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Jesse Brown: Anti-gay ad inspires pro-hilarity remixes (and YouTube cowardice)

By Jesse Brown, CBC technology columnist:

The latest YouTube remix sensation has nothing to do with Christian Bale, little boys high on laughing gas or sensitive country musicians. It has to do with an anti-same-sex marriage ad produced by a group called the National Organization for Marriage.

The scary, scary ad has been parodied aplenty on YouTube, but the remix action exploded when the original audition tapes were somehow obtained by the pro-LGBT Human Rights Council and leaked online.

The audition footage has been removed from YouTube due to a copyright takedown notice filed by N.O.M.

That’s to be expected, but here’s the real storm cloud gathering: N.O.M. was also able to get an MSNBC news report taken down on infringement grounds because (awesome) host Rachel Maddow plays clips of the audition tapes.

Even the most conservative interpretation of Fair Use includes provisions for news reporting. Spineless YouTube needs to step up here.

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