Of course it is YouTube‘s legal right to block videos for fear of legal and financial consequences, but the question is: How come they fear this in the case of a real piece of satiric art which is completely independent from the “original,” whose artistic quality is that of a banal advertisement.
From the blog The Cassandra Effect:
Google (Don’t be Evil) has just blocked the video of We con the world – the parody song from LatmaTV. From Caroline Glick:
As Israel went offline for the Jewish sabbath, YouTube removed most versions of Latma’s hit parody song We Con the World. If you try to access the song on YouTube you receive the notification:
This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Warner/ Chappell Music, Inc. .
Copyright experts we advised with before posting the song told us in no uncertain terms that we were within our rights to use the song because we did so in accordance with the Fair Use Doctrine. The Fair Use Doctrine, copied and pasted below from the US Copyright Office stipulates that it is legal and permissible to use copyrighted material under the fair use doctrine for purposes of parody.
Copyright attorneys also warned us that given our clearly lawful use of the song We are the World, if anyone wished to silence our voices, they wouldn’t target us. Instead they would target YouTube. It is YouTube’s standard practice to remove any material that they receive even the flimsiest threat for because the company wishes to avoid all litigation.
At the same time, this is not YouTube’s first move to silence Israeli voices. During Operation Cast Lead, the IDF Spokesman’s Unit established a YouTube channel and began posting combat footage on its channel to bypass the anti-Israel media and go directly to news consumers.
Shortly after the IDF channel began making waves, YouTube – which is owned by Google – removed IDF videos from the website. After the move evoked a storm of protest, YouTube restored them but flagged the videos in the same manner it flags pornography. People trying to access the videos received a screen saying, “This video or group may contain content that is inappropriate for some users, as flagged by YouTube’s user community. To view this video or group please verify that you are 18 or older by singing in and signing up.”
If YouTube didn’t already have a track record for censoring pro-Israel material, I would say that despite the obviously frivolous and unsubstantiated nature of the copyright claim against We Con the World, the company was simply erring on the side of caution.
Strange that a search of “Song Parody” on youTube reveals 858,000 hits. Most are hit song parodies flat out stealing the underlying music and even video from the musician. But somehow or another, those are ok – but a song by Jews poking fun at the Gaza flotilla’s true intentions MUST BE BLOCKED! The top hit is a Shakira song with over 32 Million views, ext a Britney Spears video with 29 Million, Katy Perry with 28 Million, and Lady Gaga with 27 Million views. And I am supposed to believe that those song parodies are fine with exposure of nearly 10 times the viewership and years of availability on youtubes site, while a Jewish parody with 3 million views and a week of exposure on youtube is wrong? I call Bull$hit on this
Two things I need you to do
1) Defend Free Speech – Support Latma
2) Email YouTube and Demand that all song parodies be blocked – email them about every single individual song – a huge driver of their content is the music video – if they won’t protect free speech and fair use, then they should apply their rules EQUALLY across the board -there nearly a million song parodies waiting – get to work dear readers!
If you’re interested in watching or downloading the video (there exists some free software for doing this, and if you still want to be nice to Google, “google” for it) at the time of this posting at least some links still work, among them the upper one here. To check (later) for other, newer, and hopefully more stable links I recommend visiting Caroline Glick’s blog. She has just announced that a download link for the video will be posted there tomorrow.