June 12, 2010

YOUTUBE PULLS “WE CON THE WORLD” VIDEO, but it’s rehosted elsewhere. YouTube’s reputation, on the other hand, takes another hit. Perhaps the perception is inaccurate, but people on the right are beginning to feel that YouTube can’t be trusted. If I were YouTube, I’d be trying to address that somehow.

UPDATE: Ed Driscoll blames Warner.

Warner Brothers of course, are the second half of the business entity Time-Warner, which also owns as part of its conglomeration of businesses CNN. In 2009, CNN tried to claim a copyright violation over the video shot by an individual of the Tea Partiers grilling then CNN “reporter” Susan Roesgen, until the guys at Founding Bloggers fought for their clip to be restored at YouTube.

And that’s what a lot of this is all about: by claiming copyright violations real or imagined, Warners and other entities can get clips pulled from the Internet’s largest host of videos for several weeks or months. These videos frequently wind up on smaller sites of course (such as the aforementioned Eyeblast), and those who initiate claims against them often lose their battles, if the video makers are prepared to fight back. But by then, much of the news value of these sorts of clips has dissipated.

So that’s at least three conservative clips pulled by Time-Warner-related entities. As a certain A. Goldfinger once said, “Mr. Bond, they have a saying in Chicago: ‘Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it’s enemy action.”

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Related: PayPal cutting off Pam Geller? [Later: A couple of readers wonder if this will hurt Meg Whitman's candidacy. Someone should ask her . . . ]

ANOTHER UPDATE: An entertainment-lawyer reader thinks that Google/YouTube may well be innocent in this, and notes that Warner Music hasn’t been part of Time Warner for several years. I’ve also heard, unofficially, from InstaPundit readers who work at YouTube who say they’re caught between a rock and a hard place on these takedown notices. May I suggest that YouTube should reach out to rightbloggers — officially, not just through employees who happen to read blogs — and talk about this?