YouTube has removed "We Con the World," a spoof clip created by a satirical Israeli website, Latma TV, to mock media coverage of what The Jerusalem Post calls "the Gaza-bound 'aid' flotilla." The music video, which portrays some of those aboard as terrorists, went viral after the Israeli government press office mistakenly sent it to journalists. While YouTube says it is protecting Warner Music's copyright on the original Michael Jackson song "We Are the World," some commentators aren't buying it. Is YouTube attempting to silence critical Israeli activists? (Watch the video below)
Obviously, YouTube is hostile to Israel: Not only is this parody "legal and permissible" under U.S. copyright law, says conservative Israeli journalist Caroline Glick, who helped create the video, but "this is not YouTube's first move to silence Israeli voices." In 2008, when the Israeli Defense Force "began posting combat footage on its channel to bypass the anti-Israel media," the site did the same thing. As our success distributing the video elsewhere will prove, YouTube was "messing with the wrong Jews."
"YouTube silences Latma, removes 'We Con the World'"
Keep YouTube out of it: "Chances are," says Frances Martel in Mediaite, "YouTube is just trying to keep itself out of trouble by removing a video making light of a tragic situation in which everyone with an opinion is extremely passionate." Either that, or "Warner Music itself wants to stay out of the fray," and forced YouTube "to tag along." They could have simply flagged the video as "inappropriate," but it's no mystery why these companies want out of this fight.
"YouTube removes Israeli flotilla attack parody video for... copyright infringement?"
YouTube is within its rights: Like it or not, says Ed Morrissey in Hot Air, "it’s YouTube’s site, and they can do what they want with it." They "are no more a public utility" than any other website, "and subscribers have to deal with their editorial decisions." That said, "content producers may want to start looking for alternatives to YouTube," so they can better "control where and how their content gets published."
"Inevitable: YouTube pulls 'We Con the World' video"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Half the world's population lives in these 6 countries
- How a degree from Duke University dashed my dreams of buying a home
- This is why you can't trust the NSA. Ever.
- Innocent before proven guilty? The bizarre bipartisan rush to clear Rick Perry
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- ISIS and the echoes of the West's religious terror
- 4 things NASA can teach you about a good night's sleep
- 7 of the scariest spiders in existence
Subscribe to the Week