Candidate For Colorado Legislature Proudly Abuses YouTube's Copyright Complaint System To Kill Account Of Activists Who Mocked Him
from the probably-best-not-to-celebrate-your-abuse-of-the-process dept
In part, he argues that the videos are infringing (actually, he argues "plagiarism" which is different than copyright infringing, and the videos are actually neither), but he also focuses on the YouTube comments on those videos. Klingenschmitt claimed that the YouTube comments amounted to "death threats" from RWW's followers -- though, they're pretty standard crazy YouTube comments, not serious death threats. Also, since the comments are not made by RWW, but viewers on YouTube, RWW is not liable for them. However, he kept sending takedowns, and eventually YouTube terminated RWW's account, arguing that it was their third strike.
In response to this abuse of YouTube's takedown policy, Klingenschmitt released a press release congratulating himself, saying "David takes down Goliath." Tim Murphy, from Mother Jones, asked Klingenschmitt if he felt he should be held similarly responsible for the YouTube comments on his own videos, and Klingenschmitt said that if the user is alerted to comments and don't take action, they become responsible, which is actually not what the law says.
Either way, this appears to be another case where copyright claims are being used to censor content that someone doesn't like. And, given that it's in the context of a political campaign for office, that's especially concerning. Stifling criticism of a political candidate by abusing the law should be seen as a huge problem. Hopefully YouTube acts quickly to restore RWW's account. Whether you agree with RWW or not, hopefully you can agree that (1) they should be allowed to post fair use video and criticize politicians they disagree with and (2) they should not be held accountable for comments made by YouTube viewers.