Slashdot has a story
about how the IOC invoked the DMCA to take down a pro-Tibet video that presumably offended it by showing the famous five rings being used as handcuffs or otherwise. The IOC appears to be doing a great job of censoring protest that would offend the Chinese government.
Follow the link to the Vimeo site
and watch while you can. Warning - the video shows bloody and maybe even dead bodies.
This is not copyright infringement by any stretch under American case law. YouTube caved and took the video down, even though it could have assumed a minuscule theoretical risk and ignored the clearly baseless and abusive DMCA take down notice. Needless to say, this is disappointing and doesn't augur well for free speech or a "do no evil" approach.
It's clearly unrealistic to expect the protesters to fight back to put the video up - since this could risk exposure to the Chinese authorities. Would a protester in China who wishes to protest the YouTube takedown, be rational in providing, as required, by the DMCA:
The subscriber's name, address, and telephone number, and a statement that the subscriber consents to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which the address is located, or if the subscriber's address is outside of the United States, for any judicial district in which the service provider may be found, and that the subscriber will accept service of process from the person who provided notification under subsection (c)(1)(C) or an agent of such person.
I'm sure that the Chinese authorities would be quite interested in this information.
This is what the DMCA is all about. Bill C-61 is not quite as bad in this respect, as it is based upon notice and notice, rather than notice and takedown. This is one of the few positive aspects of Bill C-61. But, the sound recording and film folks may not be content to let it rest that way and may push for the "American way" if the Bill reaches Committee.UPDATE AUGUST 18, 2008.Apparently YouTube responded to copious criticism, including from your's truly, and questioned the IOC about this. The IOC relented and withdrew its takedown notice. This time.But what about next time? The incident shows the potential for unchecked abuse of an American style notice and take down regime, which certain predictable American dominated trade associations will likely demand if the Canadian Bill C-61 moves forward as is.