

    Unfortunately, the telecoms and cable companies have seized the internet. Those of us who are old enough to remember the early days of the Internet can tell you that it wasn't supposed to be like this.

    So now, basically, it's their network, and if they say your video comes down it comes down.

    The best we can hope for now is to create some alternative to the Internet. Something that does not rely on the telecommunications industry. And by the way, that same telecommunications industry is the weak link in regard to privacy. Once this new network comes into being, then we have to make sure it doesn't become just another shopping mall or cable television.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Wolfy, Sep 4th, 2013 @ 2:07pm

    OOTB

    He is a pretty smart cookie. I'm sure he/she's well paid by the copyright industry to derail the conversations here, and as many other similar sites as possible.

    He wins every time you write to refute his nonsense or respond to him. Whenever he/she can derail the discussion, away from the topic at hand.

    Just click to hide his posts and be done with it. That would drive him/her crazy.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 4th, 2013 @ 2:14pm

    Funny... it works on Canadian IPv6.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    OldGeezer (profile), Sep 4th, 2013 @ 2:31pm

    Hello Miss Streisand!

    When are idiots out there going to learn about the Streisand effect? Do they really believe that this will not be able to be viewed now in Canada? Can they block Techdirt in Canada? It will be reposted on hundreds of of other sites available there and they just drew much more attention to it. The truth hurts, doesn't it?

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Sep 4th, 2013 @ 3:16pm

      Re: Hello Miss Streisand!

      It is only a problem as soon as the complaining companys name gets out. Untill then, it is just awkward.

       

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

      •  
        icon
        OldGeezer (profile), Sep 4th, 2013 @ 3:56pm

        Re: Re: Hello Miss Streisand!

        There are only so many ISP's in Canada and I will bet the ones not behind this will be quick to deny it. Narrows it down eventually.

         

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Sep 4th, 2013 @ 5:02pm

      Re: Hello Miss Streisand!

      I'm going to use it to good ends. Here is the link to the youtube channel of the people that made the cable video : http://www.youtube.com/extremelydecent
      They don't seem to be censored in Canada and there is even a mugging in Canada that explains very well how ISPs work up here. (Although they extend the process to TV and phones.)

      Enjoy!

       

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

  •  
    icon
    Jesse (profile), Sep 4th, 2013 @ 3:57pm

    I don't think we have a take down process (that's I'm aware of).

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Canuck, Sep 4th, 2013 @ 4:33pm

    My money is on Rogers, though my second guess would be Shaw. Rogers controls most of the East while Shaw controls most of the West for cable. Rogers seems more like the type to abuse takedowns and be overly sensitive to parody. But Rogers is also more diverse (Also a cellular phone, media, radio, etc.) while Shaw is mostly just cable ISP and a media provider.

    Being from the West, I instantly envisioned Shaw as the target for the parody, but that's also because they are my only option for cable internet in my area. My only other option for non-cellular ISP is ADSL from the other member of the Canadian telecom oligopoly, Telus.

    In case you've heard any of us Canadian's bitching, you'll notice the same few names over and over again.

    Internet: Rogers, Telus and Shaw
    Cellphone: Rogers, Telus, Bell
    Media: Rogers, Bell, Telus and Shaw

    If you heard talk about Verizon possibly moving into Canada (Which they recently decided not to), you'll notice that there was a major attack ad campaign going on against it, sponsored by Rogers, Telus and Bell... Mainly complaining how it's unfair to allow an foreign company to buy up smaller providers when they are not allowed to do the same. (Due to competition laws they can not buy out the smaller carriers as they would gain a true monopoly in the marketplace. But as it stands, they already have over 90%)

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 3:53am

      Re:

      Bell is also in the other two. And there's tons of medium-sized ISPs in each province that you can't account for. Still, I vote Bell.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2014 @ 5:18am

      Re:

      I'm so glad Rogers never bought Videotron.

      There's plenty of small isp's if you don't live in the middle of nowhere by the way. (Videotron is by no means small, but just confined to one province).

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    badassbrian, Sep 4th, 2013 @ 6:55pm

    I'm in Canada and tried both your link and the YouTube url itself on YouTube and received the same defamation message above from 2 different internet service providers. However the youtube url below still works.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xadoX2E7wY

    If the censors-that-be take down this one, I, badassbrian, do so solemnly swear to put it back up again. You "anti-defamationists"/pro-censorship folks have my word on that.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    BernardoVerda (profile), Sep 4th, 2013 @ 8:09pm

    "You won't like it. And there's no other option."

