CNN Targets Competitors on YouTube, Twitch, with Copyright Claims

Democratic presidential hopefuls (L-R) US Senator from Colorado Michael Bennet, US Senator from New York Kirsten Gillibrand, former US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, US Senator from New Jersey Cory Booker, former Vice President Joe Biden, US Senator from California Kamala Harris, US entrepreneur Andrew Yang, US …

YouTubers attempting to cover the recent Democrat debates have been hit with a wave of copyright strikes from CNN, forcing many videos off the platform.

Those affected include liberal and left-leaning channels, according to a report from ReclaimTheNet. They include David Pakman and Kyle Kulinski.

“I was up until 4am prepping a comprehensive debate breakdown for all of you lovely folks” wrote Kyle Kulinski, host of the popular Secular Talk channel, which boasts over 700,000 subscribers.

“Out of maybe a dozen videos, CNN is jacking all revenue from 10, because they include small clips from the debate.”

A CNN spokesman hit back on Twitter, saying that use of clips from the debate constituted “piracy.” Critics of CNN say the clips are protected under U.S. copyright exceptions, which include provisions that protect the unauthorized user of third-party content for purposes of criticism, commentary, and news reporting among other reasons.

Matt Dornic contacted Breitbart News stating that this description “mischaracterizes” his comments on Pakman, stating: “Pakman was distributing a full live stream of the debate in real time. A competitive stream to our own.”

David Pakman replied to Dornic’s assertion with his own comment, stating:

(1) It is CNN’s choice whether to take down streams and apply copyright strikes to other youtube channels, or simply to claim them as third party content and monetize them as they could their own content, as other networks have, and
(2) Debates should truly be treated like the State of the Union and the DNC, RNC, and Commission on Presidential debates should demand that events of such importance in determining future presidential candidates and/or the future president should not be handled in this manner. The fact that CNN chose to handle it this way, and that the infrastructure allowed it, is a real testament to the corporate media status quo that pervades even political debates.

ReclaimTheNet also reports that numerous prominent users of the live-streaming platform Twitch were also kicked out of their accounts for 24 hours as a result of CNN copyright claims:

Twitch streamers who covered the debates were also hit with CNN copyright claims including Destiny, Hasan Piker, and Trihex. The claims resulted in these streamers being suspended from Twitch for 24 hours.

“The content we produce including debates is acceptable under fair use” wrote David Pakman, one of the progressive YouTubers who was hit by the copyright strikes.

“But of course we don’t have your money to fight it into court. Most networks seem to understand the public value of commentary on debates and don’t become punitive in the way CNN does. Sad.”

Update — Comments from CNN’s Matt Dornic and David Pakman have been added to this article.

Are you an insider at YouTube, Google, Facebook or any other tech company who wants to confidentially reveal wrongdoing or political bias at your company? Reach out to Allum Bokhari at his secure email address

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.



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