Ecuador: Video removed from YouTube allegedly for copyright violation, reinstated

Posted on October 8, 2014 • Filed under: Ecuador, Internet, Police/Military Activity, Politics, Social Issues

The Netizen Report originally appears each week on Global Voices Advocacy. Mahsa Alimardani, Juan Arellano, Ellery Roberts Biddle, Lisa Ferguson, Bojan Perkov, Sonia Roubini and Sarah Myers West contributed to this report.

Global Voices Advocacy’s Netizen Report offers an international snapshot of challenges, victories, and emerging trends in Internet rights around the world. This week’s report begins in Ecuador, where an online video titled “What Correa Doesn’t Want You to See” (referring to President Rafael Correa) was removed from YouTube on Sept. 29. The video intersperses excerpts from a public speech in which Correa spoke about law enforcement with footage of police abuses of demonstrators at a Sept. 18 protest in the capital city of Quito. The company removed the video in response to a request from the office of Ecuador’s secretary of communication, which claimed the video violated copyright. The video, which was also removed from Facebook, was reinstated on YouTube on Oct. 2.


The incident highlights yet another facet of the Ecuadorian government’s increasingly restrictive policies and practices toward media of all kinds. Correa, who the Committee to Protect Journalists recently described as the country’s “media-critic-in-chief,” promulgated a far-reaching Communications Law that has had devastating consequences for media outlets and workers at every level. Since its passage in 2013, multiple print and online news sources have closed their doors. In a high-profile case, cartoonist Xavier Bonilla was ordered to erase a cartoon depicting government officials and redraw them in a more flattering light.

U.N. Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression Frank La Rue characterized the law as being “clearly directed at limiting the liberty of reporters to report on current events, public policies, and government officials.” Read Article

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