Legal Insurrection, one of my favorite websites, must have hit a nerve when it mocked the abject defeat of the pro-terror caucus at the annual convention of the Modern Language Association. Long story short, a tiny group of terror-sympathizers had organized a scheme to put a much larger association, the MLA, on record in support of BDS, this would be Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions imposed on Israel as opposed to the wider known and more popular Bondage, Dominance, and Sadomasochism.
Part of Legal Insurrection’s take-down was a video by a participant of the vote that shows the vote and the pathetic anguish of pathetic and useless people over losing a pathetic and useless vote.
Well, Hell hath no fury like a progressive terror-ally mocked.
The YouTube channel of influential conservative politics and law website Legal Insurrection has been removed by the video sharing service, citing copyright infringement claims.
“This account has been terminated because we received multiple third-party claims of copyright infringement regarding material the user posted,” explains YouTube, in a notice posted to channel’s page.
Legal Insurrection founder and publisher and Cornell University Law Professor William Jacobson voiced his anger and astonishment at the channel’s removal. “It’s very frustrating, it’s very scary, to have 8 years of content removed without a chance to defend yourself,” he told FoxNews.com.
In an email, Jacobson said that he never received notice of the claims prior to the channel’s removal on Thursday. On Friday the publisher received notification from YouTube that the copyright claims were filed by the Modern Languages Association (MLA) based on audio posted of a recent MLA vote on a resolution to boycott Israeli universities. The boycott resolution at the MLA Delegate Assembly failed.
If you’ve dealt with academics very much you quickly learn they believe that large numbers of them believe their every utterance is so original and so precious that it deserves copyright protection. Some even believe the notes students take during class are covered by copyright. The same apparently applies to their tears of outrage.
What obviously happened is that some of the audience were offended that their assclownery was caught on video and revealed to the world and they filed copyright claims. It looks like they did much more than object to one video but rather went after a lot of Jacobson’s videos, some of which are original content. (Full disclosure, during the primary season my YouTube Channel was the target of guerrilla warfare by Trumpistos who were incensed by my posts and filed serial copyright violation notices against me — sort of ironic as now I am being called a ‘Trump supporter.’)
Jacobson, who is a real lawyer, responded:
Please consider this a Counter-Notification, as provided under the YouTube guidelines, https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6005919 and https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6005908, in response to a group of copyright complaints filed with YouTube by the Modern Language Association (MLA) as set forth in your prior email.
We are not aware of any copyright held by any party in connection with the videos, which consist of portions of oral remarks made by several speakers at a meeting. Any copyright that could be claimed would be owned, if at all, by the speakers themselves unless assigned by them to the MLA. MLA in its copyright complaints to YouTube claims to own the copyright itself, not an assignee. Neither the MLA nor any speaker alerted us to any copyright claim or provided us with a copyright registration.
Moreover if there is a bona fide prima facie copyright claim, our use is a fair use because it consists of less than 15 minutes of material, cumulatively for several 1-2 minute excerpts, from a two hour original MLA collation of these speakers’ remarks thus constituting a small portion of the material. Furthermore our posting constitutes comment or news reporting in connection with an issue of public interest. We reported on this news event here, http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/01/massive-defeat-for-bds-at-modern-language-association/. Additionally the use will have no affect on the “market” for the original work, which is non-existent.
Since we vigorously dispute the copyright claims, which were filed in a single bunch, and previous to this had no violations of YouTube’s Terms of Service or the Copyright Act, we request restoration of the account pending resolution of these specific claims.
And then YouTube decided to do the right thing:
UPDATE: As of approximately 7:30 p.m. on January 13, 2017, our YouTube Channel was restored, though there are still legal battles to come over the videos.
A happy ending for Jacobson and Legal Insurrection. But, unfortunately, that is how these people roll. Someone with less legal savvy or resources would have been out of luck.