I’ve mentioned before, primarily on my own podcast, that I absolutely love the YouTube channel “The Drunken Peasants.” This podcast, usually 2 hours in length, produced 3 times a week, has been one of my favorite things to watch online for over 2 years. As their slogan goes, “covering news from an altered perspective” they provide a very, well, alternate, view on not just politics, but all kinds of subjects, and they aren’t afraid to say exactly what they think, or even exaggerate for shock and entertainment value.
A heads up, you may not like the content of the Peasants, but I’m sure you care about what is right and legal. Check the link below for their fund. If you continue reading, or check out the link, then thank you.
Now, covering news, other Youtubers, etc, in their format requires showing videos – videos that aren’t theirs. Since this is commentary and criticism, it falls under the United States Fair Use laws, where such usage of copyrighted content is acceptable.
Acceptable, that is, legally: apparently not to other people. One particular YouTube user (among others, but he is the current focus), Tommy Sotomayor, has decided that, after 2 separate episodes where fans of Drunken Peasants have gone to his live stream and trolled his comments section with the phrase “Glanderson Booper” (it’s a long story) that he will file DMCA takedowns against the videos of those livestreams. This threatens the Drunken Peasants YouTube channels existence, as multiple takedowns on a channel can, and will, cause YouTube to close down that channel.
Not just that, but with these strikes against the channel, the Drunken Peasants can’t stream; live streams being the format their podcast is delivered in initially, with a chat available for people to participate in (at least in principle, in practice it’s a mess). At this stage, new episodes are being produced and uploaded to the Drunken Peasants member TJ’s channel, The Amazing Atheist. This means DP fans have to go to another channel to watch the show, since it is no longer on it’s original channel – quite annoying to be sure. However, this is not any legal reason to take down a video. Not by a longshot.
Tommy’s claims against these videos are false – yes, in the DP stream, they show his stream, but that is just as fair use as any other content. Tommy would have to lie to file such a takedown, which, if this goes to court, would qualify as perjury.
Tommy is, understandably, mad that the DP fanbase has taken to going to his livestreams and doing what the internet does best – trolling him. I can understand that, totally, but false DMCA claims and trying to destroy the Peasants YouTube channel, and by virtue, cripple their business, isn’t right by any means.
This isn’t the only case of this happening – all the time, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is used as a weapon to censor dissenting opinions. The Bible Reloaded have a suit in the works against The Christiano Brothers, a Christian film group that has not appreciated (to put it lightly) their films being reviewed negatively on an Atheist channel.
It isn’t a matter of what you do or don’t agree with: this is a matter of the law, and what is or isn’t acceptable. Period. The law states such content usage is acceptable. It isn’t just a principle of that, though; it’s the fact that the DMCA is being used as a method of intimidation and censorship. Tommy doesn’t like people disagreeing with him, and to stop it, he chooses this. Other YouTubers have done the same to the Peasants, as has Tommy before.
At this point, much like the Bible Reloaded, the Drunken Peasants are going with lawsuit. The DMCA is broken, and it is abused. YouTube is only recently starting to, more likely, side with the content creator rather than the person making the claim, but still, this is happening.
After all these years, it’s nice to see, finally, this being addressed and examples being made.
The initial podcast, following this incident.