from the PLEASE-BRING-PUBLIC-ATTENTION-BACK-TO-OUR-SCREWUP dept
Oh, copyright, you crazy set of mixed-up laws? Is there anything you can't censor?
The DMCA system is at it again, being beaten like a rented mule in order to perform a duty for which it was never intended.
Local San Francisco television news station KTVU has embarked on a novel use of copyright law to cover up embarrassing footage. It has been issuing takedown notices to YouTube for videos showing its anchor literally reading fake names of pilots involved in the recent airline crash at San Francisco International Airport.While it's true that KTVU owns the rights to the footage of its anchor maintaining a straight face while reading a list of bad jokes, it insists this has nothing to do with flexing its copyright muscle in order to cover up its bad judgment.
While many of the videos of the segment were still live on Google-owned YouTube, the reason why the Fox affiliate has been demanding their removal doesn’t concern copyright.First things first. If you're not taking it down for copyright reasons, then why the hell are you using the DMCA takedown system? Noah H. Webster, it's got "COPYRIGHT" right in the frickin' name! Wouldn't a polite note to the YouTube account holders stating the above accomplish the same thing (i.e., a minimal level of compliance)?
“The accidental mistake we made was insensitive and offensive. By now, most people have seen it. At this point, continuing to show the video is also insensitive and offensive, especially to the many in our Asian community who were offended. Consistent with our apology, we are carrying through on our responsibility to minimize the thoughtless repetition of the video by others,” the station’s general manager and vice president, Tom Raponi, told Mediabistro today.
As for the arguing it should be removed because "most people have seen it," I don't even know where to go with that. Continuing to show the video isn't "offensive." Only the original act is. Pretending this has something to do with making amends for an earlier error is just kind of sad, especially when the station manager tries to drag viewers into his Shame Circle with "thoughtless repetition of the video by others."
Also: "accidental mistakes" are the best kind. Also, the only kind.
The station manager wants to censor a video while claiming he isn't censoring it, as though yanking it from YouTube with admittedly bogus DCMA takedowns is just part of being a good, sensitive citizen. But by doing this, Raponi is only making it worse. If he just could have left it alone for a few more weeks, something else would have come along to take its place in the publi— OMG! Someone in England had a baby!
But now he's blown it.
This is the internet. No one puts embarrassment in the corner.