Friday, September 28

youtube, free speach and the tyrany of private public spaces, v2

"Youtube. This account is suspended."

This is a story we're starting to see time and time again. Youtube deleting user accounts completely without any due cause being given to the owner of the account. Traditional media companies abusing the DMCA to silence critics.

It's an issue I've written about before.

As covered on newteevee "an online destination for video reports from St. Louis and the state of Missouri published by Anotonio D. French, a newspaper reporter who was frustrated with local news coverage" had his entire youtube account deleted on accusations that one of his videos violated Channel 5 St. Louis' copyright.

The video (embeded below) was critical of Channel 5's unsubstantiated claims that an local alderman took bribes in a realestate swindle. Was it fair use or copyright infringement? View it below and be your own judge.

Pubdef has re-hosted the video on his own site. Of course the majority of the other 200+ videos are gone. You can read his original post over on

What disturbs me most about this is it's hard to feel sorry for the guy and his readers when he apparently has gone right back to hosting his videos on youtube under the the new userneame PubDefTV. Dude! Move to a reputeable host like!


Anonymous said...

First off, fair use issues are difficult to resolve and, before you hear what a judge has to say, there's no actual answer to the question. It would seem to be likely fair use from watching the video, but that's as close as anyone without a long black robe can get to the question.

It is frustrating that the entire account was cut. However, the question there is whether or not he was a repeat infringer. The DMCA requires the banning of repeat infringers and, in that case, it would have happened no matter what American Host he went to.

What needs to happen is there has to be sharper penalties for those who abuse the DMCA to silence critics. That will require some work on the law itself, but I don't see why it can't be done.

If lawmakers are willing to make a move that is...

Antonio D. French said...

Thanks for the coverage of our ongoing issues with YouTube and KSDK here in St. Louis. We actually had 500+ videos taken offline, representing nearly two years of work. We're still hoping to get them back online soon.

Antonio French