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Youtube Pulls "We Con the World" Parody

After it got over 3 million hits in barely a week, Youtube has removed the Latma parody video, “We Con the World.” Copyright or pressure?
By David Lev
First Publish: 6/12/2010, 10:25 PM / Last Update: 6/12/2010, 10:08 PM

IDF
After it got over 3 million hits in barely a week, Youtube has removed the Latma parody video, “We Con the World,” a satirical musical portrayal of the true intentions of the Turkish-Hamas 'love boat' captain, crew and passengers.

Beginning Friday night, viewers who tried to watch the video at its original link were greeted by a message stating that “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Warner/ Chappell Music, Inc.”

The removal was first discovered by journalist Caroline Glick, who edits the Hebrew language Latma website, which originated the video. According to Youtube, the video violated the copyright of the companies that own the rights to the “We Are the World” video, produced in the 1980s to raise money for hunger in Africa.
While it's true that the copyright to 'We Are the World' is owned by Warner/Chappell, says Glick, 'Copyright experts told us that we were within our rights to use the song because we did so in accordance with the Fair Use Doctrine.'

While it's true that the copyright to “We Are the World” is owned by Warner/Chappell, says Glick, “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 stipulates that it is legal and permissible to use copyrighted material under the fair use doctrine for purposes of parody,” she wrote.

According to the U.S. Copyright Office, “the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair  [could include] criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.” Considering that the video was satire produced for educational purposes, and was distributed for free, there is no reason the Fair Use doctrine should not be applied to the video, she wrote.

Youtube has not yet commented on the video's removal, but there were numerous campaigns on social media sites, like Facebook, to force the site to remove the video. There is no record of Youtube's removing the numerous anti-Israel videos put up by Arab groups.

This isn't the first time Youtube has removed pro-Israel videos; during Operation Cast Lead, Youtube temporarily removed videos distributed by the IDF showing Israel's side of the war. After protests, YouTube restored the videos, but flagged them with a statement that said "This video or group may contain content that is inappropriate for some users, as flagged by YouTube's user community. To view this video or group please verify that you are 18 or older by singing in and signing up." This is the same flag the site attaches to pornographic videos.

Meanwhile, as word has gotten out about the removal of the video, dozens of sites on the internet have been reposting it, and in fact, doing a search of “We Con the World” at Youtube will yield dozens of links posted by other people that still work at this point. One site where the video can still be seen is the WeJew site
Glick says that the video's removal has not dampened Latma's attempts to get Israel's truth out to the world. “Despite these obstacles, we at Latma have no intention of crying Uncle. By tomorrow, we will repost our song on blogs throughout the world.” Meanwhile, she wrote, “stay tuned for our next video next Thursday night.”

Note: Though at least one Youtube link no longer works, the clip can be seen elsewhere on Youtube, such as here