The copyright moguls who police YouTube make the lives of those just looking for entertainment unnecessarily hard. There's something to be said for protecting your copyright, but sometimes things just get outrageous. The latest takedown is probably the most outrageous of them all.
TechDirt was pointed to one of those silly conspiracy theory videos that pop up on YouTube all the time. They're completely harmless and only serve to gather comments from the people who think wearing tin foil hats is fashionable. What's interesting is that the video was taken down with a copyright claim from not only NBC, but the Department of Homeland Security.
The video in question is available elsewhere and there is nothing in the video that would violate the copyright of CBS or the DHS. The clip is taken from Sky News, a subsidiary of Sky Broadcasting. The only group besides Sky who could take offense would be News Corp who owns a rather large stake in the company. The video also uses the Imperial March from Star Wars, which is owned by LucasFilm.
As you can see, nothing adds up whatsoever. CBS has no stake in this video being proliferated around the Internet, and the bad conspiracy theories that permeate the video should not be any threat whatsoever to the nation that DHS has to issue a takedown.
The folks at TechDirt attempted to contact CBS and the DHS on the matter, but were either issued a "no comment" or outright ignored. It's interesting to see this kind of reaction to a video that's so blatantly harmless.
Now that the video and its account have been taken down, the crazy conspiracy theorists are going to take this as a sign that that Obama administration is trying to cover up evidence. The same evidence that's available on about 85,000 other videos that deal with the conspiracy of a New World Order led by the Illuminati and Barack Obama.
The very idea that the DHS would get into the business of censoring videos on YouTube is absolutely insane. They have no copyright to defend and would only want to block a YouTube video if it featured some kind of threat to the security of the United States. The insane gibberish of a conspiracy theorist is fully protected free speech, even if it makes you question the sanity of the person saying it.
I'm going to go with TechDirt on this one though. It's still a little disturbing that the U.S. government is now issuing takedown requests of YouTube videos. Does that mean that the Obama administration or any other entity can now take down any video that they disagree with? Oh wait, they already have.