During this campaign season, the use of DCMA takedown demands have become weapons. I found out that posting any of the hilarious douchebaggery that Donald Trump says in any given interview often resulted in the video being hit with a takedown demand by and sandy-crotched Branch Trumpidian. But rarely, if ever, has a candidate demanded that YouTube take down his own ad.
During his 2010 re-election campaign, John McCain ran an ad touting his he-manly toughness on immigration. It features him moping through the desert with Pinal (AZ) County Sheriff Paul Babeu who has endorsed Donald Trump for president.
It was described this way by ABC News:
Sen. John McCain has released a tough-talking television ad that blames illegal immigrants for “home invasions [and] murders” and calls for the completion of the “danged fence” along the U.S.-Mexico border, reversing years of criticizing such a barrier.
Walking along the incomplete fence with Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, McCain says: “drug and human smuggling, home invasions, murder.” To, which Babeu responds, “We’re outmanned. Of all the illegals in America, more than half come through Arizona.”
Babeu tells McCain that his proposal for curbing illegal immigration is a perfect plan: “You bring troops, state, county and local law enforcement together.”
“And,” adds McCain, “complete the danged fence.”
“It’ll work this time. Senator, You’re one of us,” Babeu replies.
This year McCain is running on the same ticket as a president who also wants to “complete the danged fence.” You’d think he would be happy to pull this out of the archives, dust it off, and run it again. Right? Right?
His Democrat challenger, Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, pretty much did that. She took the 2010 John McCain ad, burned in Spanish subtitles, and released it on YouTube. Hilarity ensued.
That’s right. McCain’s campaign demanded that Kirkpatrick take down McCain’s own ad.
The ad in question was not blocked because of its content, according to Lorna Romero, a McCain campaign spokeswoman.
“The Kirkpatrick campaign launched a digital ad which was a clear copyright violation and YouTube agreed,” Romero said.
The subtitled TV spot was reinstated Thursday, but it was not immediately clear if YouTube acted unilaterally or with input from the McCain campaign.
Mitchell argued that political ads fall under fair use regulations, a notoriously difficult-to-interpret area of copyright law. According to Stanford University, fair use of copyrighted content must either fall under “commentary and criticism” or “parody.”
The whole argument is totally specious. The McCain campaign put the ad on YouTube with the “embed” feature enabled just so people could use the ad. This shows they were not concerned about copyright. The Kirkpatrick campaign burning in accurate Spanish subtitles, if anything, added value to the ad because naturally McCain wants to communicate to Hispanic voters. Right? If anything, his campaign should be sending Kirkpatrick a check for the work.
This is the restored ad.
Out of curiosity, I visited http://completethedangedfence.com/ and it consists of this cryptic and somewhat ominous message:
I am more or less agnostic on John McCain’s re-election. Actually, that isn’t true, I’m less than more. John McCain symbolizes much of what is wrong with the substance-free, Failure Theater driven, establishment GOP that has create the Donald Trump Frankenstein. No sane person ever thought McCain cared about border security. He’s too much in bed with the US Chamber of Commerce and knows its insatiable demand for cheap, disposable labor. McCain was simply pandering to Arizonans who were living with the impact of McCain’s acts. Now this duplicity is coming back to bite him in the ass. Like it or not, he is joined at the hip with Donald Trump on immigration and if he goes down in flames it will be because he made that decision to pander. He, as Christopher Hitchens said of Bill Clinton, has no one left to lie to.