HBO, which has a six month license to last Sunday’s “We Are One” inauguration concert, will allow clips from the event to be posted on YouTube, a spokesperson said Thursday.
The network asked the Google-owned video site to remove the clips earlier in the week, citing a copyright violation. Not only were clips from the HBO telecast removed, but video clips shot by those in the crowd as well.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association, a lobbying organization whose members include Microsoft and Google, released a statement Wednesday criticizing the decision to remove the videos.
“This is a public event held on public grounds, open to all citizens without restriction. Those sharing their memories on YouTube or other formats should be covered under Fair Use laws. It’s yet another example of the outrageous, excessive attitude of certain big content companies,” said CCIA President & CEO Ed Black in a statement. “If we continue to give ground to overreaching requests from the greediest part of the content industry ‘this land’ will belong to them – not you and me.”
HBO says that it has stopped asking YouTube to remove the clips, citing the event’s historic nature.
“HBO diligently protects its programming and we are not abandoning our rights to the "We Are One" concert,” said a network statement. “However, we do recognize the historical significance of the event, which is why we attempted to make it available to all by opening the HBO signal and continue to stream the entire concert on hbo.com. In that spirit, we understand why people would want to share their favorite moments of the concert and are not objecting to them doing so.”