Friday, February 09, 2007

Protest YouTube suppression of free speech

Reddit today led me to this video:

This video is by a fellow named Nick Gisburne. His account was deleted for posting another video that was nothing but a slide show of quotations from the Quran. (That video has since been reposted by at least a dozen other people so it's easy to find.)

This really bothers me for four reasons. First, to deem quotations from a holy text to be "inappropriate content" is outrageous on its face. Second, Gisburne was given no warning. Third, YouTube didn't just delete the video in question, they deleted Gisburne's entire account. And fourth, this makes a mockery of Google's "don't be evil" slogan. There can be no possible reason for this action other than caving to intimidation, and sanctimonious cowardice in the face of oppression is a particularly pernicious breed of evil.

If you share my outrage I urge you to contact YouTube and let them know how you feel.


cerebrator said...

In connection with User Submissions, you further agree that you will not: (i) submit material that is copyrighted, protected by trade secret or otherwise subject to third party proprietary rights, including privacy and publicity rights, unless you are the owner of such rights or have permission from their rightful owner to post the material and to grant YouTube all of the license rights granted herein; (ii) publish falsehoods or misrepresentations that could damage YouTube or any third party; (iii) submit material that is unlawful, obscene, defamatory, libelous, threatening, pornographic, harassing, hateful, racially or ethnically offensive, or encourages conduct that would be considered a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, violate any law, or is otherwise inappropriate; (iv) post advertisements or solicitations of business: (v) impersonate another person.

Ron said...

The video in question was none of those things. I'm pretty sure the Quran is out of copyright by now.

cerebrator said...

The song used was copyrighted.
Nick also had previous records of copyright infringement.

In any case, I would also say the particular video was:

1. about misrepresenting facts.
('snips' away phrases from complete verses and thus putting the Qur'an in a negative light. This debate has long been debunked but many are still ignorant.)

2. capable of inciting hate. Not only for non-Muslims towards Muslims, but vice-versa too.

Ron said...

The song used was copyrighted.

Along with about ten zillion others. Furthermore, I'd be really surprised if YouTube actualy took the trouble to confirm that the song was used without permission before shutting down his account.

about misrepresenting facts

Merely misrepresenting facts does not violate the TOS.

capable of inciting hate

Anything is capable of inciting hate. Again, merely being capable of inciting hate is not a violation of the TOS.

cerebrator said...

1. On copyright issues, as mentioned, Nick already had previous records of copyright infringement. This isn't his first case.

I don't think YouTube would want to give free money to lawyers and make the courtroom a busy place.

2. Misrepresenting facts, is simply a defamatory move. And the TOU I quoted above was clear about that.