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IOC Censors Up to Their Old Tricks

Blog posts are the work of individual contributors, reflecting their thoughts, opinions and research.

2010 Olympics

by Chris Johnson, B Channel News

You may remember the brief controversy that ensued during the 2008 Bejing Olympics when the International Olympic Committee requested that YouTube remove a video by Students for a Free Tibet. That video, a montage of scenes from Tibet protests around the world, briefly shows the Olympic rings in a few shots.

The IOC had made a request for take-down under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, to which YouTube responded to by removing the video, but then later questioned the IOC on.

Corynne McSherry, an attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation stated at the time that such takedown requests have little to do with copyright infringement, but are instead "timed to directly interfere with the impact of a political message."

The IOC then retracted it's request, and the video was reposted.

So far during these 2010 Winter Olympics, the most prominent case of the IOC requesting the removal of a video has been that related to the fatal crash of a Georgian Luger. Fair Use has been invoked as a claim to the media's rights to rebroadcast the footage of the luger's death. While the YouTube video was removed, it seems the IOC is fighting a losing battle, as the video had already gone viral, and is easily available for viewing.

The Vancouver Media Co-op has also felt the effects of the IOC's mis-use of the DMCA. A video entitled "Festival of Resistance", which shows portions of speeches given at the February 12 "Take Back Our Streets" rally, has also been removed by YouTube, and replaced with the message "This video contains content from International Olympic Committee, who has blocked it on copyright grounds."

The video can still be viewed here.

One would assume, after viewing the video, that the IOC takes offense to a brief shot of a sign held by a marcher which questions the green legacy of the games and inserts corporate logos in each of the five olympic rings. 

The Vancouver Media Co-op has more options in this case than simply rolling over and accepting this removal. It falls upon the poster of the the video to assert their fair-use rights and file a DMCA counter-notification. YouTube provides instructions for this process here


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