A new – and dishonest – tool in the progressive far-left toolbox

It seems some progressives are prepared to deliberately twist copyright laws to use them against those whose political views they abhor.

RJ Jones writes, “My friend gave me a tip! If you need to drown out fascists, bring a speaker & play copyrighted music at their rallies cause it will be easy to report their videos & get them taken down for copyright.”

This is a reference to Youtube’s idiotic Content ID automated takedown system (soon to be mandatory for all online platforms in the EU), which indiscriminately blocks anything that it believes to contain a copyrighted work. It’s not clear whether Jones is describing a hypothetical or a reality, but a reliable source in Berlin tells me that this is an established counterprotest tactic there.

. . .

The reality is that incidental background music at a political rally is not a copyright infringement, but automated systems can’t make sense of fair use claims, which require human judgment.

The inability of Content ID to tell fair use from infringement is a feature, not a bug. It’s why 7 hours worth of lectures at a scientific symposium were wiped out when the cameras picked up some copyrighted music being played during the lunch break.

There’s more at the link.

It’s logical, of course.  Take human beings out of the judgment loop, automate systems to delete anything resembling copyright infringement, and sooner or later someone will use those systems against you – or against anyone with whom they have any kind of disagreement.  Attack, meet defense.  Irresistible force, meet immovable object.

As long as honesty is removed from our political discourse (which it has been for years, if not generations), this sort of thing will continue.  All we can do is remain alert for it, call attention to it when we see it, and put pressure on service providers to continually improve their systems to avoid being used in this way.



  1. This is just one step closer to just shooting lefties wherever they're found.

    No idea how many steps are left but it is a finite number.

  2. This is a common problem, not always caused by the enemy. A great example is RightSide Broadcasting https://rsbnetwork.com/ the folks that live stream as many Trump rallies as they can. They show the crowds and other stuff the mainstream media don't show but their live coverage is often muted and voice-overed due to the event organizers playing music for the crowd. More than a couple seconds of the music even playing in the background to an interview results in the video being taken down.

  3. Didn't have a video taken down, just couldn't post it. Son (a couple of years ago) Was rocking out to some Disturbed and having a grand old time. Since the music was in the background, I wasn't allowed to post the cute video.

  4. I once had an automated copyright clash due to counter-protesters merely playing the bongo drums during a live recording of speeches. It took a human at YouTube (and another example clip from the same event) to have it overturned.

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