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Broadcast Company Tries to Manipulate Copyright to Avoid Criticism

In late June of 2011, media advocacy group Free Press launched their "Change the Channels" campaign, condemning examples of covert media consolidation around the United States. A week later, broadcast company Newport Television sent over a cease-and-desist letter, alleging that Free Press infringed on its copyrights by showing a brief image of affiliated news logos during a campaign video. Newport also filed a takedown notice, compelling YouTube as an intermediary online service provider to remove the video under the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

However, Free Press' use of the logos is clearly a fair use for the purpose of education and commentary. This provision prevents rightsholders from abusing copyright to silence critics and stifle legitimate free speech. In addition, to sending a boldly worded response letter to Newport Television, Free Press filed a counter-notice, requiring YouTube to restore the original video.

Original Title of Threatened Content: 
Change the Channels – Expose Covert Media Consolidation Now
Date of threat or takedown: 
July 1, 2011
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