YouTube was a bit keen in the prosecution of copyright laws during NASA's victorious Curiosity rover landing yesterday morning, booting the first video excerpt of the livestream off its site for infringing a news service.
NASA's video coverage and pics are actually generally copyright-free, which made the overzealous bot takedown even more ironic as it pulled the video from the space agency's channel for infringing on the rights of Scripps Local News.
The problem, which took a few hours to fix, was flagged by online magazine Motherboard, which spotted a message on the video declaring: "This video contains content from Scripps Local News, who has blocked it on copyright grounds".
Incredibly, this isn't the first time that Scripps has taken down one of NASA's videos, as it was also responsible for copyright takedown of the video of space shuttle Discovery's trip on a Boeing 747 from Cape Canaveral.
Scripps Company said in an emailed statement:
We apologise for the temporary inconvenience experienced when trying to upload and view a NASA clip early Monday morning. We made a mistake. We reacted as quickly as possible to make the video viewable again, and we’ve adjusted our workflow processes to remedy the situation in future.
Bob Jacobs, NASA's deputy associate administrator for communications, said that claims like this one happen every month, often with particularly popular videos.
"Everything from imagery to music gets flagged," he said. "We've been working with YouTube in a an effort to stop the automatic disabling of videos. So far, it hasn't helped much." ®