Censorship in Canada's Copyright Debate?

Last week I received a take down notice from YouTube regarding a video I posted three years ago from an appearance on RoBTV which has since been rebranded as BNN.

Turns out I was not the only one. Jason Crocker from the Canadian Coalition for Electronic Rights also had some RoBTV/BNN videos pulled from YouTube.

Jason also did some digging to find that there were dozens of videos from BNN on YouTube and it was just the ones around the copyright issue that had been forcibly removed.

The easy conclusion to reach based on this limited data is that BNN is getting pressure to remove these particular videos. Perhaps in response to attempts to book guests who disagree with the arguments made in the videos? Those guests perhaps decline to appear on the channel out of a perception of bias against them due to the examples uploaded to YouTube?

The story has been picked up by ZeroPaid.com in the states, and its possible there were other people who's clips have been removed and we just haven't heard from them (yet).

Unfortunately this type of censorship does tend to be effective in part because it employs the very copyright laws we seek to reform. In this instance my appearance on a cable news channel was not something I was allowed to share because they claim ownership. While fun, I don't presently have the time to fight it, so instead I'll just cease doing business with BNN, and encourage others to do the same.

The video had been modestly popular, featuring a panel with myself and a CRIA (Canadian Recording Industry Association) representative. Now that discussion is gone, and you can bet the people at CRIA would never have the courage to debate me in public again.

Update: Rose Noonan from BNN promptly got in touch with me to clarify that in fact they are removing *all* BNN videos from YouTube. So this is not an example of censorship in Canada's copyright debate, and that they are not discriminating against a particular topic, but rather are removing the items regardless of the topic.

While I still disagree with their actions I acknowledge that they are not targeting copyright in particular nor do they wish to curtail the debate on this subject.

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