DMCA vs. the World - Derik in Minnesota
Jul. 30th, 2009
12:23 pm - DMCA vs. the World
Today I went to look up Grant Morrison’s 2000 DisinfoCon speech, because he explores several high-level issues that I think are philosophically relevant to my ongoing exploration of the Creative Commons.
So I was a little nonplussed to discover that the video– which was on literally dozens of online video sites… was missing. When media goes missing, sites usually don’t tell you why. Some sites pretended like the videos had never been existed, some retained the meta-data like descriptions and comments, but ditched the video itself. Some sites said simply that it had been removed due to a copyright violation. And exactly one site, (YouTube) provided any sort of followup info.
This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Hillsong Publishing.
Naturally, I assumed, Hillsong Publishing was The Disinformation Company, and they requested a takedown because they sell DVD’s of the ‘con. Regretable, but understandable. Or maybe Grant finally got someone to buy Pop Magic (a long-threatened book whose subject overlaps his DisinfoCon speech) and the publisher is protecting its interests. A bit more marginal… but still believable.
Turns out Hillsong Publishing is the publishing arm of Hillsong Church, and Australian megachurch with a somewhat questionable record of past actions.
So… fundamentalist megachurch issues takedown order against a speech they don’t own that happens to be about Shamanism, working magic, and how some groups (such as political parties, media multinationals, and organized religion) try to control what people can think.
The wonderful thing about the DMCA is that sites like youTube are required to comply with takedown requests, but there is no corresponding burden on the party making the request to establish that the video is a copyright violation.
In this case, Hillsong Church doesn’t even own the rights to the video– it seems they just claimed they did in order to get a video they disagreed with removed.
Abuse-prone as that system is… what really worries me is that 9/10 sites that this video was removed from gave no indication who had requested the removal, making it virtually impossible to tell when someone is abusing the system.
And that’s terrifying.