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YouTube Threatens To Remove Scientist's Account Over AIDS Deniers' DMCA Claims 268

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-don't-want-to-hear-it dept.
First time accepted submitter EwanPalmer writes "YouTube is threatening to remove the account of a scientist who made a series of videos debunking claims made in an AIDS denialist movie over copyright infringement disagreement. Myles Power is claiming the producers of controversial 2009 documentary House of Numbers are attempting to censor him by submitting bogus DMCA claims against him. He says his movies do not breach copyright laws because his films are educational and therefore fair use. The 'AIDS denialist' documentary makers say they instead amounted to 'propaganda.'"
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YouTube Threatens To Remove Scientist's Account Over AIDS Deniers' DMCA Claims

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  • by Sowelu (713889) on Monday February 17, 2014 @07:34PM (#46271529)

    The guy who was filing the complaints commented on the site. So maybe he's a dick, sure. But if you're willing to give him good faith for his complaint--solely in the capacity that he honestly believes that the video oversteps fair use, and is violating copyright--then he did follow correct procedure.

    He tried contacting the guy quite a few times (or so he claims), and after getting no response, he filed the takedown request personally, not through some automated thing. If he has good reason to honestly believe that his rights were violated, it wasn't even perjury. Strangely enough that's what I would do if I thought someone was violating my copyright.

    Claiming fair use for informational purposes is really shaky ground. There's a lot of "I know it when I see it", and people like to stretch the definition on either side. I haven't seen the video so I don't know how long the clips are, but if they are too long then yes it's a violation, and I suspect that (much like with parody) there's a line between "informational purposes" and "openly hostile" that the law says you shouldn't cross. Does it cross the line? Hell if I know, but the guy sounds like he's at least justified in filing a claim. Whether a court would find it reasonable or not is up to them, but jackasses get to protect their own rights too.

  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Monday February 17, 2014 @07:37PM (#46271557)

    He tried contacting the guy quite a few times (or so he claims), and after getting no response, he filed the takedown request personally, not through some automated thing. If he has good reason to honestly believe that his rights were violated, it wasn't even perjury.

    If he actually didn't try to take down any straight copy of those videos on YouTube, and went after one video using pieces of his work as commented-on quotations, it's at least highly suspicious, don't you think?

  • Re:Non-story (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rahvin112 (446269) on Monday February 17, 2014 @07:37PM (#46271559)

    Tell that to YouTube and the story is over.

    Google doesn't care. They breach their immunity if they don't follow the DMCA process, which involves the counter-notice. He shouldn't tell them anything, he should send in the proper counter-notice and make the denialists sue him then trounce them in court along with counter-suit for damages and legal fees.

    If he's not willing to defend what he produced he just doesn't care enough.

  • Re:Non-story (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arbiter1 (1204146) on Monday February 17, 2014 @07:43PM (#46271603)
    Problem might not fact he don't care, its having the $ to fight it. Since you can't rely on court awarding legal fee's.
  • Re:Fuck Beta (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 17, 2014 @07:47PM (#46271625)
    this is old news too [soylentnews.org]
  • by Arker (91948) on Monday February 17, 2014 @08:01PM (#46271737) Homepage Journal
    Not at all. A straight copy simply means an opportunity for more people to see his work, which authors normally want. On the other hand someone taking it apart and cutting it up, 'remixing' it to make the author look bad (and whether you think it's justified or not that is clearly what was done) is not something the author normally wants to see.

    So no, not suspicious at all, perfectly normal and expected.

    The real question here is whether the hostile piece does fall within fair use or not, and that is unfortunately a very complicated legal question, ultimately based on somewhat subjective criteria, so it's not easy to know for sure. It may well require a court to make that determination, which means a lot of lawyer fees for both of the gentlemen involved.
  • by AK Marc (707885) on Monday February 17, 2014 @08:12PM (#46271805)
    He also (apparently) refuses to issue a formal counter-claim asserting they do not violate copyright. If they are fair use, he can counter-claim and be done with it (until they sue him). He's effectively acknowledging that he's violating copyright by refusing to contest the assertions.
  • by Luckyo (1726890) on Monday February 17, 2014 @08:23PM (#46271891)

    Discussing parts of legally released copyright code on the other hand is fair use. You know, like discussing parts of legally released movie.

  • by noh8rz10 (2716597) on Monday February 17, 2014 @11:11PM (#46273047)

    i see nothing wrong with denier labels. it is deliberately ignoring and twisting facts and science to serve a political agenda. i had never heard of aids denier. but another great example is climate change denier.

  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @12:10AM (#46273339)

    Using the term denier to compare people to Holocaust deniers trivializes the Holocaust.

    About 12 million people died in Nazi death camps, about six million of them Jews. AIDS has resulted in about 30 millions deaths [wikipedia.org]. So far. Thabo Mbeki [wikipedia.org] may be responsible for more deaths than Heinrich Himmler [wikipedia.org].

  • by mwvdlee (775178) on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @03:06AM (#46273917) Homepage

    Neither TFS, TFA or GP talks about the holocaust, only you do.
    There are plenty other types of deniers, like evolution or global warming.
    "Denier" is just a word used to describe somebody who denies what the vast majority accepts as fact.
    Denying the use of a word serves nobody except those apposed to discussion.

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