YouTube silences pro-Israel parody group

Sunday, June 13, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff

Google's popular video-sharing site YouTube silenced a pro-Israel parody group that had gained widespread recognition in the wake of last week's Gaza flotilla raid on a flimsy copyright claim.

Following the flotilla incident and the international community's hypocritical and exaggerated criticism of Israel, the Latma parody group headed by Jerusalem Post Managing Editor Caroline Glick produced a short clip titled "We Con the World" set to the famous tune "We are the World." To date, the video has been viewed more than three million times on YouTube alone.

In the clip, Glick and other Latma actors dressed as Turkish and other foreign "peace" activists sing about how they have duped the world into believing Gaza's Hamas rulers are peaceful and that their only aim is to bring succor to the residents of Gaza, who they claim are living in destitution because of the Israeli maritime blockade.

It has since been revealed that many of the activists aboard the flotilla's largest ship, the Mavi Marmara, were affiliated with a Turkish terrorist organization, the IHH, and had been planning all along to violently confront Israeli naval forces sent to keep them from reaching Gaza.

Glick said that her lawyers warned that anyone trying to silence Latma would not go after the Israelis, but rather take legal action against YouTube by claiming copyright infringement. Of course, Latma's use of the tune from "We are the World" in this context is covered by the Fair Use Doctrine, which permits copyrighted material to be used for the purpose of parody.

But YouTube has been notoriously quick to bow to any and all legal pressure in such cases, even when the use of copyright material is legal, in order to avoid litigation.

Glick wrote on her blog that she would be willing to accept that YouTube was again being overcautious if it weren't for previous efforts by the website to silence Israel's voice.

During the Israeli incursion into Gaza in January 2009, the IDF released raw combat footage on YouTube in order to counter biased mainstream media reporting. YouTube removed the footage, but then restored it following furious protests. However, the footage was restored with posted warning similar to those placed in front of pornographic videos, and which require visitors to sign up for a YouTube account in order to view.

Glick said she isn't going to waste time fighting YouTube, and will instead post the video to her blog where people can download and redistribute it as they see fit.

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