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04/14/2009

Copyright?! Riiiiiight.

by Jeremy Hooper

Ever since they surfaced last week, the National Organization For Marriage has been struggling to pull the leaked Picture 5-195audition tapes that show various people reading from the organization's anti-gay script. And while it's funny that they want the evidence removed, it does seem like they probably have the right to have them removed if they so choose.

But what about an MSNBC show that used those clips for a commentary segment? A show that covers daily events, which chose to cover a a daily event that just so happened to involve the National Organization For MArriage? Does NOM have the right to have that segment pulled from YouTube?

Well whether they do or not, they are. Recently, Rachel Maddow did a segment spoofing NOM's ad and the leaked audition tapes that were used to cast the thing. But this is how the Youtube version of Rachel's commentary now looks on Towleroad:

Picture 4-220

Yes, that's right -- NOM had this particular clip yanked. A video to which they can't possibly hold the copyright. A video that Maddow is totally fine with having posted (*update: as you will see in the following clip). A video that seems to fall firmly within the boundaries of fair use. NOM, in their desperation to save face in the aftermath of their horribly received ad, yanks the vid without apology.

So let's see: They've shut out our comments, are yanking videos, and refusing to address their online critics. What next, NOM: Gonna lobby to have the Google taken down?

**UPDATE: Unbeknownst to us when we began writing this post, Maddow addressed the yanking on last night's show:

*Note: We'd encourage ANYONE who's had a video like this yanked by NOM to file a counter notice with YouTube. YouTube essentially has a "yank then ask questions" policy with things like this, with the burden more fully on the poster to justify their actions after the fact. So don;t be bullied into believeing that you are "wrong" just because your vid gets pulled. We've fought this sort of thing before, against Focus on the Family, and we won.

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Your thoughts

"YouTube essentially has a "yank then ask questions" policy with things like this,"

Here's an excellent guide just on YouTube and the DMCA:
http://www.eff.org/issues/intellectual-property/guide-to-youtube-removals

Also, two words:
"Streisand Effect"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect

Posted by: tjc | Apr 14, 2009 9:50:10 AM

Rachel....with a burr! I wish she would report on Thom Hartmann's interview with Brian Brown.

Posted by: LOrionL | Apr 14, 2009 11:48:00 AM

are there transcripts of these audition tapes?

Posted by: Matt from California | Apr 14, 2009 1:32:14 PM

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