YouTube Accused of Censoring Controversial Content (with Video)

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David Makarewicz, Contributing Writer
Activist Post

Does YouTube make it too easy to censor a controversial video?

Anthony Lawson, producer of videos covering controversial topics, ranging from 9/11 conspiracies to Israeli treatment of Palestinians, is accusing YouTube of “censorship” after the video-sharing site took down a short documentary questioning certain facts of the Holocaust that he uploaded to his YouTube page.  At the bottom of this post is his latest video detailing his charges against YouTube.

On Tuesday, YouTube sent Lawson the following notice:

We have disabled the following material as a result of a third-party notification from James Allan Khan claiming that this material is infringing: 

Holocaust, Hate Speech & Were the Germans so Stupid? 

In addition to claiming that his educational videos are a fair use, Lawson is complaining that he has not received a clear explanation of what aspect of his video violated copyright.  Additionally, he argues that it is unfair that he does not have the right to any information on his accuser, James Allan Khan, who Lawson has thusfar not been able to locate.  Lawson wrote:

One of the main issues I have with being accused of a copyright infringement, and having one of my videos suspended, more accurately suppressed, is that my accuser was not, apparently, required to make any specific charge as to what image or images or quoted text he has based his claim on (the only musical content in the video is my own work: a single chord).

Whether or not you agree with the content of Lawson’s controversial documentaries, he makes a fair point about YouTube’s vague censorship methods.  If a video is going to be pulled offline, at a minimum, the video producer has the right to know exactly what part of the video violated copyright and what work of the copyright holder contains the copyrighted material.  Otherwise, it is too easy for a person to make a false claim of copyright infringement for the sole purpose of keeping material he disagrees with away from the public.

Today, Lawson put up the following video describing his version of the ordeal:

David Makarewicz is an attorney practicing internet law concerning privacy rights and copyright defense for websites and blogs. Visit Dave at Sites and Blogs to keep up with breaking Internet news.

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