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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Joseph Romm: YouTube, Sinclair prove Anthony Watts knows as much about copyright laws as about climate science

YouTube, Sinclair prove Anthony Watts knows as much about copyright laws as about climate science

by Joseph Romm, Climate Progress blog, August 19, 2009

When we last left our favorite former TV weatherman, he was offering the ‘inanity defense’ for his effort to censor Peter Sinclair’s Climate Denial “Crock of the Week” video.

The man behind the top anti-scientific website WattsUpWithThat regularly defames top climate scientists and pushes the most seemingly detailed but ultimately nonsensical analyses (see here) — yet he could not even be bothered to spend one minute googling “copyright laws” or “fair use.” The result: Not only did he publish the most embarrassing, torturous and self-revealing defense of censorship ever seen on the blogosphere but, YouTube has now (inevitably) sided with Sinclair and reposted the original video:

Sinclair explained to me the process for reinstatement on YouTube — and thanked Watts for the publicity boom — in an email:

In July, as part of my “Climate Denial Crock of the Week” video series, ( I published a piece that criticized and parodied the work of well known climate denier Anthony Watts, and his “” project.

On July 26, Watts made what I regard as an improper “DMCA” claim against the video, and had it removed from YouTube.

The DMCA, (Digital Millenium Copyright Act), was originally intended to protect copyright owners from internet abuse, but has been occasionally used improperly, notoriously by authoritarian religious groups and cults, in order to restrain criticism and free speech on the internet.

After some investigation of related cases and obtaining additional opinions as to relevant copyright law, I confirmed my original belief that my videos in no way violate copyright law, especially in light of the principles of critical review, parody, and transformational use of material.

In accordance with established YouTube guidelines, I filed a “counternotice”, affirming that, “under penalty of perjury, that I have a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of a mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled.”

As of today, I have received the following confirmation from YouTube:

“In accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we’ve completed processing your counter-notification regarding your video:

This content has been restored and your account will not be penalized.”

I wish to extend my sincerest gratitude to YouTube, to all those who advised and supported me in this effort, and most especially, to Anthony Watts and, for providing invaluable exposure to my video series, and greatly increasing my traffic and visibility.

WattsUpWithThat who regularly defames top

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