    This may well go down in history as the defining slogan of the early 21st Century.

    (at least in North America).

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Ghost, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 1:18am

    Well people who make their living off of youtube are having trouble too

    Well I know etho a minecraft you tuber is bieng screwed over by telus at the moment and he's been waiting a few weeks for them to get his Internet back up he makes his living off of youtube he has a million subscribers that will do something to help if we could

     

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

  •  
    icon
    OldGeezer (profile), Sep 5th, 2013 @ 3:50am

    Repost

    I just reposted it on my You Tube channel. I hope many others will do the same to protest this censorship. They can't block them all.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BzWxwceYjE

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Dark, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 9:53am

    LOL

    u mad, Rogers?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 10:54am

    I live on the west coast of Canada and I can see it.
    Tried googling the title and clicked through to youtube from there. Yup, can still see it.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Lirodon, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 11:30am

    Good news, they fixed it. Must've been a strange glitch or something...

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 11:37am

    Hits too close to home...

    I think this was too close to the truth for Canada so one of the big guys (or maybe all 3 of them plus the union) tried to shut it down. Is there any way to find out who made the defamation claim against the video? Might be very interesting to find out. Telus, Bell and Shaw together with the Unions have been fighting a propaganda war to maintain the status quo for consumers so that there is no chance of a better deal for average joe consumer. They keep telling us what a great deal Canadians are getting and that any competition would really harm the customer since the customer might be left with some unspent cash at the end of the month.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 11:39am

    Fixed now?

    My home service is Shaw, and has no problem viewing any of the linked videos (either in the story or the comments.)

    My work is part of a government CIDR block, and I have no problem viewing there either.

    Is this fixed, or is it only showing up on certain providers?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Chris, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 2:32pm

    Not banned

    Relax people, there's nothing weird going on in Canada.

    I can watch it here in Ontario. I suspect the video is taken down automatically when the complaint is made and is then reinstated when a human determines there is nothing wrong with the clip.

    It happens hundreds of times a day. You all just got caught in the producer's PR campaign to get more viewings.

    Don't you feel ashamed?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 4:15pm

    I'm in Canada and had no issues watching this video.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Rudi, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 6:24pm

    Guilty- YOU must prove your innocence

    I have had three of my videos of cover bands blocked for cooyrite infringement. They take the side of the complaintant first, even a 'bot' sniffing for song titles. I had to point out the song was a cover band playing in an establishment that pays the fee to allow a DJ or band to play popular music. All have been reinstated. I do think there should be someone observing the content first before a decision was made.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Alberta Canuck, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 8:05pm

    Your Dirty Video

    I am in Canada and I just saw the video by logging into my American VPN!!! Should I turn myself into the NSA or the RCMP?!?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Beneetzio, Sep 6th, 2013 @ 6:15am

    The clue to who they were targeting in this video is in the song played as background.....the same song is used in a Canadian commercial......now you Know....lmao

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Wendy, Sep 6th, 2013 @ 6:30am

    Watching it in Canada

    I live in Canada & I just watched it no problem. Very funny!

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    josh, Sep 6th, 2013 @ 6:38am

    best ever

    Did they re up the video here in Canada. I'm watching this video from my bell phone and its working fine. But since the cut all my serves because they didn't like what I was paying them. I can't few it on my computer atm so I can't tell if it's just banned over the computer or I'm just a lucky Canadian that can watch it.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2013 @ 7:23pm

    Errr, I just watched it (again) on youtube from about 44 km outside of Toronto (which is most assuredly in Canada

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Alexandra, Oct 5th, 2013 @ 8:13pm

    Abuse of users by youtube

    Too many innocent people in different countries have been deeply hurt, insulted, slandered by youtube. Does the youtube administration think they are not under the Law of Karma?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2014 @ 5:11am

    We have groups of humorists bashing companies into the ground in Canada since forever. In the early 90's a very popular one bashed its own sponsor : McDonald's, and even if it caused some rumbles, it actually created no real backlash against them.

    To act so idiotic and shrill about this, only BHell (Bell) could be considered to have caused this. Even if they aren't a cable company. The colours (this type of blue over white background) is a staple of their commercial since 20 years+

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This