Should Filing False DMCA Claims against Atheists on YouTube be Considered a Hate Crime – No


I am an atheist and, while I often feel that atheists can be subject to discrimination, I also feel that feeling singled out in this matter is more a matter of thin skin than a “hate crime.” The whole idea of the DMCA is to protect websites from being sued for, unwittingly, posting copyrighted material. YouTube is the most common site where this can occur. YouTube essentially lets its members post anything they want. If somebody posts copyrighted material, YouTube has a certain amount of time to pull the plug on said material, lest they risk a lawsuit. If someone makes a claim that something posted is copyrighted, then, more often than not, YouTube is going to pull it-erring on the side of caution.

False claims of copyright infringement

Of course, this can lead to false claims of copyright infringement. A person (or group) can make a claim just for the purpose of getting something they find offensive pulled from YouTube. If the claim is proven to be false, I suppose the original person posting the piece can get YouTube to re-post the item. At any rate, if a person makes a false claim, it certainly impinges on the free speech rights of the original poster and is, technically, a crime.

Youtube Against Atheists Videos

Now, to the specifics of this question. My guess is, some religious groups are making a habit of convincing YouTube (and others) to pull material posted by atheists under the guise of copyright infringement.

Apparently, this must happen a lot, or the question would never have been asked. I’m also making the assumption that many of these claims are false and that, ostensibly, the religious groups are having YouTube pull the plug because they find these postings offensive, for whatever reason. My initial reaction to these religious types would be, “So, what? If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.” Of course, that is an oversimplification. These (undoubtedly right-wing) religious groups want to save all of our souls, so lying to cleanse the internet is okay.

The falsely accused atheists

On the other side of the same coin, I say to the falsely accused atheists, “Be careful what you call a hate crime.” If someone impinges on your first amendment rights, you certainly have the right to be angry. You certainly have the right to further action, if it’s worth your time. But to throw this into the category of hate crime is making true hate crimes seem cheap. When I think of a hate crime, I think of somebody being singled out by a large group for being (gay, black, Jewish, pick you minority) and truly tormented, tortured or otherwise wronged. Having something you’ve posted on YouTube pulled is not torture. If the material is not truly an infringement on someone else’s copyright, then post the piece on your own website. File an appeal with YouTube (or whatever higher authority you can find). But, don’t lump this in with “hate crime.”

I empathize with any atheist who’s had his/her material pulled from YouTube because of a false DMCA claim by some religious group. But, to call this action a hate crime does nothing but cheapen true hate crimes. If it’s that important to you, find a way to post the piece someplace else. Any publicity received from the false claim will probably only increase your total number of hits.

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