Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Medicine Movies Youtube Your Rights Online

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

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.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

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

Comments Filter:
  • Non-story (Score:5, Informative)

    by jklovanc ( 1603149 ) on Monday February 17, 2014 @07:27PM (#46271467)

    From the article;

    YouTube said that Power's account, which has more than 20,000 subscribers, will be removed on 18 February unless they receive a counter-notification disputing these claims against him by that date.

    All they have to do is follow the law, file a counter-notification and this all goes away. The summary makes it look like YouTube is the bad guy when all they are doing is following the law and acting on the DMCA claims. It is up to the alleged infringer to counter-claim not the service provider.

    He says his movies do not breach copyright laws because his films are educational and therefore fair use.

    Tell that to YouTube and the story is over.

  • by rasmusbr ( 2186518 ) on Monday February 17, 2014 @07:44PM (#46271611)

    What does this mean exactly? Does it deny that AIDS exists? Does it deny that HIV leads to AIDS? Does it deny that non-gay people or non-Africans can get AIDS? Does it say it's all a government conspiracy and really caused by chemtrails?

    One way or another, it doesn't sound like something that warrants debunking, but then again, I'm often surprised at just how stupid people can be.

    It's not possible to find a single party line, but these are the most common beliefs AFAIK:

    AIDS is caused by chemicals, big pharma, the government, the Bilderberg group, the Illuminati, space lizards, etc.
    HIV either does not exist, or exists and is harmless, or exists and is harmful and created by evil men in their evil laboratories but does not cause AIDS.
    Chemtrails could totally cause AIDS, but more evidence is needed. In other words some dude on the internet needs to write a speculative blogpost that claims that chemtrails cause AIDS before we can say with certainty that it does.

    If you think this is harmless stupidity, think again. IIRC there is at least one case of an HIV positive mother who refused to test her child. The child later died in an illness with symptoms like those of someone who has AIDS. The mother also died, naturally.

  • by Purity Of Essence ( 1007601 ) on Monday February 17, 2014 @07:47PM (#46271627)

    Automated perjury with no repercussions? Please.

    If he has good reason to honestly believe that his rights were violated, it wasn't even perjury.

    The perjury clause only applies when the claimant is not the owner of the original content or a legal representative for them. Whether or not the new content infringes -- in belief or in fact -- has no bearing on the matter. There is no penalty for flagging any and all content, no matter how clear its fair-use.

  • by RDW ( 41497 ) on Monday February 17, 2014 @09:04PM (#46272219)

    If you think this is harmless stupidity, think again. IIRC there is at least one case of an HIV positive mother who refused to test her child. The child later died in an illness with symptoms like those of someone who has AIDS. The mother also died, naturally.

    And that's just the tip of the iceberg. In South Africa, HIV denialists advised by the Duesberg cult were in charge of public health policy for several years, leading to a tragedy of genocidal proportions: []

  • Lenz v. UMG (Score:5, Informative)

    by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples@gmail.BOHRcom minus physicist> on Monday February 17, 2014 @10:18PM (#46272749) Homepage Journal
    Per Lenz v. UMG [], the representative of a copyright owner must consider fair use before sending a notice of claimed infringement.
  • by SpankiMonki ( 3493987 ) on Monday February 17, 2014 @10:55PM (#46272957)

    Drs Duesberg Rasnick and Farmer dont exist in your world, right? And certainly Dr Mullis (the inventor of the PCR test used in AIDS clinics worldwide) never existed, right?

    Duesberg...that was the guy who had a role in all those AIDS deaths in South Africa, right? Isn't he also the guy who got pimp-slapped by multiple peer reviewers and investigated for scientific misconduct?

    Rasnick...Rasnick...oh yeah, he was the dude who illegally set up clinical trials where he recruited poor black HIV+ individuals and instructed them to forgo antivirals in favor of "VitaCell cures AIDS" vitamin supplements.

    Farmer? Never heard of him.

    Mullis - the Nobel Prize winning chemist who dropped a boatload of acid in the 60s and claims he's encountered aliens and also believes in astrology.

    Yep, nothing low rent about those guys.

    Without any opinion at all on which side is right about the disease...


  • by the gnat ( 153162 ) on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @12:02AM (#46273299)

    Worse because the "cocktails" used - many of which he trialed and rejected in his pioneering cancer research - are toxic and cause great damage in and of themselves.

