Four YouTube videos that had apparently been taken down earlier this week due to dubious copyright claims by the music publisher BMG Rights Management have once again become available to American audiences.
The videos showed President Obama singing the opening line of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together.” One of the videos, released by the Mitt Romney campaign, used the clip to portray President Obama as too friendly with political donors. The others were news coverage of his appearance at the Apollo Theater earlier this year.
“When we’re notified that a particular video uploaded to our site infringes another’s copyright, we remove the material in accordance with the law,” a YouTube spokeswoman told Ars by email. “We have a counter notification process in place if a user believes a content owner has misidentified their video, and we reinstate content if a user prevails in that process. We also reinstate videos in cases where we are confident that the material is not infringing, or where there is abuse of our copyright tools.”
I had expected YouTube to just leave these off but it looks like the videos are all back.
It would be nice if there was a little more transparency. But then, Google has been taking a weird and winding path recently.