Scott Shackford on How An Anti-Piracy Law Became a Tool for Online Censorship


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In March, online video game critic Jim Sterling discovered that one of his YouTube videos had been yanked from the site due to claims of a copyright violation. The video in question was a review of an indie game called Skate Man Intense Rescue that included footage from the game. Sterling was apparently not a fan. The yanking of Sterling's video was not an accident or a mistake. The game studio, Digpex games, filed a claim using the tools provided by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1996 (DMCA) to order YouTube to take down the video. Now Sterling has to counter that claim. There's a process for that. In a way, this frustrating process is actually intended to protect companies that host content online, writes Scott Shackford. Bring on the unintended consequences.