From the Songhai “Sunny” Armstead Files: Supporter of Race-Obsessed Judicial Candidate Uses Copyright Thuggery to Get the Evidence Removed
Remember Songhai “Sunny” Armstead? She is the judicial candidate who told a local black congregation to vote for her because she is black. Not only that, she suggested that people who aren’t black don’t care about people who are:
There are 15 open seats right now. I am the only African American running. There’s only one Chicana running. Can you guess who else is running? Are there people who care about the people in this room? Probably not. I can’t speak before them, but probably not.
In the post I did about Armstead’s disgusting views, I linked the full video of her remarks. When you click on the YouTube URL for that video now, you see this:
Looks like I got someone’s attention, huh?
So who is Gail Copeland, the person who filed the copyright claim? Well, for one thing, she appears to be a supporter of Armstead’s. (Surprise!) This screenshot shows that Copeland has “liked” Armstead’s Facebook page for her campaign:
Copeland also does not appear to be the owner of the copyright in the question. She has her own YouTube channel:
The channel is bursting with videos from City of Refuge, the church where Armstead made her race-obsessed speech. Each of Copeland’s videos bears a “fair use” notice, suggesting that she may not be the actual owner of the copyright. For example, here is Copeland’s video from the service where Armstead spoke:
Let’s take a closer look at that notice:
To file a DMCA takedown, Copeland would have to be the copyright owner. If Copeland is the copyright owner, why would she feel the need to append a “fair use” notice to her own work? (By the way, a “fair use” notice is not necessary for a work to qualify as fair use.) Also interesting is the fact that the copyright notice on the video itself says the copyright is owned by NoelJones.org, not Gail Copeland:
In any event, my video falls squarely within the fair use sections of the Copyright Act. It is political commentary relating to an upcoming election. I have added a title which appears at the top of the video, characterizing Armstead’s comments, thus transforming the work. I uploaded the video to embed it in a post commenting on Armstead’s habit of asking for votes due to the color of her skin. My use of the video to make a political point about Armstead, a candidate for judge, is classic fair use.
Since my video is fair use, I have filed a counternotice to the DMCA claim. But of course, YouTube takes ten business days to put a video back up — meaning that the video will be down through the June 3 election.
My original post now substitutes Copeland’s version of the video, which bears the innocuous title “COR 4-27-14 For Such A Time As This 4.” I prefer my original title: “Judicial candidate: Vote for Me Because I’m Black.” But Gail Copeland’s misuse of copyright laws to squelch political speech, combined with YouTube’s reflexive obeisance to any takedown request, even from non-copyright owners, means that my preferred version of the video, bearing my preferred caption, cannot be published.
What can be done about Gail Copeland her brand of copyright thuggery? Well, the best thing to do is rely on the Army of Davids. Yesterday, a fella calling himself John Doe uploaded an edited version of the video to YouTube.
Don’t bother clicking the link. Gail Copeland works fast. She has already filed a DMCA request on that video as well, and had it taken down.
But if enough of you download her version of the video and transform it — whether simply, by adding an appropriate caption, or ideally in a richer fashion, interspersing your commentary between Armstead’s remarks — free speech will win out over thuggery.
But you have to actually take action for this plan to work. Download the video [but see UPDATE below] and use it to make your own video featuring your own protected free speech. If you can’t upload the video, spread the word. Tell your friends about this post. Send around the link to my original post.
Free speech is not “free.” It takes work and action. Are you willing to take the time to promote it here?
UPDATE: It’s worse than I thought. Copeland’s version actually scrubs Armstead’s most blatant racist remarks from her speech.
I will have much more about this.