ANN7 video “censorship” fight-back

Numerous Africa News Network 7 (ANN7) videos have been removed from YouTube after copyright infringement claims by Aiplex Software. Some users are fighting back, including TV critic Thinus Ferreira.

Aiplex Software said that they have been authorized to remove any videos or footage which have the ANN7 logo.

Many of the ANN7 video clips uploaded to YouTube highlighted teething problems and blunders at the news station.

The removal of the ANN7 video clips were not well received by some South African Internet users who felt that it was a form of censorship.

One of the people whose ANN7 video clips was removed is Thinus Ferreira, a TV critic and journalist for Channel24. He is not taking it lying down.

Ferreira said that he has filed a counter-notification with YouTube, arguing that the clips do not constitute copyright infringement and are within the limits of fair use.

“The fair use clips – recorded to show the mistakes and sub-standard quality of broadcasting of a factual news TV channel – have been recorded by TV with Thinus with cellphone camera,” Ferreira said in a blog post.

“I’m not sure whether others are also filing counter-notifications with YouTube to have their clips enabled again, but I believe the clips should be restored.”

ANN7 could not be reached for comment.

YouTube’s fair use rules

The four factors of fair use:

1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for non-profit educational purposes

Courts typically focus on whether the use is “transformative.” That is, whether it adds new expression or meaning to the original, or whether it merely copies from the original.

2. The nature of the copyrighted work

Using material from primarily factual works is more likely to be fair than using purely fictional works.

3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole

Borrowing small bits of material from an original work is more likely to be considered fair use than borrowing large portions. However, even a small taking may weigh against fair use in some situations if it constitutes the “heart” of the work.

4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work

Uses that harm the copyright owner’s ability to profit from his or her original work are less likely to be fair uses. Courts have sometimes made an exception under this factor in cases involving parodies.

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ANN7 video “censorship” fight-back