Youtube and Antena 3 TV censor Bolivarian videos

For the last few weeks we have been subjected to a barrage of propaganda in the media about the so-called "attacks on freedom of expression" in Venezuela. But here is a story that you are not likely to see in the media.

For the last few weeks we have been subjected to a barrage of propaganda in the media about the so-called "attacks on freedom of expression" in Venezuela. Facts? A TV station, RCTV, which actively participated in the coup against president Chávez in April 2002, did not get its licence renewed.

Acres of print paper have been filled with this story. However, one that you are not likely to see reported is this other story: Yesterday, June 12, Youtube decided to close down the account of Venezuelan Bolivarian activist Luigino Bracci. The reason? A complaint over copyright by Spanish Antena 3 TV station.

Why? A few weeks ago, Antena 3 TV broadcasted a debate about the case of RCTV's licence. In this programme Spanish university professors Luis Alegre Zahonero and Carlos Fernández Liria debated Venezuelan Globovisión journalist Nitu Perez Osuna. They did it so effectively that in the end it was clear to all that Nitu Perez was actually a defender of the April 2002 military coup in Venezuela. Extracts from the programme were broadcasted by two different programmes on Venezuelan state TV channel VTV, "La Hojilla" and "Dando Dando". Then, Bolivarian media activist Luigino Bracci took them from VTV and uploaded the videos on Youtube. These were then reproduced on a whole number of left wing and revolutionary web sites. The site was the most seen Youtube video in Spanish that day.

This was too much for the "democratic" opposition in Venezuela and their "freedom of expression" loving friends abroad. They could not allow a Globovision journalist and the RCTV case to be exposed for what they really are. So, Antena 3 complained to google, the owner of Youtube, and demanded that the offending videos be removed. Youtube, then proceeded to close down Bracci's whole account (http://www.youtube.com/user/lbracci), which had more than 450 different videos and had received more than 1.4 million visits in the last few weeks over the RCTV affair. So much for democracy and freedom of expression!

The real reason for this action by Antena 3 and Youtube has nothing to do with copyright law. The video uploaded was a clip that had been broadcasted by VTV. If Antena 3 wants to pursue its rights it should do so with VTV. A simple search of Youtube's archive will show that there are plenty of videos taken from Antena 3 available and have been so for some time. One of them is a video of an interview with Marcel Granier, owner of RCTV, by Antena 3 which was then reproduced by Venezuelan TV station Globovision!! No problem with that it seems....

In an interview in VTV , former Minister of Education Aristóbulo Izturiz put it very clearly: "this shows that the campaign around RCTV is not about freedom of expression, but the freedom of the owners of capital to control the media and the contents".

(with material from Aporrea and Rebelion )

see interview with Luigino Bracci and Aristóbulo Asturiz (in Spanish):


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