By Ray LeMoine
Last month I worked production on a film about Sarah Palin in Alaska. It aired in the UK last week and was later placed on YouTube, receiving 8000 hits in a few days. Today the film was mysteriously taken off YouTube. I was told that if there was a copyright violation (there wasn’t—and all characters signed release forms), YouTube would contact us. They didn’t. So I tried to call them from the Contact Us page at the number below.

Our Address
You can contact YouTube at the address below.

YouTube, LLC
901 Cherry Ave.
San Bruno, CA 94066
USA
Phone: +1 650-253-0000
Fax: +1 650-253-0001

But the Google/YouTube service recording said they “do not at this time provide customer service representatives.” I then made a formal press inquiry (see below) but have yet to hear back.

RE: Removal of Sarah Palin film‏
From: Ray LeMoine (Editor’s note: personal email address removed)
Sent: Sat 10/11/08 1:34 AM
To: press@youtube.com
Cc: (Editor’s note: again, personal email adress removed)

Hello,

I am a journalist who worked production on a film about Sarah Palin in Alaska. The film aired in the UK. We placed it on YouTube and received some 8000 hits in a few days. Then today the film was yanked off YouTube. The film did not violate copyright and its characters all signed release forms. I was wondering who I can speak to for a comment on what happened. I also cced both the correspondent and director who worked on the film.

Here’s the link to the removed film:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1126074661319289940&ei=N9LrSJjqHYHCjgL1kJCcBg&q=journeyman+palin&vt=lf

Thanks,
Ray LeMoine

Oddly enough, the Palin film in question is about censorship. Specifically: Palin’s alleged attempts as mayor of Wasilla, AL, to remove the book “Pastor, I’m Gay” (really) from a public library in the mid-90s. If anyone knows about YouTube and this kind of hacker censorship, please contact me. I’m wondering if our First Amendment rights have been violated by a Palin pirate—and if this is a widespread campaign. If so, the layers of irony are endless. And would YouTube prosecute these hackers like kid who guessed Palin’s email password?

Anyway, the film is back on YouTube here.

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