Last updated: October 15, 2008 - 8:21pm
YouTube responded to a copyright complaint by the presidential campaign of Sen John McCain (R-AZ) late Tuesday, telling the camp that its suggestion to fast-track reviews of Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown requests that pertain to political candidates and campaigns won't fly. The recommendation, made by McCain general counsel Trevor Potter in a Monday letter skirts the larger issue that YouTube "does not possess the requisite information about the content in user-uploaded videos to make a determination as to whether a particular takedown notice includes a valid claim of infringement." While presidential campaign-related video is "invaluable and worthy of the highest level of protection," YouTube attorney Zahavah Levine argued that "there is a lot of other content on our global site that our users around the world find to be equally important." She added that the site, which is owned by Google, also tries to "be careful not to favor one category of content over another, and to treat all of our users fairly, regardless of whether they are an individual, a large corporation or a candidate for public office." The real problem, Levine said, is entities that abuse the DMCA. Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge, said, "YouTube's response to the McCain/Palin campaign should be a wake-up call for Congress and for the next Administration that it is time to take a fresh look at the balance in copyright law. The letter demonstrated the real-world administration of a complex legal structure involved in the notice-and-take down procedures of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act."
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