TechCrunch Gets to the Heart of the Matter on the Flickr Obama/Joker Censorship Issue
Mike Arrington over at TechCrunch gave his own opinion on the recent Flickr Censorship issue regarding the removal of the Obama/Joker image and I think it’s one of the best that I’ve seen on the issue yet in a post entitled “Free Speech, Where’s the Courage“:
“Yahoo/Flickr should have asked its attorneys if the copyright claim had any validity at all before removing the image, particularly since in this case the image is so clearly non-infringing and also is so politically charged. Yes, Yahoo would have had theoretical liability by not complying if the image was later proven to be copyright infringing. But as I said above, any lawyer could tell you that this is clearly a fair use of the original Obama image, Time Magazine’s copyright and copyright around the movie.
In the past Flickr has deleted accounts of users who are critical of President Obama, but as far as I know nothing like this was done to users who were critical of Bush.
It’s clear that the Flickr team wanted to take this image down. Not only was the image removed, but the entire page was taken down with all the comments to the image. There’s nothing in the DMCA that says you have to do that, too.
Flickr lost my trust over this issue. They failed to stand up for a user who chose to display his work on Flickr over competitors. ”
I commented on Mike’s article regarding my own previous experience with a DMCA takedown notice from Flickr here.
Update: Flickr responds to criticism from their users over this censorship issue by locking the thread that they are complaining in. I suppose one way to fight accusations of censorship is simply… more censorship. Oh the irony.