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FOX News Copyright Holders Censor Sky News UK Live Stream

Friday, August 7th, 2015 (11:13 am) - Score 2,088

The Sky News TV channel, specifically its official YouTube based live video stream, was taken down last night following a complaint by FOX News in what appears to be the latest example of overzealous automated copyright linked Internet stupidity. On top of that Fox, which shares its parent company with Sky, also managed to screw up its own stream. Doh.

Granted this isn’t strictly ISP news, but it’s too interesting not to cover and plays into the wider battle between Rights Holders and Internet access / content. It’s also an example of how, in today’s modern world of automated copyright linked Internet takedown notices, it’s easy for the censorship trolls to get it wrong and that can have serious ramifications.

The situation began last night after Sky News began streaming the on-going debate between Republican presidential candidates, but shortly after that the stream (shown here) was stopped by YouTube and replaced with the following message: “Sky News L…” This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Fox News Network, LLC.”

As a result anybody visiting the Sky News website stream or going direct to YouTube would not have been able to view the live news service, which was effectively censored and there’s a strong argument for why something like this should NEVER happen to a legitimate news organisation (e.g. free speech).

Now for those who may not be aware of the added irony, FOX and Sky are both part of Rupert Murdoch’s sprawling media empire (21st Century Fox) and as a result there are occasionally some cross-over pieces between the two channels.

In an added dash of irony those in the USA who were attempting to watch the debate via FOX’s own live stream found it a struggle when the network became overloaded, which left Sky’s stream as the only working one online.. until they pulled it. Clever, very clever.

Mercifully Sky News were able to get their stream back online by doing what most ordinary folk would do and simply setting up another one with a different ID (here). Meanwhile it’s likely that the issue was caused by a notoriously inaccurate automated DMCA take-down notice request, although as yet this has not been confirmed.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
6 Responses
  1. ACLIS – I like the sound of that acronym 🙂

    Though I dare say other readers will be able to dream up a more apt one!!

  2. Ignition says:

    Quite alarming that an automated complaint about Sky News leads to the stream being taken down.

    You’d have thought Google would have taken more care, however I suppose they are beholden to courts and required to essentially do as the copyright holders tell them else risk being sued.

    Certainly the YouTube takedown process is heavily skewed towards those making the complaints from what I can gather.

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      It’s also the problem of economic practicality. One the one hand DCMA spamming copyright robots can push millions of block requests in a short space of time and the only way to reliably confirm those is to check manually with human staff.

      So in that sense it’s certainly weighted in favour of those making the complaints because it would cost too much to validate each and every one properly. The result is a fast but dumb system that makes a lot of mistakes, much like Pastor Maldonado (F1 driver) hehe.

    2. DanielM says:

      it’s also google’s problem since it’s a US company. DMCA only applies to the US. not the world (it’s a US law) but the way google works it’s different.

  3. New_Londoner says:

    In my view, anything that keeps Fox News content off UK TV screens is a good thing 😉

    1. sentup.custard says:

      I’ve always had a low opinion of American comedy – but seeing Fox “News” (???) on a friend’s telly changed my opinion.
      😉

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