While the Oscars played ABC on Sunday night, BlazeTV host Steven Crowder held a YouTube live stream where he poked fun at the ceremony and invited guests to share their views. Or, at least he did until ABC pulled it citing a copyright infringement.
What happened to the live stream?
The Academy Awards ceremony began at 8:00 p.m. ET. By 8:43 pm, Crowder tweeted that ABC had pulled his stream off of YouTube. He was able to continue his live stream on Facebook, but he called out ABC for what he saw as targeted harassment. He pointed out that he had streamed his show through the entire Oscars ceremony last year without any issue.
ABC took down our stream! We're working on it! #CrowderAntiOscarsParty #Oscars #Oscar2019— Steven Crowder (@Steven Crowder) 1551059027.0
Crowder was quick to note that at the time the feed was pulled, it was garnering roughly four times the viewership of ABC's own live stream of the ceremony. "Our stream was rocketing past 40,000 live viewers at any given moment, and toward 50,000 very quickly," he said in a statement.
ABC's own live stream of the event garnered an estimated average of 10,000 live users.
The copyright infringement claim led Crowder to speculate on whether or not the decision was politically motivated. He said he viewed this as "just another example of old, dying media attempting to stifle voices of dissent through bully tactics, rather than competing on a level playing field of content."
According to the legal regulations page of the Oscars website, "no use of any excerpt from any Awards presentation may be made while the telecast is in progress." While Crowder did have a stream of the actual ceremony in the corner of his livestream for at least part of the Oscars he argued that due to his critique of the Oscars, his streaming of the video was protected under fair use because it was transformative.