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YouTube Yanks Rand Paul Presidential Announcement

He falls foul of copyright-enforcing robots
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2015 4:45 AM CDT
Updated Apr 8, 2015 7:22 AM CDT

(Newser) – The official video of Rand Paul's campaign launch has been blocked by YouTube, but not for political reasons: The rally's use of country singer John Rich's "Shuttin’ Detroit Down" was pulled on copyright grounds after apparently being flagged by YouTube's Content ID system, reports Gizmodo. The system automatically checks videos for copyrighted content, and Paul's campaign may now have to contact both YouTube and Warner Music Group, which holds the rights to the anti-Wall Street anthem, to have the video reinstated, the Verge reports.

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"It's hard not to see some humor in the situation," writes Philip Bump at the Washington Post. "Rand Paul's spirited cry against government intervention has been blocked from view because YouTube lets huge music companies preemptively apply copyright law." A remixed version of the original video, which stars Kris Kristofferson as a laid-off autoworker, was shown at the rally, and the Paul campaign says it had Rich's permission, reports the Huffington Post. It would have been a different story if Kristofferson owned the video rights instead of Rich. "He was not contacted before the video was used and does not support Rand Paul," a rep tells the Post. "Kris is a Democrat." (In 2012, Twisted Sister wouldn't take Paul Ryan using "We're Not Gonna Take It.")

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