Copyright As Censorship: Newport Television (Troll) Abusing DMCA To Try To Silence Criticism

Another day, another case of someone abusing copyright law (and the DMCA specifically) to try to stifle criticism. Before we get into the details, let me be clear on one thing: as I was just discussing last week, I don’t think the panics about “media consolidation” are really that reasonable in this day and age. As such, I find myself very much on the other side, philosophically, with Free Press on its new “Save The News” campaign against media consolidation. As far as I’m concerned, if dinosaur media organizations want to merge, let them. That just opens up more opportunities for upstarts. So, even as someone who isn’t impressed by the campaign, I’m 100% behind them on their response to Newport Television, an operation so upset by this campaign that it’s abusing copyright law to stifle Free Press’ criticism.

The crux of Free Press’ argument is that local TV stations are skirting media ownership rules by setting up joint operations with other channels to share costs. Basically, it allows operations to consolidate without technically being owned by the same operation. As an example, they pointed to Newport’s WAWS-TV and WTEV-TV, which share services and have a consolidated news room. They included a screenshot of the two websites and logos briefly in a video discussing this. Free Press points to this video, but, for the life of me, I can’t see either station mentioned or their logos anywhere.

Either way, showing a screenshot and a log in such cases is clearly not a copyright violation at all. But Newport Television not only sent a bogus cease-and-desist (embedded below) to Free Press, but also issued a bogus DMCA takedown to YouTube, who took down the video. Free Press, of course, is not one to back down and has filed a counternotice and responded sternly to Newport Television, which has just called a lot more attention to its news sharing practices, whether you think they’re a good idea or a bad idea.

This is a clear case of Newport Television abusing copyright law and the DMCA, in particular, to stifle and censor critical commentary. Even if you disagree with Free Press on this issue (as I do), I at least believe they have the right to be heard. In fact, if anything, Newport Television’s actions here make me more sympathetic to Free Press’ position here than I would be otherwise.

Sourced from TechDirt

Activist, Unplugged from the Matrix. Action for Freedom!

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Posted in Corporate Censorship
4 comments on “Copyright As Censorship: Newport Television (Troll) Abusing DMCA To Try To Silence Criticism
  1. aeliusblythe says:

    “…also issued a bogus DMCA takedown to YouTube, who took down the video.”

    That’s actually what bothers me most in this whole issue. YouTube has been acting like a bunch of complete tools lately, taking down videos right and left at the merest suggestion (forget proof) that they violate … what? In most cases (including this one) it isn’t even clear that there is a violation.

    I’m also not exactly panicking about media consolidation. But if independent news sources/organizations/individuals are having their views censored, then we have a problem.

  2. NMC says:

    YouTube has always been a tool. It doesn’t take to much to get kicked off there if you violate the terms of service by posting copyrighted material. What I have found that it is sometimes not the copyright infraction, but the context in which it is used.

    If you post a vid that everyone likes because it is basically for the mindless then it generally stays. But, if you use a news video or make your own video using some sort of music or news footage to spread the truth then you will get the dreaded first strike.

    I and many others have been kicked off YT, Viddler and Veoh just to name a few because we steppe into the area known as Fair Use and have been the subject of YT’s bull.

    And YT will not listen to you because they are tools who want to stay afloat at the costs of truth tellers because advertisers don’t want to be associated with us.

    A friend started a site at It costs you a little money, but the three strikes thing is so much bulls*&t. I had one video pulled only because F%&*@* said it was copyrighted.. It was pulled and that was the end of that.

    I use YT only because it is a necessary evil, like Facebook. But, I still have many videos at sureYnot, full length mind you. A little money gets alot done. And as I know this person, I know for sure it is not a front as they feel the same as I, that censorship in any form is wrong.

  3. NMC says:

    This my address at sureYnot:

  4. Alice says:

    Maria Elena James is the only magistrate judge in the 9th ciurict who routinely grants the troll’s discovery, even now after these cases started to get thrown out and/or severed for misjoinder in her district. A few of her cases she kicked up to district judges, who quashed her subpoena, so she is definitely aware of the precedents in her district and probably doesn’t care. Trolls are counting on her alone to pay their bills at this point, as without the possibility of their case being assigned to her so she can grant their application for discovery, they can save their $350 filing fee.Hopefully she hasn’t been paid off so richly that she can ignore this one.

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