Thursday, November 21, 2013

Help stop DMCA abuse and homophobia at the same time

Today I found out that former U.S. Navy chaplain turned far right fundamentalist Christian and notorious homophobic, Gordon "Dr. Chaps" Klingenschmitt, manged to get Right Wing Watch's Youtube account suspended after filing a series of bogus copyright claims (I.E. a DMCA attack) because the page hosted several one to two minute video clips showcasing his blatant bigotry.

This is the second time this has happen in the past two weeks (read about it here, here, here, and here) and despite already having restored it once after RWW filed a counter claim that clearly demonstrated that they do infact have every right to use those video clips under the FAIR USE Act (not to mention the 1st Amendment, which also allows Mr. Klingenschmitt to continue to spread his hate speech, as well as allows me and RWW to call it hate speech), Youtube decided to side with "Dr. Chaps" and took down the page again.

Youtube is ofcourse notorious for taking down both videos and entire pages after someone files a false DMCA claim, and not even doing any investigation into the claim to see if there is any validity to the claim (as is the case here). The way that Youtube handles these DMCA claims basically allows most people to get away with suppressing information about a group, or a single person, or themselves, that puts them in a bad light (again, as in the case here). That, or it's used as a form of information gathering because Youtube requires a user to send a certain amount of personnel information that would be made available to the person filing the DMCA claim to begin the counter claim process.

This type of abusive behavior needs to stopped, and it can be stopped, and here are a couple of ways you can do that:

First, you can go to Youtube's Twitter page and tell them to restore Right Wing Watch's account and to revise there takedown policy to keep abuse like this from happening (go here to ask them).

Second (and the one that I most recommend), you can sign a petition started by Right Wing Watch and it's parent group, People For the American Way, asking Youtube to restore RWW's account, and to stop abuse of it's own takedown policies (go here to sign the petition).

This in my opinion is just another example of why the DMCA needs either a heavy overhaul, or needs to be repelled entirely and replaced with something much better, and also what lengths that a homophobic bigot will go to (or really anyone with a extremist and/or harmful agenda) inorder to suppress criticism not only of themselves, but also what they claim to believe in.

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