Last week, the US House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee held an otherwise unremarkable budget hearing on the judiciary. The hearing was recorded and streamed live and then released on YouTube as well as Ustream. However, this morning, Steve Schultze, who works on internet freedom for the State Department (and who has previously done great work at Princeton’s tech policy think tank and Harvard’s Berkman Center), went to check out the video on YouTube and saw the following.
Soon after Schultze pointed this out, the message on the video’s page switched from being a copyright claim to that the video had been made “private.” So, it’s likely this is in the process of being sorted out. And, yes, in the long run, it seems unlikely that a random House Appropriations Committee hearing on the court system’s budget is so important that it needs to be available immediately. But just the fact that a questionable copyright claim, combined with an automatic takedown system appears to be making information disappear from public hearings in the US Congress should raise alarm bells.