[UPDATED] Did YouTube Ban India’s Largest News Network for Copyright Violations?

Update 6/25/14 1:08 p.m. PST: It appears that the Zee News Network has been able to resolve the strikes against their YouTube channel and that the channel has been reinstated.


Usually when we hear about a YouTube channel being suspended for copyright violations it’s an individual creator or YouTube account holder facing off against a major corporation. It’s far more unusual to see a media company, for instance India’s ZeeNews, in such hot water. Self-described as India’s largest news network, leaders at ZeeNews awoke this morning to find their YouTube account terminated for “multiple claims of third party copyright infringement.”

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It is common for individual videos to be disabled or stripped of their monetization potential if they are flagged by YouTube’s internal ContentID system which automatically detects copyrighted material belonging to a number of participating entertainment companies. Content can also be flagged by any individuals company manually be filing a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaint with YouTube. In this case, the complainant would have be the holder of the rights to the particular copyrights material at issue.

In both cases the flag could lead to a video being taken down and a strike against the offending YouTube accounts. However, only multiple strikes stemming for a series of infractions could trigger the full termination of a channel. While this does happen to individual creators from time to time, it is far less common to see a professional organization, particularly a media company, banned from YouTube for such flagrant violations. While suspensions do occur, a termination is typically permanent. It’s possible that, given the stature of the organization in question, termination may be reversible.

When reached for comment on the status of the ZeeNews Channel, a YouTube spokesperson told NMR: “When we’re notified that a particular video uploaded to our site infringes another’s copyright, we remove the material in accordance with the law, and suspend accounts with multiple copyright strikes. A copyright strike can be resolved if the user submits a counter-notification and prevails in that process, or when we receive a retraction from the party who originally submitted the notification.”

Currently the ZeeNews Channel remains inactive, no doubt a major headache for the network. NMR will update with further developments as they occur.

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