Brazilian Media Giant Realizes It Can Use The DMCA To Censor Criticism Of Its Coverage

from the what-a-wonderful-censorship-tool dept

As we've explained over and over again, copyright and censorship go hand in hand. People who want to censor seem to love the power that copyright conveys on them. Take, for example, the Brazilian media giant Globo. As you may have heard, there's a big political fight down in Brazil, as the Congress there looks to impeach the President, Dilma Rousseff. It's a big political mess, made even more ridiculous by the fact that many of the leading voices looking to impeach Rousseff have themselves been indicted for corruption or are being investigated for corruption. Last week, David Miranda wrote an article for the Guardian, arguing that the whole thing is political, and that the corruption claim against Rousseff is just a pretext for an opposing party to gain power. In that article, he blames the major media properties in Brazil for supporting the fiction in pushing an anti-Rousseff story.
The story of Brazil’s political crisis, and the rapidly changing global perception of it, begins with its national media. The country’s dominant broadcast and print outlets are owned by a tiny handful of Brazil’s richest families, and are steadfastly conservative. For decades, those media outlets have been used to agitate for the Brazilian rich, ensuring that severe wealth inequality (and the political inequality that results) remains firmly in place.

Indeed, most of today’s largest media outlets – that appear respectable to outsiders – supported the 1964 military coup that ushered in two decades of rightwing dictatorship and further enriched the nation’s oligarchs. This key historical event still casts a shadow over the country’s identity and politics. Those corporations – led by the multiple media arms of the Globo organisation – heralded that coup as a noble blow against a corrupt, democratically elected liberal government. Sound familiar?
Globo TV was apparently not happy with that and asked the Guardian to post its response, written by the company's Chair of the Editiorial Board, Joao Roberto Marinho, who apparently is the heir to the Globo empire.

Miranda then responded to Marinho over at the Intercept, to show why Globo has been extremely biased in pushing one side of the story in Brazil. Miranda goes through Globo's somewhat sordid history as a propaganda arm, and then goes point for point debunking Marinho's claims. Towards the end he tries to show just how one-sided Globo's coverage has been:
For more than a year, one Globo-owned Epoca magazine cover after the next used manipulative, demonizing art to incite the public in favor of impeachment. The Twitter feeds of Globo’s stars — both news and entertainment — are filled every day with pro-impeachment propaganda. Even when Jornal Nacional tries to deny that it is placing its heavy finger on the scale in favor of pro-impeachment protests, it cannot help itself: It glorifies those pro-impeachment protests and gives them far more airtime than their pro-democracy counterparts:
After this, he linked to a video demonstrating all of this... but soon after his article went up, that video became this:
Yup. Globo suddenly decided to make a copyright claim on the video that was being used in an article demonstrating how its coverage has been incredibly biased. That video had been up for months before that with no problem, but just a little while after it was included in Miranda's article it was gone. Poof.

And people still want to claim copyright isn't regularly used as a tool for censorship?

Yes, the content in the video is content from Globo. But it's not taking it down over any concern over licensing issues or "piracy." It issued the takedown to clearly hide the video from the public viewing Miranda's article. It is purely a censorship move, and copyright is just a convenient tool. Thankfully, others have been reuploading the videos elsewhere, but just think what will happen if the legacy entertainment industry is successful in pushing a "notice and staydown" regime? This kind of censorship will become much, much more effective.

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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 27 Apr 2016 @ 11:34am

    The bias is so glaring it is becoming borderline comic (if it wasn't tragic). I've seen much more balanced views in some more alternative media than in any mainstream channel. Although there are plenty of crap in the alternative market itself but it's not nearly impacting as something mainstream as Globo.

    During the last impeachment Globo resisted covering the movement until the avoidance started actually hurting them. They also regularly portrait protesters as vandals. In an iconic case where workers burned a bunch of things at the Jirau hydro plant construction site because of psychological harassment, poor work conditions and other violations, Globo classified it as "acts of vandalism". There are other examples. They only go for real journalism when it fits the agenda of these in power.

    Of course, it helps comprehension when you get to know that they have one of the largest debts with the Brazilian government nowadays so they need to play politics carefully.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Apr 2016 @ 12:22pm

    youtube seems to have this insane idea that fair use doesn't exist.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 27 Apr 2016 @ 1:23pm

      Re:

      Because Fair Use doesn't work with an automated system, and they don't care enough, if not can't spend the resources needed to determine fair use on all the videos that might have claims levied against them, given that's something that ultimately needs to be determined on a case-by-case basis in court.

      Determining fair use requires work, and carries the risk that you might get dragged into a costly court battle if you decide 'wrong' and keep something up. Removing something on the other hand is quick, easy, and carries no risk at all, the only one who has to do any work is the one who had their content removed if they want to contest the claim and/or re-post.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Apr 2016 @ 3:47pm

        Re: Re:

        And because Google is a private company, they have the right to remove whatever they want, until they run into Antitrust law.

        Hey... maybe we could set this up against the EU investigation such that automated takedowns violate antitrust regulations!

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

  • icon
    Monday (profile), 28 Apr 2016 @ 11:14am

    Even a VPN doesn't help

    I used my VPN with Brazil, and you can't even view this viddy in their own country. Ah well, I can't understand Portuguese anyway...

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

  • identicon
    Pilfer me (profile), 28 Apr 2016 @ 11:40am

    Globo?

    Goblo? Well, I think I see a potential problem with this..

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

  • identicon
    anonymous Brasil, 28 Apr 2016 @ 8:42pm

    #anonymous Brasil

    Dear Tech Dirt. Your article is 99% wrong!

    Yes, Globo is a big media company. Yes, they are powerful and make some mistakes. And the foundation of the company is very suspicious. But that is not the important fact.
    The problem is much more complex. I have seen some journals that believe in the big lie created by PT (political party).
    To be honest almost 99,99% of congress is corrupt. But the PT, stolen the largest amount of money in the history of our plannet: about $1 billion of dollar or more (USD) in bribery!
    The bad news, they don´t stop there: they created social programs just to buy votes from poor people.
    They give the money from taxes to social organizations like MST and MTST. This groups invade private property and burn farm, destroy trucks, etc.
    The unemployment rate is very high. Basically they fucked all the economy!
    We have a lot of tv channels, journals, magazines. Globo can´t trick us.

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


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