Saturday, April 18, 2009

YouTube re-posts video of MSNBC segment incorporating anti-gay-rights ad audition tapes

On Monday I wrote about an interesting incident where the National Organization for Marriage had sent a DMCA takedown notice to YouTube regarding a clip from Rachel Maddow's show on MSNBC. The clip incorporated about 40 seconds of outtakes from tapes of actors auditioning to appear in a NOM anti-gay-marriage ad. NOM -- but apparently not MSNBC -- sent a DMCA notice, with which YouTube complied by removing the video. Well, now the video is back up:

How did it get back up? I'm not sure, but the the two most plausible explanations are: 1) NOM withdrew the takedown notice; or 2) the poster sent a DMCA counternotice, and, NOM having failed to file suit within 10-14 business days, YouTube reposted it. (It's theoretically possible that YouTube re-posted it on its own (i.e., without a counternotice having been filed), but I think that's unlikely, given YouTube's stated policy.) We now know something about who posted the MSNBC clip in the first place: it was done from an account called "NewsPoliticsNews." This account has a whopping 668 videos posted as of today; all seem to be clips from news shows. I don't know who is behind the account; I do think it's skating on very thin copyright ice by posting such clips (some quite long), essentially unadorned with commentary.

I'll try to find out what actually happened, but the bottom line appears to be that an interesting fair use fight has been averted.

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