Radio-Canada Issues YouTube Takedown Over Harper Communion Video

Many Canadians will know that there has been a controversy this week over whether Prime Minister Stephen Harper pocketed a communion wafer during Romeo Leblanc's state funeral.  The issue has been fueled by a video posted on YouTube of the incident.  A blog reader notes that YouTube has now taken down the video due to a copyright claim by Radio-Canada.  While other versions remain online, the takedown request by a news organization of a clip that should certainly qualify as fair dealing is very problematic (and somewhat puzzling given that the video was a CPAC video, not Radio-Canada).  News organizations depend upon fair dealing every day for their own coverage and should not be so quick to demand takedowns of newsworthy clips that should qualify for similar protection.

Update: CBC argues that the use of the clip was not fair dealing.


  1. kaybecer says:

    umm… didn’t harpers conservatives themselves rip a cpac video and put it online, and cpac said no problem?

    What’s the problem here?

    Freedom of expression is being killed in Canada.

  2. bigcitylib says:

    Really Radio-Canada?
    It seems pretty easy to file a take-down notice with youtube. U.S. election featured a lot of fake obscenity claims that got political clips taken down for a short time.

  3. Who cares? I sure don’t.

  4. Devil's Advocate says:

    Future election material?…
    Seems it doesn’t matter what kind of horseshit appears in these thoughtful “negative campaign” videos, but this rather curious event gets censored.

    We’ll probably see the footage again, when it gets included in a Liberal campaign message leading into the next election. The narrative will probably be something like, “Stephen Harper doesn’t believe in God??”, right before the part where they link him to “terrorism”.

  5. I agree, who cares, if he’s not Catholic why should he even be taking it? I bet if he had been polite and waved it off he still would have been criticized. And by the way it’s clear he did not pocket the wafer, it’s still in his hand when he moves away.

  6. Times a changin’
    New technology, old media.

  7. Tired of Fakes says:

    Nothing up my sleeve
    I have no problem with Harper waving off the wafer. But it’s the claim that he ate it when the video clearly shows he didn’t. You know Nixon and Mulroney are proof positive that it never pays to cover-up. That’s where you get caught short.

  8. Dwight Williams says:

    Getting Back on Track Here
    What of the fair dealing concern?

  9. Ridenrain says:

    Who cares?
    Isn’t there anything more important to report?
    Could crap this possibly be that the reason why the CBC is losing it’s audience?
    It sure lost me as a listener.

  10. Christian Landry says:

    I’m getting the impression some people just assumed this news item is about the communion, when it really is about Radio-Canada taking down a CPAC clip. What does one even have to do with the other? This is annoying me. I’ve had Youtube videos taken down, but at least the notice was from people that actually had the rights to the content!

  11. Devil's Advocate says:

    This really is about the takedown
    I would be interested in knowing what CPAC’s reaction to the whole thing was, and why YouTube isn’t at least verifying the rights holders before executing these takedowns.

    There’s way too much of this shit happening with YouTube now. We’re even seeing “takedown wars” going on, where opposing interests keep requesting the other’s material be taken down.

    Without any sort of diligence process attached to it, this process is a complete joke.

  12. Maybe you should do a Google search first there Michael
    I did a Google search to see who broadcast the ceremony and every single one I read said it was broadcast on the CBC.

    Still, I might be wrong, but how does it fall under fair dealing? Being put on YouTube it certainly doesn’t count as private study. If it is research, I don’t see any research materials. If it is a criticism of the broadcast, what criticism did the video make about CBC?

    Doesn’t seem to me like you have much of a leg to stand on to make these claims Michael.

  13. CBC Afraid of PM?
    CBC might be a little jumpy about having its funding cut. You still see Stephane Dion’s 2008 pre-election slip-up on CTV Halifax, all over YouTube – that clip has never been taken down. And of course we wouldn’t want to offend the church and a state funeral which is probably the real reason for the takedown.

  14. CBC has been acting **very** unusual these last few weeks
    And this article just raises suspicion even further.

  15. Frightening
    It is frightening to see what this video has unleased..the hatred, the rancid rabid spewing whether it be the G&M comments section or right here, Mr. Geist for example from the Stephen Pate among others.
    the paranoid fantasies of so many people in a land of 33,000,000 makes me wonder why anyone bothers to run for public office at all. Clearly McLuhan was right , the medium is the message and the audience is the content, and the content has become rather putrid. I am thinking so many of these posters and poseurs will be getting a dose of stomach cancer from their bile.
    As far as “Christians” go… you know that wafer firestorm ? The correct and proper CHristian response is…SILENCE and a small prayer for those who are so motivated by their politics and hatered to make an issue of it that brings the entire Roman Catholic hierarchy into disrepute. !

  16. @surecure
    I’m no lawyer but after a 3 second google search, I would have to say that “news reporting” is probably the fair dealing provision that is most applicable here.

  17. crade
    I’m assuming that since there was only one camera setup, it was owned and operated by the CBC with rebroadcast licensing to CPAC. As such, I would imagine the fair dealing would not come into play if somebody is taking a licensed feed and rebroadcasting it without approval or acknowledgement of the licensor.

    One could say it is news reporting, but if it is they would have to go to the original source and acknowledge ownership. And since it was the CPAC logo on the bottom, it clearly doesn’t indicate the video feed as belonging to the CBC.

  18. It probably was their video…
    This was a press pool event, so CPAC and other stations would have had the same feed. If SRC claims they have copyright, then it was likely their cameras in the church, and the pool feed was picked up by the others.

  19. I bet the CBC is worried of using SO much money over this clip.
    I mean seriously, there is no financial to take this video down. There much be some negative influence here.

    This is just more proof of how broken the copyright reporting system on YouTube is broken.

  20. I bet the CBC is worried of losing SO much money over the posting of this clip.
    I mean seriously, there is virtually no financial-related loss for the CBC in relation to having this video clip on YouTube. There much be some negative influence at play here.

    This is just more proof of how broken the copyright reporting system on YouTube is broken.

  21. @Eric L
    If this video is the property of the CBC and the decision makers there saw this for being as ridiculous an issue as most people are seeing it, do you think maybe the only negative influence is the intelligence to stay out of this non-issue?

    Seriously, except for those people who have a rabid obsession over Harper in the first place, I haven’t heard a single person consider this whole fiasco to be of any importance. It’s just as ridiculous as that picture last week supposedly showing Obama checking out a 16 year old Brazilian girl’s posterior. Is this the level people have sunk to? I’m sure the CBC doesn’t want any connection that kind of moronic frothing of the mouth.

  22. @Surecure
    I agree the issue is rather small, regardless of the fact that I have always had a negative view of Harper. However, as trite as this issue may be, CBC has no right abusing the copyright system on YouTube and wrongfully remove “innocent” fair use videos as a result. That is the issue here, and that was the point that I was trying to make in the previous post.

  23. Francois L says:

    Youtube: cease and desist friendly
    There are other organisations that will not respond that easily to cease and desist.,…