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CNET News Daily Debrief: Why is John McCain ticked at YouTube?The Digital Millennium Copyright Act has long been unpopular with a broad swath of computer users. And Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign has added itself to the list of critics. Join Charles Cooper and Declan McCullagh on the CNET News Daily Debrief...
[ music ] ^m00:00:04 >> On the eve of this year's third and final presidential debate, You Tube is involved in a snit with John McCain's campaign. Welcome to the CNET News Daily Debrief. I'm Charlie Cooper, here with my colleague from CNET News, Declan McCullagh. Now I'm not sure whether the object of the McCain campaign's ire should be directed against You Tube or the DMCA. We'll get into that in a second but why don't you catch us up on what's going on? >> Sure, John McCain's campaign has taken or has a habit of taking some excerpts from news broadcasts and other copyrighted videos. They say that it was covered by Fair Use, because they're using just a few seconds - short snippets - and what happens, they post that on You Tube, the copyright holder complains, You Tube takes it down. They might put it up ten days later, but that's an attorney in the presidential campaign. The McCain folks don't like this; they sent a letter to You Tube on Monday saying well, how about some special treatment - not just for us but for all political candidates? >> What was You Tube's response? >> You Tube's response, general counsel sent a letter back - rather chief council - sent a letter back. >> And we have a copy right here? >> On Tuesday evening saying basically thanks but no thanks. The letter said there's a lot of other content on our global site that other users would find to be equally important including political campaigns from around the globe at all levels of government, human rights movements, other important voices. They said your beef is not with us, it's with the DMCA and the people sending these take down notices basically is news organizations. >> Has this occurred also with the Obama campaign? >> Not as much. In both campaigns have used snippets but the McCain campaign has done more of it and probably has ... more complaints as a result. >> Well under the law, under the terms of the DMCA, what is kosher and what's beyond the pail? >> Sure, if you're a copyright holder - let's say that this video that we're recording right now ends up on You Tube ... what we can do is send a take down notice to You Tube saying we own a copyright and we're happy to let people see it, but it's like come to our side already, let's not have it up on You Tube. And then the person who posted it at You Tube can say, oh no this is actually legitimate fair use or not, and then basically what the DMCA does is it treats the hosting provider - in this case You Tube - as a conduit and does not make them liable. And that's what You Tube does not want to get away from. >> Now here say ... on the Web 2-0 crowd in particular, the DMCA has never been popular - just curious, might this be the trigger in the new congress for some push to massage some of what are termed to be the more onerous parts of the legislation? >> Well the DMCA is not a short bill; it's actually a reasonable long and complex one. Things that really piss people off about it are the anti circumvention rules and those are probably not going away any time soon. This is a separate section we're talking about today, which is a notice and take down, it probably will be reopened in the next 5 years. It was written back in the late nineties and people didn't even think of video hosting sites. The McCain campaign, it kind of likes copyright law as is, or maybe UNIX would like to expand it in general. The Obama campaign has said that they would like to reform it. So if any reforms are more likely to come from Obama campaign though they're up against a large Democratic contingent in Southern California, the recording industry, movie industry that likes it as is. >> Great stuff, thanks Declan. On behalf of CNET News, I'm Charlie Cooper. [ music ]