McCain and the DMCA: Extreme irony alert

It’s almost too good (or bad) to be believed: John McCain, the U.S. presidential candidate who as a senator supported the draconian rules included in Digital Millennium Copyright Act, now finds himself begging YouTube to stop removing his campaign’s video clips. YouTube has been taking them down because they contain excerpts from news broadcasts, and broadcasters are claiming that is copyright infringement. The McCain campaign is put in the uncomfortable position of arguing that those excerpts are “fair use,” and that YouTube should knock it off.

YouTube has responded to the McCain campaign (while stifling a chuckle, perhaps?) that it can’t play favourites just because the senator is in the midst of an election campaign, and that while Mr. McCain no doubt thinks his clips are of extra importance, “there is a lot of other content on our global site that our users around the world find to be equally important.” Then comes the real zinger: YouTube’s general counsel Zahavah Levine says that: “We hope that as a content uploader, you have gained a sense of some of the challenges we face everyday in operating YouTube.” Bam.

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