Pat Roberston Claims Gays Intentionally Spreading AIDS; Abuses DMCA To Stifle Criticism
from the holy-hell dept
Yet we continue to see examples in which IP law is used to censor self-speech in this way. Take another foray into technology by Pat Robertson, whom we last saw saying that crimes committed in video games were equal in sin to crimes committed in real life. This time, the Christian Broadcast Network, which carries the flagship The 700 Club led by Robertson, has been issuing DMCA notices for clips of the show in which Robertson informs the faithful that homosexual activists are intentionally spreading AIDS among the pious by shaking their hands while wearing a ring with a sharp puncture device that has infected blood on the tip.
Now, let's be clear: For the purposes of this article, my view, your view, anyone's view on sexuality is irrelevant. We're here because Robertson said this, other groups are using the video as commentary, and the CBN is actively attempting to censor the videos using intellectual property law. That's the issue at hand. Case in point, the Rightwingwatch.org site linked above is obviously also an advocacy group with their own agenda with which you may not agree. That doesn't matter. They have their right to speech the same as anyone else and the CBN abusing the law to try and stifle the inevitable backlash over Robertson's false statement is wrong no matter whom you agree with. The good news is that, in this case, the other DMCA shoe has dropped and some of the videos that had been taken down by YouTube are now back up after the appropriate counter-claims were filed. That said, it's ridiculous that any counter-claim was necessary in the first place. Robertson is an evangelist; you'd think he'd want his words out there as much as possible, if he actually believes what he says. Censorship using government law is something you'd think religious groups would be actively opposed to, not employing.
And, in the meantime, this story is now traveling in far wider circles than it would have if the CBN hadn't raised a censorious finger. Way to go, all around!