A California police officer played Taylor Swift‘s’ White space’ in an attempt to avoid a Black lives are important activist uploading a video to Youtube – in the belief that the platform’s copyright detection system would block it.
It did not work.
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In fact, the video in question Not only was it successfully shared on YouTube, it went viral, attracting a lot of attention due to the controversy.
On June 29, BLM protesters gathered at the Alameda Country Courthouse in Oakland, California, prior to a pre-trial hearing for Jason Fletcher, a former police officer accused of murdering Steven Taylor, a black man, inside of a Walmart store in 2020.
As captured on video, an Alameda County Sheriff’s Office officer confronts one of the protesters, James Burch of the Police Antiterrorist Project (APTP), to demand that Burch remove the banner from his group.
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Burch asks why the banner needs to be moved, before the policeman pulls out his cell phone and starts playing Swift’s song.
Burch, confused, says, “Do we have a dance party now?”
The officer finally admits: “You can record anything you want. I just know that it can’t be posted on YouTube.”
Later, the officer, identified as Sergeant David Shelby, reiterates to Burch: “I am putting my music so that I cannot post on YouTube.”
The video has been viewed more than 479,000 times since it was shared Thursday.
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Free speech advocates condemned a law enforcement official’s attempt to use copyright law, but was unsuccessful, to try to avoid public scrutiny and try to thwart First Amendment rights. of Americans.
“This video of a police officer taking advantage of copyright laws to avoid accountability is the latest chilling example in a line of abuse that stretches back decades,” said Lia Holland, director of campaigns and communications from the digital rights group Fight for the Future, in a statement.
“The United States must fundamentally reform our archaic and corrupt copyright system to put the interests of artists and the public first in the digital age. The last thing we should do is give copyright monopolies more power to and abuse the police more tools to evade accountability. “
Police have reportedly tried to exploit copyright removal rules to try to block videos from online services before.
In February, according to a Vice News According to the report, a Beverly Hills police officer performed Sublime’s ‘Santeria’ while activist Sennett Devermont attempted to film the encounter contesting a ticket that had been issued to him, evidently to prevent video of the conversation from being streamed live online.
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On an earlier occasion, another BHPD officer criticized The Beatles’ “In My Life” while Devermont was shooting a video.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office has referred the incident to an internal affairs unit for investigation, the Washington Post reported.
The department does not have a policy on “whether Taylor Swift or music can be played in an attempt to censor YouTube content from a public gathering,” said spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly.
However, he said, the sheriff’s office does not “approve” of the deputy’s actions, adding that “there is a code of conduct on how we should behave in public.”
YouTube’s Content ID automated copyright marking system looks for a match between a referenced file (provided by a copyright holder) and a new video upload.
If there is a success, YouTube enforces a policy to track, monetize, or block the video, based on the preference selected by the Content ID owner. According to YouTube, Content ID claims are typically “just to track or monetize the video, not to block it.”
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