YouTube has terminated a channel belonging to conservative law blog Legal Insurrection due to alleged copyright violations — a move the blog’s founder believes is politically motivated.
Cornell University Law School professor and Legal Insurrection founder William A. Jacobson told Fox News that his blog’s channel was removed Thursday without notice.
An alert on the channel now reads, “This account has been terminated because we received multiple third-party claims of copyright infringement regarding material the user posted.”
Mr. Jacobson said he received notification Friday that the copyright claims were filed by the Modern Languages Association (MLA) regarding audio that Legal Insurrection recently posted of an MLA vote on a failed resolution to boycott Israeli universities.
“Clearly this was a politically motivated move,” Mr. Jacobson told Fox. “I never received any request or complaint from MLA. These were perfectly legitimate fair-use excerpts with great news value.
“This is an attempt to silence our reporting on a matter of great public importance,” he said. “We intend to pursue all available remedies, and call on YouTube to restore our account.”
Mr. Jacobson said his team has already filed an appeal with YouTube.
“We take copyright issues very seriously both on YouTube and our website,” he told Fox.” We have a large readership, and the videos that disappeared included substantial original content that has been shared widely at other websites.”
Mr. Jacobson also wrote about the ordeal in a blog post.
“We intend to fight this both at the YouTube and legal level,” he wrote. “It is highly questionable that MLA owns the copyright for oral presentations at the Annual Meeting, and even if it did, the limited excerpts we used from the nearly 2-hour video posted by MLA on YouTube are well within fair use.
“What I think is really going on here is that anti-Israel activists at MLA complained to MLA that MLA had posted the audio on YouTube. MLA took down its own 2-hour video and now seeks to silence our reporting,” he wrote.
According to YouTube, which is run by Google, owners of original work can submit a copyright complaint if their work is being used by others without authorization. YouTube users can also dispute the complaint if they feel their work was misidentified.