Disney “copyright claims” YouTube channels that criticize Captain Marvel


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US studio giant Disney is in the hot seat again with criticism coming its way from dissatisfied customers – but this time less for the quality of the products they distribute than its skew, it would seem.

The company now appears to be guilty of censorship, by using the copyright infringement takedown notices against those posting clips from a movie, with that apparently falling outside the fair use rule.

The YouTube channel Geeks + Gamers announced on Twitterย  they had received a takedown notice for copyright infringement for posting a clip from Captain Marvel. The takedown notice also contained the video title under which Geeks + Gamers posted it: “Brave and Courageous – Captain Marvel Takes Down The Male Patriarchy.”

The original clip was included in the article, courtesy of the Furious Trailers channel – who called it “Captain Marvel Steals Motorcycle Scene.”

But copyright is not the real reason here for Disney to block these videos, it seems. Instead, it appears it's to remove videos from YouTube made by users offering their negative opinion on the deleted scene, and in general, those who are critical of the movie.

Otherwise, why would Furious Trailers' clip without commentary still stand on YouTube, One Angry Gamer argued?

It would be interesting to find out what, if any, business arrangement Furious Trailers have with Disney – because if none, that would indeed paint an ugly picture of Disney leveraging its vast power to dish out takedown notices across YouTube – a platform already plagued and disrupted in a negative way by this practice.

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And even though Geeks + Gamers video about the deleted scene was blocked on copyright infringement grounds, channel's Jeremy came up with another, where he continued to criticize the scene and explain why the first video was blocked.

He learned in the process that other like-minded YouTubers received similar takedown notices – with the stated reason being copyright – but that they strongly suspect it actually had to do with the content itself.

https://twitter.com/wishuponavlog87/status/1134236639277006850

Another YouTuber, Julie, confirmed on Twitter that her negative view of the clip with the deleted scene was also removed from YouTube, and sarcastically accused the studio giant of having an interest in its business alone, rather than hearing what its customers really think about its products.

Over on YouTube, That Star Wars Girl organized a live stream to discuss this event, also accusing Marvel – the producers – this time, of being behind the censorship, and of blatant disregard of the right of movie-goers and online users to have opinions, and express them.

And in the end, the controversy seems to concern copyright, freedom of speech, and censorship, with gender equality at the heart of this particular case – and the strong opinions of those on both sides, finding, or indeed, not finding, a way to express them, as well as their thoughts on equality – or indeed inequality, depending on where you stand – if you happen to have a stand on such things.

The superhero film, meanwhile, is produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Disney – minus, that is, the one scene, because of which those who took to YouTube to review and criticize the movie found they were being blocked. And they believe that at the heart of everything was their willingness to point out to Disney's “misandrist” – i.e., “men-hating” approach to the character the actress Brie Larson plays in the movie.

Unlike in the original Marvel comic, the character of Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel has acquired a “feminist” identity of her own, which is also the source of her superpower. In the canonical story, Danvers was given this power by a male.

The actress herself is accused of previously employing “anti-white male” rhetoric – and of the Powers That Be on the internet once again coming to her rescue: this time, the likes of review website Rotten Tomatoes, who were said to have manipulated reviews to keep the negative ones at bay and show Captain Marvel doing better than it really was.

This accusation, however, was denied by Fandango, the company that owns Rotten Tomatoes.

And that's not all: according to “various sources” cited by the website, YouTube was apparently manipulating search results to keep down any videos criticizing the actress for her statements made before the movie came out.

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Didi Rankovic

Didi Rankovich is an experienced online journalist, editor, and translator, with a career spanning over ten years writing for major a English-language website in Serbia, and previously working as translator for international organizations and peacekeepers in the Balkans. Rankovich is passionate about free and open source tech and is a head contributor for Reclaim The Net, focusing on lead stories. [email protected].org