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McCain Campaign Protests YouTube's DMCA Policy 597

Colz Grigor writes "It appears that CBS and Fox have submitted DMCA takedown notices to YouTube for videos from the McCain campaign. The campaign is now complaining about YouTube's DMCA policy making it too easy for copyright holders to remove fair-use videos. I hope they pursue this by addressing flaws in the DMCA."
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McCain Campaign Protests YouTube's DMCA Policy

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  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @08:11AM (#25380943) Journal
    Is it wrong for me to hope that the same thing happens to Obama so that when either of them win, they remember the idiocy that is the DMCA and reform it?
    • by bigstrat2003 ( 1058574 ) * on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @08:16AM (#25380977)

      Is it wrong for me to hope that the same thing happens to Obama so that when either of them win...

      No, it isn't.

      they remember the idiocy that is the DMCA and reform it?

      It is naive of you to hope for this part, though. Good luck with that.

    • by Tx ( 96709 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @08:21AM (#25381029) Journal

      The sad thing is they won't. Here they have clear and direct personal experience of the DMCA as currently implemented preventing legitimate content from being posted. You'd think that would do it. But they're* pleading special case for politicians, rather than calling for reform of the DMCA as a whole. And if they're taking that stance now, while the issue is hot and they might win a few votes for challenging an unpopular law, there's little chance of them turning around and calling for reform later.

      *I say they, I'll pretty much bet the Obama camp takes a similar stance to the McCain camp, I guess we'll see.

      • by cduffy ( 652 ) <> on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @08:36AM (#25381167)

        It's completely different provisions that make the DMCA unpopular.

        Shielding service providers as long as they promptly process takedowns and put content back up on counter-notices is a Good Thing; without it YouTube wouldn't exist. Moreover, the DMCA provides for legal penalties if misused -- if a supposed copyright holder has something taken back down after the person who posted it gave a counter-notice, they're on the hook if such was done wrongly.

        The McCain campaign is presumably whining about the process because the information they're trying to promulgate is time-sensitive (only relevant up to the election) and they don't want the downtime it takes to provide counter-notices -- but once they do provide counter-notices, CBS/NBC/whoever won't be able to have it taken back down without risking their own necks. It's a good process, though, and I don't see any reason to fill it with loopholes.

        The parts of the DMCA that make it illegal to circumvent the dongle check in the 15-year-old piece of accounting software my consulting client's small business uses (company long out of business, dongle recently broken) are complete BS, but the takedown and counter-notice process is reasonable.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by zenyu ( 248067 )

          It's completely different provisions that make the DMCA unpopular.

          The take down process and it's liability shield is probably the only half way decent part of an extremely flawed bill. But that does not mean that it is a "Good Thing", I've had my internet and phone service interrupted because of the "take it down and ask questions later" culture it has spawned at ISPs. In my case it was due to a bogus DMCA complaint from EMI on an IP address in a block that had been allocated to me, but hadn't even been pla

      • by IndustrialComplex ( 975015 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @08:42AM (#25381215)

        *I say they, I'll pretty much bet the Obama camp takes a similar stance to the McCain camp, I guess we'll see.

        Well, one way to hold Obama's feet to the fire is to say that you will vote for McCain if Obama doesn't say that he will reform the DCMA.

        Here is the thing, if this issue really is that important to you, then you must be willing to make sacrifices (Voting for McCain if you were planning to vote Obama, or the reverse). They need to know that their position, or lack thereof is worse than people not voting for them, they are actively voting against them. It is a bitter pill to swallow, for them and us. Who will blink first?

        This holds true for whatever candidate you support. Threaten to withdraw that support, and mean it, if there are issues you need addressed. The other candidate may not be what you prefer, but you can be damned sure that all promises made to special interests will be forgotten if keeping them means costing them the actual election. If there is one thing that politicians like more than lobbyist money, it is winning the election in the first place.

        If IP/copyright reform is as important to Slashdotters as we claim, then you HAVE to take positions like this to force it to be a real issue. Again, a bitter pill, and not for everyone, but you have to ask yourself, how important is copyright reform to me?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mosch ( 204 )

          > Well, one way to hold Obama's feet to the fire is to say that you will vote for McCain if Obama doesn't say that he will reform the DCMA.

          Sure. This makes sense if you believe the DMCA is more important than differing stances on foreign policy, education, science, health care, economic policy, neocolonialism, women's rights, etc, etc....

          Personally I have trouble imagining anybody, from either party, switching their affiliation based on the DMCA.

    • by neoform ( 551705 ) <> on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @08:23AM (#25381059) Homepage

      If anything happens, they'll just see to it that the DMCA doesn't apply to political ads.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Rogerborg ( 306625 )

      Is it wrong for me to hope that the same thing happens to Obama so that when either of them win, they remember the idiocy that is the DMCA and reform it?

      Obama was 8* when the DMCA was passed. McCain voted for it. I know which one I'd rather see burned by it now.

      * Some rounding is involved here.

  • by BadAnalogyGuy ( 945258 ) <> on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @08:16AM (#25380983)

    Why should McCain be against takedowns? That seems to be the entirety of his election strategy this year.

