YouTube pulls thousands of videos due to claimed copyright infringement, including hundreds of Ron Paul videos

Posted on August 5th, 2009 by bile
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You Tube has expanded its zealous copyright crusade by suspending the popular C-Span Junkie user channel, and in doing so has pulled hundreds of viral Ron Paul videos, which are now completely dead.

The C-Span Junkie user channel, a non-partisan archive of short clips taken from C-Span broadcasts of events in the Congress and the Senate, has been the home of the vast majority of You Tube videos you have seen of Bernanke, Geithner, Paulson and others being confronted in Congress, as well as Ron Paul’s speeches on the House floor. A total of more than 6400 videos in all have been pulled, hundreds of which featured the Texan Congressman.

Whether or not C-Span itself requested that You Tube pull the channel is not known, but it is clearly in the public interest and constitutes fair use to show a clip less than 10 minutes in length of what the people who are supposedly our Representatives are saying in Congress on our behalf.

YES! Youtube has suspended my CSPANJunkie & VotersThink accounts :(

I told You this was coming!

I will be making an attempt to get the 6400 videos now not available back online.

I’m afraid that’s probably not very likely.

The new Youtube account is…

I hate 2009 (so far)

But You can’t hold a good man down!

I will do my best to make the new video page the best yet!

I could REALLY use some encouragement, to help me snap back the best I can.

I don’t know if You can imagine what it’s like to in a moment see 6400 videos gone…

Figure 6400 hours (easily) poof GONE! I did this for the common good and now it all gone :(

Like I said I could really use some encouragement!!! So please consider clicking the donate button so I can know it is worth it to put all that time into something that can just disappear. I want to keep doing this but I make about 5 dollars a day in advertising, I have not had a donation for over 30 days (I did get ONE for 2.50$ last week) I want to do this! I REALLY DO!

I just need a little something to pull me out of this ditch. And Hopefully 2009 will miraculously turn around big time!

I can always hope! But I want to fight! So please click the donate button and let me know You think I should keep up the good fight! And I will do my best by You.

Thank You For Your Continued Support!

Speaking of intellectual property law… so much for fair use.

Censorship of the media in Iceland regarding collapsed bank Kaupthing

Posted on August 2nd, 2009 by bile
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jon jonson writes “Information from the collapsed Icelandic bank Kaupthing has been leaked to WikiLeaks, revealing billions in insider loans, and the bank has been working day and night to censor the information contained in the document. Last night at 6:55pm GMT, they served an injunction against the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, five minutes before the 7pm news was due to be aired. The TV station just displayed the WikiLeaks URL instead. They’ve also injuncted Iceland’s national radio, banning all discussion about the contents of the document, and they are actively trying to censor the rest of the Icelandic media along with WikiLeaks.”

Nothing to see here. Move along. Ignore the men behind the curtains.

Not to be out done by the UK, France steps up surveillance state

Posted on May 20th, 2009 by bile
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Having just passed its super-controversial Création et Internet “graduated response” law, you might think the French government would take at least a brief break from riling up the “internautes.” Instead, the government is prepping a new crime bill that will, among other things, mandate Internet censorship at the ISP level, legalize government spyware, and create a massive meta-database of citizen information called “Pericles.”

French newspaper Le Monde has the details on the new law, dubbed “Loppsi 2.” Together with the recent Dadvsi law (which banned DRM circumvention) and Création et Internet (which disconnects repeat online copyright infringers), Loppsi 2 will “fix” France’s various cybersecurity issues.

Think of the children

Loppsi 2 allows the state to install software that can “observe, collect, record, save, and transmit” keystrokes from computers on which it is installed. In essence, it allows for government-installed Trojans for a period of four months; a judge can extend this period for four months more.

In the US, the FBI has used similar techniques for several years, installing a program called CIPAV on suspects’ computers to record and transmit “pen register” data back to investigators.

Under Loppsi 2, French ISPs would also need to participate in a Web censorship regime that initially appears targeted at child pornography. Critics like Jean-Michel Planche, who advises the French government on Internet issues, are already calling the new bill the end of an open and neutral Internet.

Finally, the bill allows for a database called “Pericles” that can pull together information from various existing French databases to create a “super-dossier” on people. According to Le Monde, such a database could contain all sorts of crucial, personal information, and sounds certain to set off the same debates that have taken place in the US whenever similar projects have been floated.

Oh—and did we mention that Loppsi 2 funds all sorts of other crime-fighting techniques, including automated camera systems that record the license plates of cars passing by on the motorway?

Taken together, the Loppsi 2 draft shows just how serious the Sarkozy government is about getting some control over this crazy Internet thing that all the kids are using now. Actually, this is a situation playing out in most developed countries at the moment, and it’s not yet clear whether a global consensus will emerge on how to deal with law enforcement challenges on the ‘Net.

Numerous countries in Europe already run Internet child porn blacklists; massive government databases exist or are being developed just about everywhere; graduated response laws are slowly moving into the mainstream. France just seems more interested than most in adopting all of these ideas in the shortest possible timeframe.

