The parody video “We Con the World,” which mocked the international media
coverage of the Gaza-bound “aid” flotilla that was stopped by Israeli naval
commandos, has been removed from YouTube, where it received over 3 million views
since it went up on June 3.
In removing the video from on Friday, YouTube
posted a comment citing copyright infringement concerns from Warren Chappel
Music Inc., which owns the rights to the 1985 charity fundraiser song “We Are
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The video, made by the satirical Web site Latma TV depicts a
mock crew of the flotilla, some wearing keffiyehs and speaking in faux Arab
accents, performing a song to the tune of “We Are the World.”
which received international – and often critical – acknowledgement, is
available on other Web sites, while a Hebrew subtitled version is still
available on YouTube.
“It’s not as if a clip that has been seen by 3.5
million viewers is just going to disappear,” said Caroline Glick, the
editor-in-chief of Latma, who is also a senior contributing editor of The
Neither YouTube nor Warren Chappel Music Inc. has
elaborated on the decision, and representatives did not respond to requests for
Glick contested the notion that the video infringes on the
original song. She said that Latma TV had received approval of the video
lawyers who cited the Fair Use Doctrine, an American copyright law that
use of copyrighted material for satire.
“Copyright experts we
with before posting the song told us in no uncertain terms that we were
our rights to use the song because we did so in accordance with the Fair
Doctrine,” Glick wrote on her Web site, in response to the removal of
Glick wrote that the video’s removal reflects subjective
decision-making at YouTube, which Glick said has a history of removing
During Operation Cast Lead, for instance, the IDF
posted footage of the fighting in Gaza. YouTube removed the clips and
them – restricted to viewers over 18 – only after protests from across
Other parodies of the song “We Are the World” are still
on YouTube, including a parody of President Barack Obama that garnered
YouTube’s decision to remove this particular
“not based on regulation but rather based on discretion,” said Amichai
who is part of WeJew.com, an alternative online video sharing service
Jewish and pro-Israel community.
“Them taking this down was a
message of the direction that they are taking,” Farkas said of YouTube,
speculating that they were caving to “sensitivities to seeming too pro-
“We see a double standard here,” Glick said. “Ours is
one that has been attacked.”
The song “We Are the World,” written
Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, was first recorded in 1985 by an
famous performers as part of a fund-raiser for Africa. It is among the
bestselling singles of all time.
After January’s earthquake in
collection of top artists rerecorded the song to raise funds for the
Glick said that Latma TV is waiting for advice from
lawyers before taking action to oppose YouTube’s decision.
thinks that this is going to intimidate us, then they’re sorely
The Web site is already preparing a new video for Thursday
of its weekly releases.
“We’re making a stir and we’re defending
she said. “What can be better than that?”