back to article GooTube snubs McCain's call for DMCA favoritism

YouTube has rejected John McCain's request for special treatment when his campaign videos are hit with DMCA takedown notices. Earlier this week, the McCain campaign fired a letter at the Google-owned video sharing site, urging it to "commit to a full legal review of all takedown notices on videos posted from accounts …


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  1. Darren7160

    I love it!

    Oh please, violate the law just for us! I'm sorry, but didn't the story say that the site must wait 10 to 14 days before they can make a determination? If that is so, then asking YouTube to do otherwise is asking them to violate the law. Republicans? Oh, right. Never mind. Laws don't apply to them. My bad.

    Mine's the camouflaged one with the Disabled Vet patch and Obama bumper sticker across the back.

  2. Alex

    Justice perhaps?

    A politician caught by the laws he created?


  3. Murray Pearson
    Thumb Up

    HA HA HA

    That'll show the fossilised old tw*t to maybe consider RAMIFICATIONS before he votes.


  4. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    It is silencing political speech

    From the article, "DMCA takedown policy is "silencing political speech" by removing non-infringing political videos."

    Yes it is. But, Youtube is following the law. The DMCA doesn't allow Youtube any authority to ignore notices even if they are obviously bogus, it's up to the other person to file the counternotice. The DMCA is broken and needs to be significantly overhauled (to recognize rights) or repealed. It's poor showing of McCain to ask for an exemption specifically for polticians, he should get "a taste of his own medicine" just like everyone else and fix it. He did vote for it after all.

    I plan to vote Libertarian personally.. I don't believe in the hard core "repeal all taxes" etc., but they would move things the other way at least. The Democrats and Republicans are both for a larger government and restrictions on people's freedoms. They split hairs over WHY they are for this, but the outcome is the same.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    McCain's already stealing from Jackson Browne, Bon Jovi & Heart

    Sarah Palin used "Who Says You Can't Go Home" without permission at a rally last week. And before that, she used Heart's "Barracuda" w/o permission too. Jackson Browne is suing McCain for using "Running on Empty"

    So it looks like McCain is a habitual music pirate. I think he ought to be in prison, and Youtube is correct with the takedowns.


  6. Benny


    So someone that could become in charge of one of the most powerful countries in the world is bothered about Utube?

    At least we didnt elect ours..

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some pigs...

    are more equal than others.

    Particularly if they are wearing lipstick.

  8. /dev/me

    I, for one...

    ...welcome our despotic overlords

    Our leaders should be able to freely pursue their agenda without the hindrances that befalls us; the Great Unwashed.

    And after all, laws are just pieces of paper, right?

    Mine is the one with the keys to the black helicopter. Now get back to work!

  9. Dave


    A lesson for all politicians there - what you vote for to keep your paymasters happy may come back to bite you. Once he's back being a full-time senator, hopefully he can introduce a bill to remove the more stupid aspects of the DMCA.

  10. Matt Haswell
    Thumb Up

    Want the videos? Pay the price

    Of course there is nothing stopping McCain from hosting his own political videos on his own website with his own money paying for the server infrastructure and bandwidth. Then when served with DMCA notices he could review them first before taking them down.

    He would have to spend a lot of money on this of course and be willing to back it up in court if there actually was a violation and he hadn't taken it down fast enough.

    Of course this also bites the non-political users - a friend of mine who has made a film (by himself with his own music and everything) has been told by google that it has been taken down due to copyright claims. There is no copyright issue at all of course (and actually he had only put it up for his own convenience on Google Video (not youtube)) but obviously someone is playing silly buggers.

    So long as it hits the politicians the way it hits us they may start to think about the ramifications of these laws a bit more.

  11. John O'Hare
    Black Helicopters

    Finally impeded by their own stupidity

    "But his campaign's general counsel, Trevor Potter, insists that the video site's DMCA takedown policy is "silencing political speech" by removing non-infringing political videos."

