Who's Infringing Whom?
Viacom has demanded that YouTube remove a video that it claims to own even though it may itself have infringed on the original copyright. The video was originally posted online by Christopher Knight, a former candidate for a seat on the Rockingham County, NC board of education. In it he poses as a kind of Star Wars warrior vowing to protect local education from the federal bureaucracy. Soon afterwards, the video appeared on YouTube and then on VH1's Web Junk 2.0 -- without permission from Knight. Nevertheless, Knight said that when the clip appeared, he was "delighted" to be recognized by the cable channel and made a copy of the segment and posted it onto YouTube. He soon received a message from YouTube saying that Viacom had demanded that the clip be withdrawn and that if Knight continued to violate copyrights, his account would be shut off. In an interview with the U.K. tech site The Register, Knight said, "Viacom says that I can't use their clip showing my commercial, claiming copy infringement? ... As we say in the South, that's ass-backwards."