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Conservative blog claims YouTube channel suspension is 'politically motivated

(Image source: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

The conservative blog Legal Insurrection is claiming YouTube shut down its channel over copyright violations but that it never received a warning that the eight years of video content housed on their channel would be wiped — until it was too late.

A message was posted by YouTube at the top of Legal Insurrection's channel, noting that "multiple third-party claims of copyright infringement" had been received. However, the website says it was never given a warning to remove the content in question. Instead, YouTube just took it down.

"@YouTube why did you shut down our account? We NEVER received any claims of copyright infringement (Please RT)," a tweet, sent out Friday by the website, reads.

Legal Insurrection founder and publisher William Jacobson wrote Thursday in a post on the website that YouTube informed him the "third party" that filed the copyright infringement claims was the Modern Language Association, a language teaching advocacy organization.

Jacobson said the complaint was based on audio of both anti-Israel and pro-Israel speakers who attended MLA's Annual Meeting. Jacobson posted an article Sunday about three of the resolutions being voted on at the meeting, including one where attendees voted to boycott Israeli universities.

In addition to its story on the MLA meeting, Legal Insurrection also published video of some of the speakers. The MLA then requested that YouTube remove the videos, which one MLA spokeswoman told Fox News is the organization's "practice."

YouTube, for its part, granted MLA's request, but without providing notice to the user.

"Clearly this was a politically motivated move. I never received any request or complaint from MLA. These were perfectly legitimate fair use excerpts with great news value... This is an attempt to silence our reporting on a matter of great public importance," Jacobson said.

According to the U.S. Copyright Office, "fair use" law states that one party may legally publish another's copyrighted material if it is for the purpose of criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research.

Jacobson insists Legal Insurrection was in total compliance with the law, telling Fox News that it takes copyright issues "very seriously."

He then pointed out that not only were videos allegedly in violation of copyright law removed from YouTube, but that the video service also took down a number of "substantial original content."

A representative for Google, which owns YouTube, did not immediately respond Friday when asked why all of the videos were removed.

Meanwhile, Jacobson is vowing to "pursue all available remedies" as he tries to convince YouTube to restore his website's account.

It's also worth noting that the YouTube account belonging to another conservative website, the Washington Free Beacon, was also shut down earlier this week for alleged copyright infringement. The publication's account has since been restored.

(H/T: Fox News)

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