  • Oh please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Exanon ( 1277926 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @08:17AM (#25380993)
    To think that the DMCA defenders would actually change their minds over this is ridiculous. They wont care about the DMCA since it doesn't affect them for the most part. Once the videos are back, the DMCA will once again be "a much needed weapon to save hundreds of thousands of jobs in the US, it said so right here in this report".
  • by cduffy ( 652 ) <> on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @08:21AM (#25381033)

    McCain voted for a bill (the DMCA) that made service providers responsible for doing an immediate takedown of content alleged to have been improperly posted regardless of the merits of the complaint if they wanted the fullest protections the law could provide. Complaining when a company is complying in full with that law hardly seems fitting.

    It's almost a shame the Obama campaign isn't submitting more content (defensible as fair use) that could be mechanically considered to infringe themselves; if this were the case, there would be less perception that YouTube is pushing a political agenda via their takedown process.

  • by cosmocain ( 1060326 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @08:24AM (#25381071)
    ...the whole letter []. While it's an interesting read - does anybody know if McCain voted pro-DMCA?
  • If this law is hampering your campaign, why did you vote for it, McCain?!

    I'd say you could potentially gain back some of your totally trampled credibility by suddenly proposing a repeal of the DMCA with your senate position, but I somehow doubt that such a miracle would occur...

  • Body of the letter (Score:3, Informative)

    by will_die ( 586523 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @08:42AM (#25381217) Homepage
  • by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @09:08AM (#25381425) Homepage

    Anyone remember this article?
    Obama Requests Creative Commons for Presidential Debates []

    That is when I started liking the guy. Seems like he was even more prescient than I thought.

  • by IndustrialComplex ( 975015 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @09:11AM (#25381447)

    I would love to have this question asked at tonight's debate.

    "Senator McCain, your campaign is complaining that it is being unfairly censored by the DMCA. How do you reconcile your complaint when you yourself voted for this exact measure?

    I'm no Obama supporter, but I'd love to watch him answer that question.

  • Ha Ha! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fujisawa Sensei ( 207127 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @09:18AM (#25381519) Journal
    Hey McCain,

    Its your bill, in at least the fact that you voted for it?

    Since you're a Senator are you going show some genuine spine, and sponsor legislation to change or repeal that POS?

  • by The Breeze ( 140484 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @09:36AM (#25381689) Homepage

    Here's a copy of an email I sent to my fellow Arizonan:

    Ah, John. Your ill-advised vote back in 1998 for the DMCA has come back to bite you. It was with great pleasure that I read that Youtube was taking down your campaign videos due to a DMCA demand by Fox and CBS. You helped pass it. Sir, Barry Goldwater was a conservative. William Buckley was a conservative. A conservative wants FEWER laws, not more. LESS government regulation, not more. A conservative encourages a business-friendly environment - NOT a "business gets anything it wants" environment. You have forgotten the difference, and now you are paying the price. Your presidential campaign is all but over. You have lost the conservative base with your poorly-thought-out desperate attempts to please everyone. You had us, right until you took the supremely idiotic step of suspending your campaign - which was a clear political ploy that backfired. Capitalism is vital, but part of the price of capitalism is sometimes suffering failure. Bankruptcy, too is part of the failure process - entrepreneurs and other people need to know that they have a chance to start over if they fail. Your vote on the Bankruptcy Act of 2005, making it MORE difficult for all but the richest Americans to declare bankruptcy was another gift to business. And still, you persist in giving business whatever they want, at the expense of average Americans, with your recent idiotic vote on the "Copyright Czar" legislation. The record companies and motion picture companies have a broken business model that is being supplanted by new technologies, and like your ridiculous bank bailout bill you have chosen to give them what they want rather than letting them pay the price of failure. I will be voting for Bob Barr this election, not out of any hope that he will win, but rather in the hope that Republican political operatives will realize that increasing numbers of their traditional base can no longer stomach voting for so-called "Republicans" who don't seem any different from Democrats. I look forward to supporting your continued efforts in the Senate on behalf of Arizona, but your presidential campaign is over.

  • Funny .... (Score:3, Funny)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @09:43AM (#25381759) Homepage

    If this was a 30 second video of a baby dancing to a Prince song, McCain wouldn't think that YouTube was doing anything untoward by obeying a take down video. The fact that this is a political message doesn't mean that YouTube pretty much has to comply with a DMCA notice if it actually looks valid, right?

    This seems more like it's whining over the fact that it's his video which is being taken down. Maybe he should be pissed at CBS and Fox for ordering the takedown of his stuff and sue them.

    This sounds like selective outrage to me. If Di$ney was issuing notices over Steam Boat Willie, McCain would think they're just protecting their interests and that's OK.


    • Re:Funny .... (Score:4, Informative)

      by DragonTHC ( 208439 ) <Dragon@gamersMEN ... com minus author> on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @10:44AM (#25382575) Homepage Journal

      I have to agree. He thinks his use isn't commercial. His goal may not be money, but it's definitely commercial. It's even called a commercial.

      He thinks he should be immune from the DMCA. I say BS. Since several artists have already complained about McCain using their work without authorization, I think it only fair.

      Jackson Browne has sued the McCain campaign, and Ann and Nancy Wilson have derided the McCain campaign for unauthorized use.

      I am glad McCain is getting a taste of his own medicine.

  • by jriding ( 1076733 ) on Wednesday October 15, 2008 @11:15AM (#25383123)

    Wow it really sucks when the rules that you agree to come back to bite you in the butt..

    next up I hope every senator and congressmen have to use the normal (what most people have) health insurance. Then maybe they will start to look at the health insurance companies and fix that.

    and no I do not be live in socializing medical treatment, but something should be done with the health insurance companies.

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