“Ideas are worth spreading [but maybe not criticizing].”
Ted Talks videos currently enjoy massive popularity on the internet. Well-known figures and celebrities have appeared on TedTalks, like Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Sarah Silverman, and even Bono, among others. TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, provides 18-minute informative and engaging talks. Ideas are worth spreading, according to TED’s slogan. However, a YouTuber says that TED doesn’t spread ideas; rather, it silences them.
Kelli Jean Drinkwater recently gave a controversial talk titled Enough with the Fear of Fat. She confronted the audience with perception of bigger bodies by “bringing them into spaces that were once off limits,” confronting body politics. The talk received its fair share of criticism. According to TorrentFreak, however, a YouTuber from Australia, Bearing, received a DMCA takedown notice after posting his critique on YouTube. He told TorrentFreak,
“If you visit [TED’s] website’s ‘about’ page, you will learn that TED is a ‘nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas’, their mission is ‘to spread ideas’, and their agenda is to ‘make great ideas accessible and spark conversation.’
So when I saw Kelli’s video, I had a few of my own ideas and decided to spark a conversation, you know, in that true TED spirit. Needless to say, I was a little bit baffled when TED sent me a DMCA takedown notice a few hours after my video was uploaded. Yup, apparently some ideas are worth silencing.”
Bearing currently has over 254,000 subscribers. The YouTuber posts videos criticizing feminism. Bearing’s latest video is titled, Feminism brainwashing ‘queer kids’ with misinformation. According to the YouTuber, TED filed a DMCA takedown notice, so YouTube decided to take his critique down.
“My response video to Kelli was for the purpose of offering criticism and comment. I used three minutes and 54 seconds, around 29% of her total video. It made up around 20% of my video, which ran for 16.5 minutes.”
Bearing argues that he only took small portions of the video, thus, it should count under the fair use rule. To clarify, TorrentFreak explained the fair use rule.
“As a general rule, the smaller the part someone copies, the more likely it is that the use will be considered fair. Almost a third could be considered a lot but may also be needed if there’s a lot of criticism to squeeze in.”
The U.S. Copyrights Office gives content creators some advice.
“There are no legal rules permitting the use of a specific number of words, a certain number of musical notes, or percentage of a work. Whether a particular use qualifies as fair use depends on all the circumstances.”
Bearing believes that his video won’t harm Drinkwater nor TED’s video market, and hopes the video is back up soon. After the DMCA takedown notice, he posted another video, TED – Ideas Worth Silencing. The description reads,
“All about TED trying to silence an independent content creator for SPREADING IDEAS and STARTING A CONVERSATION.”
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Bearing accusation, however, may be greatly exaggerated. TED’s content policy is as follows.
“At TED, our goal is to spread ideas. We encourage the TED community, non-profit organizations, bloggers, news media and the like to share TED Talks through social media and to embed individual talks in contextually relevant ways on non-commercial websites using embed code on TED.com. Non-commercial usage of TED Talks should follow the terms of our specific Creative Commons license Attribution – NonCommercial – NonDerivative (BY-NC-ND).”
TED spoke with TorrentFreak, and explained,
“Regardless of content, if a Youtube video fails to follow these guidelines we request that it be removed.”
Furthermore, Bearing probably forgot to follow the CC license attribution rules, prompting the DMCA takedown notice. It’s unclear if Bearing will continue to pursue the case, however. Bearing told TF,
“Imagine being the independent content creator that TED tried to sue for spreading ideas and starting a conversation. [EXPLETIVE] LOL.”