Patterico's Pontifications


From the Songhai “Sunny” Armstead Files: Supporter of Race-Obsessed Judicial Candidate Uses Copyright Thuggery to Get the Evidence Removed

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:18 am

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:

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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:

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Copeland also does not appear to be the owner of the copyright in the question. She has her own YouTube channel:

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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:

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Let’s take a closer look at that notice:

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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, not Gail Copeland:

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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.

A Memorial Day Slap In The Face

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:20 am

[guest post by Dana]

Just a few days before Memorial Day and in the midst of the growing VA scandal, Senate Democrats blocked a bill (VA Management Accountability Act, H.R.4031) that would have made it easier to cut through bureaucratic red tape and fire VA employees, as well as hold the department more accountable.

Take heart, though, because President Obama is madder than hell about the scandal.

In the meantime, the Weekly Standard notes,

The director of the Phoenix VA hospital received an $8,500 pay bonus last month even as allegations of 40 deaths resulting from excessive wait times for care were being investigated. Sharon Helman, the director of the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System, “got an $8,500 bonus last month while there was an open [inspector general] investigation into Phoenix,” Chairman Miller told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an interview Wednesday.

It had been previously reported that Helman received more than $9,000 in bonus pay in 2013 on top of her annual salary of $169,900. The VA office of inspector general began investigating the Phoenix VA for wrongdoing in December 2013, months before Helman received the additional $8,500 bonus.

And an update:

The VA announced this afternoon: “Secretary Shinseki today exercised his authority to rescind Sharon Helman’s fiscal year 2013 performance award immediately. Previously, Ms. Helman received the performance award due to an administrative error.”

Those darn administrative errors!

For an excellent overview of the left’s idealizing the Socialist Supermodel that is the VA, James Taranto is not to be missed.

In part, he reminds us of Paul Krugman’s words (that have come back to haunt him),

American health care is desperately in need of reform. But what form should change take? Are there any useful examples we can turn to for guidance?

Well, I know about a health care system that has been highly successful in containing costs, yet provides excellent care. And the story of this system’s success provides a helpful corrective to anti-government ideology. For the government doesn’t just pay the bills in this system — it runs the hospitals and clinics.

No, I’m not talking about some faraway country. The system in question is our very own Veterans Health Administration, whose success story is one of the best-kept secrets in the American policy debate.

Here is Krugman again, in 2011:

What Mr. Romney and everyone else should know is that the [Veterans Health Administration] is a huge policy success story, which offers important lessons for future health reform. …

And yes, this is “socialized medicine” — although some private systems, like Kaiser Permanente, share many of the V.H.A.’s virtues. But it works — and suggests what it will take to solve the troubles of U.S. health care more broadly.

I was talking with a colleague yesterday who happens to be a former Marine. At a point in our conversation, he had to quickly dash off to make his appointment at the VA. He commented wryly, “Well, maybe it will be today…”


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