    No, their 'political speech' is silenced by the person(s) that issued the DMCA takedown. The proper way to get their political video reinstated is to just follow the procedure (issue a counterclaim and later possibly sue the person(s) that issued the take down).

    If they don't like it, they should change the rules (or shouldn't have been sleeping when these rules were voted into existence in the first place).

    If this is the level of integrity and intellect of government to be in the US, I'm really glad I'm not living there and it goes a long way in explaining the current financial crisis.

  12. David Wilkinson

    The DMCA says silence, ask questions latter.

    He didn't have a problem voting for a law that silences first and ask questions latter.

    Its like the Judge that ruled that you have to privacy rights to your garbage, then had reporters digging through and reporting on his trash.

  13. jake Silver badge

    Political ignorance

    >I plan to vote Libertarian personally.

    Voting for McCain, then?

    You DO know that Nader is the only reason Shrub got in (twice!), right?

    Unfortunately, so-called "protest votes" don't work under this system ...

    Y,y,y, I know, Nader's switched parties (again) ...

  14. Peter Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    Payback is a bitch ..

    No more comment required. Just a big, fat grin..

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This is pretty disgusting: McCain, whose campaign is worth several million dollars, wants these legal reviews which (we can only assume) will take several days, so that the adverts that he posts, which are quickly made to argue a certain point at a certain time, can be up for the whole time that they are usefull to McCain. If the DCMA takedown notice is served instantly the adverts are useless.

    I've got a solution: PAY THE PEOPLE WHOSE WORKS YOU ARE TRYING TO PROFIT FROM. Then the problem will go away.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Biter Bit

    McCain seems to think that laws, like taxes, are for the little people. Maybe he thinks he should be exempt because he voted for it.

    However, after last night's TV debate, it could all be moot - looks like McCain has had his [oven-ready?] chips.

    (But my 'conspiracy theorist' side says that it only takes one armed balm-pot... something that the Republican side has no shortage of.)

  17. Paul


    Not all of the world beleaves the idea "Voting for a third candiate is thowing your vote away". Voting for Obama to spite Bush (which is what this is about) would be a protest vote, not voting for the person you beleve in dispite the fact that they have no chance.

    Perhaps if people stopped being told "you are wasting you time voting for the third way" the US system might become a bit more democratic.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    if the guy is so dependent on a free video sharing site inorder to win votes, then I feel very sorry, sorry,sorry for him. It's a free service and if he don't like then, then let him set up his own video sharing/promotional site for his election campaign.

    Or how about, paying for television commercials?

  19. Kibble

    Flogging a dead horse

    "But his campaign's general counsel, Trevor Potter, insists that the video site's DMCA takedown policy is "silencing political speech" by removing non-infringing political videos."

    What is with this stupid fool? He should only use the term "protected speech". As well, he should have advised his chief client of the limitations and ramifications of the DMCA. (Perhaps there are only limited communications in the campaign machine.) It seems that ol' Trevor lacks experience in constitutional law and is running the legal end of things by himself instead of using advisors in this campaign.

    These sort of news stories aren't buying the Republican candidate any votes IMHO.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    but... but....

    ... the laws we pass shouldn't apply to us!

  21. dervheid

    "They don't like it up 'em" 2...

    the return of the temper tantrum!

    Ain't it nice when your 'own' legislation turns round and bites you on the ass.

    Sweet, sweet irony.

  22. Mat

    So let me get this straight..

    McCain voted in favour of the DMCA and now that it inconveniences him he wants special treatment?

    What a politician!

  23. michael

    ptard host

    enought said

  24. Efros
    Paris Hilton


    on one's own petard. Heh!

    DMCA isn't such a good idea now eh John. Surrendering your principles for political expediency what kind of example is that to your electorate, well pretty much the same example every single one of your predecessors has given. Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose, or as we say in Glasgow "John, yer tea's out!".


    Paris cos she knows all about videos and their illegal posting on the web.

  25. Al

    'Merkins don't do irony -

    but if they did....'

    This is wonderful.

  26. Anonymous Coward


    He votes for the law, and now he wishes to be exempt or given special privilege? No dice, monkey boy.

