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Google’s Transparency Report: Fight for the Future Responds

Google’s latest transparency report reveals that copyright holders are taking down over 250,000 URL’s*, more than the total for all of 2009.

Even more troubling, these numbers include cases where companies abused copyright to silence legitimate speech: criticism of their products, for example.

In 2011, Greenpeace uploaded a video to YouTube criticizing Nestle for its unfriendly environmental practices. Nestle lobbied to have the video removed on grounds of copyright infringement  [source].

“Copyright law is insanely out of date– it’s even illegal for kids to lip sync pop songs on Youtube.” said Fight for the Future’s Holmes Wilson, “Worse, we know there are many cases where companies have abused copyright law to silence legitimate criticism and political speech.”

“Beastie Boy Adam Yauch (MCA) got sued days after his death for a sample he used decades ago,” said Wilson,  ”Today’s young artists are more likely to live in fear of copyright law than think they will benefit from it– and these are the people copyright was intended to support.”

Examples of copyright holders overstepping their ownership online include cases like Brian Kamer, whose video was taken from YouTube, shown on The Jay Leno Show without his permission, and subsequently removed from YouTube with a copyright claim from Jay Leno’s parent company NBC Universal.

Kamer’s open letter to Jay Leno has gone viral.

Released by Fight for the Future which is a project of the Center for Rights, a nonprofit working to expand the internet's power for good

For India, the latest report available is still that for January - June 2011, released last December

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