Fairfax County, VA Police looks to censor GTA3 modder

Posted on April 9th, 2009 by bile
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Don’t officers supposedly swear an oath to uphold the US Constitution? At least the state constitution? I know the US Constitution says Congress can pass no law infringing the freedom of speech and incorporation has push that onto the state of Virgina regardless of what their constitution and laws say. And if the legislative branch can’t pass a law infringing the right of speech the executive branch has no authority under their system to do so. If Don Gotthardt wasn’t working for the government he’d be within his right to complain but he’s acting under the capacity of the executive branch of government and their own rules restrict him from acting in a way which could be seen as censoring the freedom of expression.

YouTube removes CheckpointUSA videos after bureaucrats complain

Posted on January 23rd, 2009 by bile
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In mid-December 2008 it came to my attention that YouTube had removed several videos from my YouTube channel highlighting a few of my encounters at an internal suspicionless Homeland Security checkpoint. This was done without notice or explanation. Nor did it result in any of the formal ‘warnings’ or ‘strikes’ on an account that normally accompany such action. A review of YouTube’s posting policy showed that I was not in violation of the site’s Terms of Use but I did find a link to the following reference that shed some light on what happened.

How do we implement YouTube’s content policies?

“…In some cases a video may be removed for the safety and privacy of the user who posted the video, due to a third-party privacy complaint, court order or other unintended issues. In these instances, the user will not receive a strike and the account will not be penalized.”

Given that several Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents have been in an uproar regarding these videos over the last year, I can only assume YouTube invoked the above clause to remove the offending videos (appearing below) due to pressure from Border Patrol agents who think they have a right to anonymity while operating within the public sphere in their capacity as public servants.

Indeed, an Open Records request I made last year to a state entity regarding several Border Patrol complaints against me resulted in the disclosure of the following hand-written note from January 8, 2008:

  • “YouTube investigating because of safety”
  • “YouTube will investigate complaint”

This note was associated with additional demands from Border Patrol agents that my website and blog be shut down for daring to criticize internal Border Patrol enforcement operations while highlighting my personal experiences at the hands of these agents.

Given that YouTube community ratings on the three videos removed averaged 4.5 on a scale of 5.0, it’s pretty clear YouTube’s decision to remove the videos was the result of pressure from Homeland Security agents and/or the department itself.

Before continuing, I’d like to acknowledge the fact that ultimately YouTube is the property of a non-government entity and as such has a right to set whatever posting policies it chooses. I’m also appreciative of the opportunity YouTube has provided me, and many others over the years, to tell our stories to a large online audience. With just about 50,000 channel views and nearly 500,000 video views in the past year, my YouTube videos of federal agents seizing individuals absent suspicion at Homeland Security checkpoints away from the border have informed, concerned, motivated and disgusted countless individuals. Many of whom didn’t even realize the federal government was conducting such operations against the American people so far away from the country’s international borders.

With that said however, it should concern all of us when private or corporate entities are pressured into censoring online content by government actors – especially when such content is perfectly legal and protected by the First Amendment from government intrusion.

While some have claimed these videos violate the agent’s right to privacy, such criticism is absurd on its face. Public officials operating on the public’s dime in the public sphere (in this case seizing traffic along a public highway), have no expectation of privacy in either their words or their deeds. Indeed, it is only by shining the light of day on abusive and aggressive enforcement activities directed against the public absent suspicion that we can ever hope to realize redress and ultimately change.

We are constantly told by government officials that we as individuals have no expectation of privacy while we’re in public. That if we have nothing to hide then we have nothing to fear. This reasoning however works both ways and applies equally to powerful government officials operating in the public sphere as it does to the rest of us. Claiming otherwise is the height of hypocrisy. Yet this same government that ultimately only exists through the consent of the people, appears to abhor transparency and constantly seeks to deny the public information regarding the conduct of its agents.

Fortunately with the advent of the internet, the monopoly big business and big government used to have over the distribution and interpretation of ‘news’ has shifted ever so slightly away from the controlling hand of self-anointed gatekeepers and towards the freedom of speech, press, assembly and redress envisioned by the founders.

After discovering that YouTube removed several of my videos in December, I distributed them to several other sites to compensate for the intrusion. One of these sites, LiveLeak, has the added feature of allowing viewers to download the media to their local computer to further distribute as they see fit.

With that said, the three videos originally removed by YouTube appear below along with brief descriptions of each and the YouTube statistics associated with them before they were removed at the demand of Homeland Security agents. Homeland Security agents who have no problem with seizing and detaining individuals without cause inside the country but seek to hide their actions from the very public they claim to be ‘protecting’.

Ideally we need a freedom oriented hosting company. Videos unfortunately eat up a lot of bandwidth.

New York Assemblyman looking to “protect” children from videogames with racial stereotypes

Posted on January 13th, 2009 by bile
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A new legislative proposal to restrict the sale of video games portraying negative racial stereotypes and bad language has been proposed in the New York Assembly.

The measure, A01474, was submitted by Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright, a Democrat from Manhattan. The bill, which has been referred to the Assembly’s Consumer Protection and Affairs Committee:

Prohibits the sale to minors of certain rated video games containing a rating that reflects content of various degrees of profanity, racist stereotypes or derogatory language, and/or actions toward a specific group of persons.

A similar bill proposed by Wright in 2007 failed to pass.

GamePolitics readers will recall that New York passed a video game law in 2008 mandating – redundantly – that game packages display ratings and that consoles offer parental control features. The video game industry did not bring a legal challenge, however, since those remedies were already in place and the law did not threaten sales.

Isn’t the First Amendment supposedly incorporated? Does he really expect this to stand up in court?