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IOC Forces YouTube Removal Of Tibet Protest Video

Copyright claim spurs greater awareness of protest video

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The presence of the Olympic’s five interlocking rings in a video of a protest against Chinese control of Tibet led to the International Olympic Committee claiming copyright infringement.

When YouTube receives a properly filled out DMCA takedown notice, the video sharing site reacts in an animal-like, stimulus/response manner, and down goes the video. It isn’t the fault of YouTube that it has to react this way, but that of the DMCA and its safe harbor provisions.

Free Tibet protesters carried out a video protest in Manhattan, projecting images on the side of the Chinese consulate there. The Olympic logo appeared as one of many images put on display, and recorded on video.

The video also showed the Olympic rings turning into handcuffs, something that probably upset the IOC organizers more than the display of the rings themselves. When video of the protest landed on YouTube and started picking up attention, IOC responded with their copyright complaint.

YouTube displays no thoughtfulness or judgment in pulling down videos; again, that’s a result of the DMCA law and, unfortunately, a sensible action in our extremely litigious country.

However, the now high-profile video has a home on Vimeo, and thanks to that site’s embedding features, others can post and share the protest video as they like.


NYC Chinese Consulate Projection Action 08.07.08 from Students for a Free Tibet on Vimeo.

IOC Forces YouTube Removal Of Tibet Protest Video
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  • http://www.warmfront.co.uk Energy Efficiency

    Technically it may be breaking copyright but the reason they don’t like the video is clearly not for its potential breach of copyright. The idea of copyright is to stop others from profiting from your own work, sadly it can be used like this to stop people saying what you don’t like them saying.

    Good job Vimeo!

  • http://olympicoverage.com Paralympics

    Even if youtube removed everything, there are still 100 other streaming sites