In the week following the Israeli boarding of boats piloted by Turkish “peace activists” off the coast of Gaza, Caroline Glick and the good folks at the Hebrew-language Israeli news site Latma created a parody video skewering the violent actions perpetrated by those “peace activists” against members of the Israeli authorities attempting to enforce the Gaza blockade. The video went up on YouTube and garnered three million views within a matter of days.
Created as a parody of the 1980s activist song “We are the World,” the Latma song was named “We Con the World” and humorously depicted an array of Palestinian supporters singing about how they’d fooled the world into thinking that it was the Israelis that were the bad guys in the Gaza blockade incident.
The video was very clever and hit just the right notes of humor being not too mean-spirited yet easily hitting home with its message. The humor of the video was wholly in keeping with western humor and not over-the-top or unduly offensive at all. Naturally, YouTube pulled it anyway.
On her website, Glick reports that the video’s creators were told by YouTube that the use of the original song, “We are the World,” was a copyright violation (Warner/Chappell Music.) But Glick disputes this claim.
Copyright experts we advised with before posting the song told us in no uncertain terms that we were within our rights to use the song because we did so in accordance with the Fair Use Doctrine. The Fair Use Doctrine, copied and pasted below from the US Copyright Office, stipulates that it is legal and permissible to use copyrighted material under the fair use doctrine for purposes of parody.
Glick reminds us that this isn’t the first time that YouTube has censored pro-Israeli videos and recounts that the Israeli Defense Force had its videos deleted by YouTube but had them reinstated later after mounting protests.
Glick is right to think that there is “something else going on here,” doubting that YouTube pulled the video over copyright concerns. After all, the video had been seen by over 3 million people and had been featured in numerous news reports already. Why pull the video at this late date?
Glick ascribes it to the anti-Israeli bias of the Google-owned YouTube site, and with its long history of censoring pro-Israel videos not to mention American conservative videos, it’s hard to dismiss her feelings.
The video can still be seen in a post by Ed Morrissey of HotAir.com. Morrissey found the video on YouTube and downloaded it before the Google folks deleted it.
Also a quick check of the media watchdog website Newsbusters.org reveals that YouTube has been pulling pro-conservative videos for a long time now. A search on Newsbusters of the phrase youtube pulls video gives results going back years.
Shouldn’t YouTube be supporting free and open debate?