JREF Censored on YouTube via DMCA

| March 30, 2009 | 5 Replies

YouTube has suspended the James Randi Education Foundation channel, The FriendlySkeptic. JREF hopes to get it back soon.

From the video information:

To complain to YouTube follow this link
Scroll to the very bottom and click on “new issue”
Select “suspended account” from the options and express your opinion.

Download the video above from MediaFire

The DMCA is a wonderful 1990’s Act of Congress that lets printer manufacturers file a copyright to block third party ink refills in the name of protecting children from pornography. Clause after clause of this act are getting struck down by the Supremes, but still it limps along frustrating mostly legitimate users who run into it.

Anyway, DMCA forces YouTube to suspend an account if anyone makes a claim that something uploaded violates a copyright held by another. Then, after cautious investigation, the account may be reinstated. Technically the filer of a false claim is liable to criminal charges. But this has apparently never been executed.

The closest case I know of was Thunderf00t vs. VenomfangX, where a Creationist made a false claim of infringement on the author of the “Why People Laugh At Creationists” series.

Meanwhile another prominent bastion of proper skepticism has been banned from YouTube.

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Category: American Culture, Censorship, Current Events, Fraud, Law, Media, Religion, Science, Videos

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A convoluted mind behind a curly face. A regular traveler, a science buff, and first generation American. Graying of hair, yet still verdant of mind. Lives in South St. Louis City. See his personal website for (too much) more.

Comments (5)

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  1. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    The DMCA has to be the most anti-consumer legislation to make it through Congress. It was written by and for the benefit of the publishing industry who have tried to profiteer from the popularity of the internet and failed to do so.

    A few years ago, if you made a living writing books, songs, or plays, you had to take your work to an agent who knew the people in the publishers to even have a snowball's chance of getting enough copies of your work on the market to make a living. The publisher and the agent took the lions share of the profits, but to be honest, there were expenses.

    The publication was expensive. It involved production either in printing books, pressing disks and recording tapes. there were storage costs and expected losses overstocking.

    With the internet, we have publish-on-demand and no longer have a need for the oligopoly that publishing has become, however the publishing interests have been unable to embrace the ways of the web, but try to force the old model of distribution and control into cyberspace.

    Most have failed. They failed because their greed blinded them to the fact that most people are not willing to pay as much for a digital file as for a printed copy. The publishers failed because they believed the money saved by switching to a nearly free distribution system from a very costly one,should not be used to discount the price of the produce, but should be used to buy personal islands in the Caribbean, while in many cases the the original artists get as little as .5 percent on the profits and often get nothing.

    So the publishing industry lobbied for legislation that gave them control over media distribution on the Net, and what they get was the DMCA. Even though many of our federal lawmakers are bumfuzzled by tech issues, they weren't fooled into giving the publishers everything . So the publishing industry came up with a stealth legislation tactic in the Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act , and have been working hard to get this uniform commercial code passed in every state.

    Both the DMCA and the UCITA have provisions that are unconstitutional, and are partly worded in ways that give federal law enforcement authority to private corporate interests with provisions that directly violate the interests of the public.

    They are both designed to be abused.

  2. Tim Hogan says:

    Perhaps the folks at YouTube could be brought to realize that allowing illegal conduct, i.e. false reports under DMCA to them without reporting the perhaps to the authorities, might make them criminal co-conspirators?

  3. Dan Klarmann says:

    According to Randi, it was an innocent mistake rather than a reprise of VenomFangX behavior:

    <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/zngwTpkogeE&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/zngwTpkogeE&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en&feature=player_embedded&fs=1&quot; type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

  4. Opening Jan 2010 bannedonyoutube.net will be offering anyone with a banned youtube video to publish it for the world to see.

    Video flaggers will be banned from our website.

    Join us in 2010 to publish your banned videos for the world to see.

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