First, they came for Mitt Romney. Then they came for the Mars landing. After that, they brought down the Hugo Science fiction awards. Now, copyright holders have taken aim and successfully removed YouTube video of last night's Democratic National Convention (DNC) coverage, incorrectly assuming they had the right to.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a 1998 law that requires sites like YouTube to promptly respond to accusations of copyright infringement. Today, those accusations are usually leveled by automated bots that scour popular uploaded clips for content that might be uploaded without the owner's permission. Charges are made by computer programs and responded to by computer programs, so content is inappropriately removed all the time.
This particular takedown request was made by a news agency. Specifically, the YouTube live stream page for the DNC read: "This video contains content from WMG, SME, Associated Press (AP), UMG, Dow Jones, New York Times Digital, The Harry Fox Agency, Inc. (HFA), Warner Chappell, UMPG Publishing and EMI Music Publishing, one or more of whom have blocked it in your country on copyright grounds. Sorry about that."
It appears the takedown was merely temporary — both YouTube and the Democratic Party were aware of the issue, and worked to resolve it. Still, the fact that yet another key news event was brought down by false copyright claims sheds more light on what appears to be a broken system.
[Image credit: Copyright in focus via Shutterstock]
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