    The law should be blind and should be applied to all equally. Be you rich, poor, fat, thin, political candidate or raving nutter. Of course, the exception is for certain nationalities who will be detained without trial or any legal protection, tortured, beaten, humiliated and held in sub-human conditions off your own shores.

    Perhaps McCain wishes to be treated outside the law in the same way they are as well?

  27. Anonymous Coward



    Is that the new term of abuse for someone hoisted by (on?) their own petard?

  28. ShaggyDoggy

    Get the lot orf !!

    Does this mean that If I email in an obection to every single video on YouTube, that they will take the lot down, and then wait 10-14 days before even looking at whether my objections were valid. That is, if they still have a complany by then LOL

  29. Nick Miles

    Music Piracy

    At a previous poster: I was under the assumption that the McCain campaign had all the relevant rights to play whatever music they wanted. You pay the PRS, you can play music. Isn't it that Simple?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    cry me a river mother fucker.

    You get the law you deserve.

  31. bass daddy
    Thumb Up


    Don't you just love irony!!

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Ha Ha

    You reap what you sow

  33. Lukin Brewer

    One rule for us...

    When their GOP grandfathers passed the 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act, they did so with the assurance that they would not have to suffer the effects of prohibition. Wayne Wheeler, master lobbyist and founder of the Anti Saloon League, who drafted and guided both pieces of legislation into law, was an eminently practical man, prepared to do whatever it took. This included assuring lawmakers that they would not be sacrificing their own cellars and pleasures, and informing rich southern whites that the law would only target blacks, moonshiners, and anyone who offended respectable folks by coming into town drunk. The top of society carried on drinking unmolested, and the Senate bar in Washington DC was kept supplied with seized liquor.

    I wouldn't be surprised if there were many more similar examples.

  34. Watashi

    Political banckruptcy

    McCain could have just asked for the videos to be put back up... but perhaps there is a reason why he didn't. Takedown notices don't just allow copyright holders to remove infringing material, they also serve the function of allowing innocent people have slanderous and factually incorrect material removed without having to go to court. The burden of evidence is thus placed on the poster, rather than the subject of the video.

    In terms of political material, if McCain posts (questionable) statements about Obama then Obama can protect himself by having the videos removed if he doesn't like them. McCain can then go to court and prove the statements are true, in which case the videos will be put back up. Freedom of speach should be protected, but its also important to protect citizens against damaging lies. Perhaps the motivation behind McCain's letter is that he wanted to be able to post videos about Obama that he couldn't back up in court.

  35. Edward Rose

    I'm confused!

    How can taking someone else's work, and using it to catch people's attention to advertise yourself be 'Fair Use'? He WANTS to win the election (which will get him loads of money). Nothing to do with him wanting to be a great benevolent leader at all. So, he should get on and pay the producers of the music/media the license fee.

    Vote McCain, vote for a theiving, bullying git (not that the rest of politicians are much better, at least they don't seem to shout as loud).

  36. Anonymous Coward


    Wrong, wrong, wrong. DMCA takedown notices are not a tool for removing objectionable or libelous/slanderous content. When you file a DMCA claim it's a declaration that the offending party is using material you own the copyright on without your permission and outside of fair use allowances. If you don't actually own the copyright on that material, you've just perjured yourself and can be prosecuted for it. If McCain's campaign office were to film their own material of McCain talking about Obama, regardless of whether the statements are slanderous or not they still own the copyright on the material. There are other laws for protecting against libel and slander; abusing DMCA as a quick shortcut to get objectionable material pulled is a recipe for disaster. You might get the material removed quicker, but at the cost of opening yourself up to claims for damages and even charges of perjury.

  37. Uncle Slacky Silver badge


    Nader wasn't the reason Gore or Kerry lost - Gore lost because he failed to convince around 200,000 registered Democrats in Florida to vote for him instead of Shrub. He didn't even carry his home state.

    As for 2004, Nader didn' t get enough votes in any of the marginal states to have made a difference.