    This is ancient history. The modern anti-HIV cocktails are largely drugs that were invented long after Duesberg's research career fizzled out, and as far as I know were never considered for use against cancer. AZT was indeed very toxic, not unlike chemotherapy - but AZT isn't front-line treatment against AIDS and hasn't been for many years, at least not in the US.

    His hypothesis may well be wrong, but simply being wrong would not justify the negative reaction he has received.

    No, but being wrong and continuing to say the same thing over and over again for decades is a pretty good way to piss people off. And traveling to South Africa to meet with Mbeki and advocate against trying to cure the millions of South Africans with AIDS, well, that's just sick.

    Oh, btw, where is that cure?

    For people who can afford to pay for the treatment, AIDS basically is cured - we can't totally eliminate HIV from the system, but patients can survive almost indefinitely with a reasonable quality of life. Those therapies were developed by ignoring lunatics like Duesberg and targeting the molecular mechanisms of HIV. We don't have a cure for the flu either, despite knowing about it for much long than HIV, but that doesn't mean that mainstream science is wrong about the flu virus.

  • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @12:43AM (#46273451) Journal

    DMCA means EVERYTHING to YouTube. If they follow the DMCA procedure, they have safe harbor from both copyright holders and from people falsely accused of infringement. That protection is worth billions to YouTube. The procedure they have to follow to get that protection is:

    Upon receipt of a complaint, temporarily remove the video and notify the person who posted it.

    When the poster responds saying they don't believe it's infringing, put the video back up.

    That second part is called "counter notice". You may have noticed in TFA it said YouTube may lock the account if he doesn't send them a counter notice. He simply needs to quit whining for ten minutes, long enough to type up a counter notice email.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @02:34AM (#46273839)

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

    You are totally right, however you do not need the "legally" qualification here. Many Americans don't seem to realise exactly how strong the "fair use" rules are. This is one of the few remaining areas where US law is clearly more pro-freedom than most European law. This is because the fair use rules are not actually rules. They are a direct representation of the first amendment acting on copyright law. The first amendment gives you the absolute right to freedom of political speech. If you need to show an "illegal" part of a movie in order to make your point clearly then whatever law made that illegal becomes unconstitutional because it is blocking your first amendment rights. Fair use is just a recognition of that for copyright which allows copyright laws to remain constitutional.

    Any time that you need to use material in order to make an argument then you have the right to use as much as you need to make your argument. For example, if you claim that "every sentence in the entire film contains a lie" and then you set out to prove that, you could use the the entire film with no gaps. However, you would have to stop after every sentence and have an in depth explanation of why it is a lie. For a one hour film, you would end up producing four or more hours of analysis.

    The important point, however, is that if there was a section of the film you didn't want to comment on, then there is no need to leave it in. If you say something like "in the next ten minutes the same stupidity continues" you don't need to show that part of the film to make your argument. At this point copyright law reasserts and you are not allowed to use that part of the film. This is where the potential problems occur. You may want to leave in a longer segment in order not to be seen to be cheating in which case there would have to be a complicated discussion about whether you are justified or not. Simply don't do that. Either cut it or continue to comment the whole way through.

  • by Stolpskott ( 2422670 ) on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @05:22AM (#46274197)

    Educational use is one of the fundamental uses of the Fair Use doctrine, as long as there is no commercial gain derived directly from the application of Fair Use.
    Quoting from 17 U.S.C 107:

    Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 17 U.S.C. 106 and 17 U.S.C. 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

    the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

    the nature of the copyrighted work;

    the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

    the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

    So... this use is valid on the grounds that it is criticism (in both of the main definitions of the word), comment, and teaching, if the person applying the Fair Use doctrine is not claiming any direct commercial benefit from the use of said copyrighted information. Unless, of course, the original authors can show that the original work is of a specific nature that would itself invalidate Fair Use; the re-user had included all or the vast majority of the original piece directly in his response; or the re-use substantially affected the commercial value of the original work (probably requires a before/after study of revenue generated from the work to be presented in justification for the copyright claim, not something that can be submitted with a DCMA request).

    In this case, both sides will probably feel justified in labeling the other's position as "propaganda", with their own as "education", although it shows the AIDS-deniers' viewpoint and world view as being very narrow, because "any view other than something that completely aligns with mine is incorrect, and worse propaganda, so must be expunged from view so that my Universal Truth can be seen in all its glory"...

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire