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Submission + - Phony copyright claims exploit holes in U.S. Internet law (

schwit1 writes: Ecuador's president is using phony copyright claims to force American companies such as YouTube and Google to remove videos and documents that criticize his government.

Last month, more than 140 videos posted by Chevron abruptly vanished from YouTube, replaced by notices that said they were yanked due to copyright-infringement claims by a Spanish video-distribution company called Filmin.

Filmin didn’t specify what copyrights it owns on the videos for the excellent reason that it doesn’t have any. Nearly all of them were outtakes from a film called Crude, a documentary about an Ecuadorian lawsuit against Chevron over oil-drilling pollution.

Chevron’s attorneys won the legal right to view and disseminate the outtakes, which show various sleazy acts of behind-the-scenes collaboration between the plaintiffs, the Ecuadorian government and the supposedly neutral judicial authorities hearing the case.

Using the DMCA, they claim they own everything from a mock wanted poster for the father of a cabinet member accused of raping a child to a left-wing documentary criticizing the government for granting mining concessions to foreign companies.

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Phony copyright claims exploit holes in U.S. Internet law

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