Political Candidate Continues To Abuse YouTube's Copyright System To Silence Criticism

from the censorship dept

Earlier this month, we wrote about Gordon Klingenschmitt, a former Navy chaplain running for office in Colorado on the "gay people are icky" ticket (paraphrased), who had been abusing YouTube's copyright takedown system to kill the account of Right Wing Watch, a group that was critical of Klingenschmitt (known as "Dr. Chaps") and was highlighting some of his nuttier comments. Earlier this week, YouTube restored Right Wing Watch's account, after realizing that he was clearly using their copyright takedown system to stifle criticism, not for any legitimate copyright purpose.

How did Dr. Chaps respond? He immediately filed yet another bogus copyright claim with YouTube, getting their account taken offline again. At this point, some of the blame has to be place on YouTube for not realizing that Chaps is filing completely bogus DMCA notices to censor RWW. Given that they had just restored the account, they must have noticed that there were bogus claims being filed on the account from Klingenschmitt. So it's bizarre that they'd immediately accept his latest takedown and kill RWW's account yet again.

Along those lines, RWW has set up a petition, asking YouTube's legal team to change its takedown policy to flag serial abusers to prevent this sort of thing. Of course, it might also be nice if YouTube went even further, and potentially looked at legal remedies. Given that YouTube has its own copyright takedown system that goes above and beyond the DMCA, it's not clear if the takedowns here were done via DMCA notices. But, if they were, then Google could take a page from Automattic and file a lawsuit against Klingenschmitt for materially misrepresenting information in a DMCA takedown notice.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Nov 2013 @ 6:23am

    Re: Oh youtube...

    Er...why should they care? Because otherwise you will throw a tantrum?

    First of all, Google has not motivation whatsoever to go into the minutia. They get a DMCA takedown request, they take it down. If it was a bad takedown, someone will complain. 99% of the time, people don't. The alternative is having the Hollywood and Music lobbies breathing down their neck, and pulling the string to make Google's life a living hell. Bad PR is doesn't compare to those giants stepping on your toes. And beside, Google has a lot of Karma to burn from people who still naively believe that they "Do no evil".

    Secondly, Google has adopted the "fuck you, sit down, shut up and eat your veggies" stance (where "veggies" is their services, mind you). Not just in the case of DMCA handling, but in everything they do.

    Just pay attention to what they are doing to their formerly open-source projects. Pay attention to the services they killed recently and what is on the pipe to replace them.

    They don't care about you. They just care about making money, and they'll happily exploit you in every way they can. If automatically accepting every takedown saves them money, they'll do it.

    Until people start punishing companies for behaving badly, they will continue to behave badly. You want changes? Do something about it.

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