    Face it, R & D are just the two factions of the Business Party. That's why the elections are so close - it's because they're both equally objectionable choices. Voting for the lesser evil means you still end up with evil.

  38. Daniel Bennett

    Obama too?

    If this was the case, then Obama would also be allowed.... And I bet McCain will try and get Obama taken offline ;)

  39. Anonymous Coward

    For Benny

    You couldn't elect yours and that's the difference.

  40. foo_bar_baz


    It _is_ a waste of time until you (and the Brits) switch your electoral system to proportional representation.

  41. jake Silver badge

    @Paul @Uncle Slacky

    > Not all of the world beleaves the idea "Voting for a third candiate is thowing your vote away".

    Re-read what I typed. Belief has nothing to do with maths.


    If Shrub hadn't won in 2000, he wouldn't be where he is today. If Nader wasn't on the ballet in 2000, Gore would have won (which of course would have brought its own issues). You can spin it any way you like (or any way you've been told to spin it), but them's the facts as I see it.

  42. Dr. E. Amweaver
    Paris Hilton

    Maybe if he didn't...

    ...use songs and content from primarily Democratic-leaning bands - and his licences PROBABLY DO NOT cover worldwide electronic reproduction via teh intarwehb tubes - he might stand a better chance, and used entirely Republican-supporting musicians instead.

    So, that's... Ted Nugent, Ted Nugent, The Nuge, some more Uncle Ted and Ted Nugent.

    Paris... for President.

    (All politicians screw you over, but at least someone'd release hawt videos afterwards).

  43. James

    Hmmm, I wonder...

    ...if this were our saviour Obarmy whether there would be so many snarky remarks here.

  44. Franklin

    @ Amweaver and James

    "...use songs and content from primarily Democratic-leaning bands - and his licences PROBABLY DO NOT cover worldwide electronic reproduction via teh intarwehb tubes - he might stand a better chance, and used entirely Republican-supporting musicians instead.

    So, that's... Ted Nugent, Ted Nugent, The Nuge, some more Uncle Ted and Ted Nugent."

    And Kid Rock. Mustn't forget Kid Rock. Even though the rest of the world already has...

    "...if this were our saviour Obarmy whether there would be so many snarky remarks here."

    Irony is irony; it knows no political bounds or loyalties. A bigshot political figure votes for a law and then finds himself inconvenienced by it, and has the cajones to go crying for special treatment...well, it doesn't really much matter which side of which fence he's on, in my book.

  45. Dave

    Ha Ha Ha

    Stitch that Uncle Fester,

    As said above, ya reap what ya sow.

    (Lipstick Optional)

  46. James Pickett


    "depriving the American people of access to important and timely campaign videos"

    Is that in the Constitution? I expect it soon will be...

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Yeah, Youtube cares so much about fairness that the (inexplicably) 2nd most watched video EVER on their site [Avril Lavigne's Girlfriend] moved into the #1 MOST WATCHED VIDEO EVER spot on youtube, during the time that the video should have been taken down because AVRIL LAVIGNE FANS were OPENLY CHEATING to bump her video counts up to break into the number 1 spot.

    They made it their aim to get the count up by leaving their computers on overnight every night to constantly refresh the page and watched as the count jumped up by millions. They did this with her other videos too.

    This has been going on for about a year and was officially exposed a couple of months ago and brought very much to Youtube's attention, yet Youtube refuses to remove the video for violations.

    It was certainly reported enough times. Makes you wonder.

  48. Chris
    Paris Hilton

    @AC: 'lol'


    This isn't about whether a video reaches #1 or not... and why should the video have been taken down (I'm presuming the video in question was a legitimate release onto YouTube by Avril Lavigne's record label?)

    The fans doing the auto-refreshing probably violated YouTube's T&Cs (clause 6.1G is the most likely), but then according to the T&Cs, their accounts should have been banned, not the video.

    So the real question... what has this got to do with the article?

    Paris... coz even she would probably make a much more relevant comment!

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