Romney’s Obama ads return to YouTube after DMCA spat

romneys obama ads return to youtube after dmca spat obamamittThree days after being removed for concerns that they had violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a web ad produced on behalf of the Mitt Romney presidential campaign have been restored on YouTube, with the company siding with the Romney campaign on the question of whether or not the ads were infringing copyright.

The 30 second ad, entitled “Political Payoffs and Middle Class Layoffs,” went live on Monday on YouTube on Monday, but was removed a day later when BMG Rights Management filed a complaint on behalf of Al Green, a portion of whose song “Let’s Stay Together” was used in the commercial (The clip uses the much-viewed clip of President Obama singing part of the song during an appearance in New York’s Apollo Theater in January of this year, after noting that Green was in the audience at the time). The complaint cited the DMCA, which meant that YouTube was obliged to remove the video immediately and then had a ten day period in which to adjudicate whether or not it believed that the offending video did, in fact, infringe on existing copyright.

That the decision came in a far shorter period not only speaks to the high-profile nature of the video’s removal, but also the ease of the decision for YouTube; something that it underscored in its statement on the matter. “When we’re notified that a particular video uploaded to our site infringes another’s copyright, we remove the material in accordance with the law,” the company explained in an official statement. “We have a counter notification process in place if a user believes a content owner has misidentified their video, and we reinstate content if a user prevails in that process. We also reinstate videos in cases where we are confident that the material is not infringing, or where there is abuse of our copyright tools.”

The Romney ad may have been the most high-profile of the removed videos, but it was not the only one removed during this cull; reports from the Apollo Theater appearance from January from the Associated Press and ABC News that included Obama’s singing were also removed, and have also since been reinstated.

In this case, the Romney campaign had complained about the removal by Wednesday, citing the ad as Fair Use instead of copyright violation, leading to the video’s return just a day later. In the meantime, it went ahead with its campaign on other services, uploading the same ad without much notice to Vimeo on Tuesday afternoon; Interestingly enough, Politico notes that the Vimeo version of the ad had only been viewed 750 times in two days, against the YouTube version being viewed more than 125,000 since Monday despite it having been offline between Tuesday and Thursday.

Social Media

Tumblr promises it fixed a bug that left user data exposed

A bug on blogging site Tumblr left user data exposed. The company says that once it learned of the flaw, it acted quickly to fix it, adding that it's confident no data linked to its users' accounts was stolen.
Movies & TV

MoviePass saga: Parent company investigated for allegedly misleading investors

Troubled subscription-based movie service MoviePass is making headlines on a daily basis lately, and not in a good way. Here's a timeline of events for the company once described as Netflix for movie theaters.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Emerging Tech

This intelligent parachute system can bail out clumsy drone pilots

Parachutes can save drones when they unexpectedly fall from the sky. Among a number of such systems, Austrian firm Drone Rescue is this week showing off its latest design that automatically deploys when it senses trouble.

Here's how to download a YouTube video to watch offline later

Learning how to download YouTube videos is easier than you might think. There are plenty of great tools you can use, both online and offline. These are our favorites and a step by step guide on how to use them.

Carbuying can be exhausting: Here are the best used car websites to make it easier

Shopping for a used car isn't easy, especially when the salesman is looking to make a quick sale. Thankfully, there are plenty of sites aimed at the prospective buyer, whether you're looking for a sedan or a newfangled hybrid.

Your ‘Do Not Track’ tool might be helping websites track you, study says

New research from the "Do Not Track" features embedded in popular browsers are being ignored, opening up the possibility of consumers having their information targeted by specific ads based on their web histories and cookies. 

How to recover Google contacts

If you accidentally deleted an important person from your Google Contacts, they might not be lost forever. Recovering them is a fairly easy process -- as long as you do it quickly. Here's how.

Afraid that Bitcoin could be a bubble? Here's how to sell what you've got

If you're investing in cryptocurrencies, it's important to have your exit strategy in place if prices start to crash. If you've decided it's time to get out or just want to learn how to sell Bitcoins, here's how to get started.

Don't take your ISP's word for it: Here's how to test your internet speed

If you're worried that you aren't getting the most from your internet package, speed tests are a great way to find out what your real connection is capable of. Here are the best internet speed tests available today.

Feed your fandom: These are the best YouTube channels for sports lovers

If you're a cable cutter who still wants to enjoy quality sports highlights and analysis, YouTube is the place to go. There are plenty of great sports-centric channels on YouTube, each of which provides great highlights and top-shelf…
Social Media

YouTube is back after crashing for users around the world

It's rare to see YouTube suffer serious issues, but the site went down around the world for a period of time on October 16. It's back now, and we can confirm it's loading normally on desktop and mobile.

Chrome 70 is now available and won’t automatically log you in to the browser

Google has officially launched Chrome version 70 on Windows Mac and Linux. The update introduces some new Progressive Web App integrations on Windows 10 and also tweaks the much controversial auto login with Google Account feature.
Smart Home

Here’s everything you need to know about Amazon Prime Pantry

The marvels of the Internet have made it possible to do all your shopping from the comfort of your living room. Amazon Prime Pantry allows you to buy groceries and household items online. Here's more info about the service.