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March 7, 2007

Turkish Courts Bans Access to YouTube (in Turkey)

YouTube access in Turkey has been suspended by Turkey's largest Internet provider after a Turkish court ordered the ban.  Apparently Greek and Turkish posters have been fighting a war of videos.  Insulting the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk is a crime under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code.  YouTube has removed the offending video and is working with the government to restore access.  As with the Brazil case where access was suspended by a court for a few days, smaller Internet providers still provided access. 

The International Herald Tribune story brings up another related story from France.  The law there now criminalizes recording acts of violence for posting on the Internet.  The idea was to prevent people from making home-made videos of violence especially for posting on the Internet.

French activists are concerned that anyone filming acts of police brutality would be considered a criminal under the law.  The law has provisions to protect journalists and others who turn their recordings over to the government.  Otherwise, recording a cop beating the snot out of an immigrant in a riot can lead up to a €75,000 and a five year prison sentence.  Average displays of violence in France are likely still sanctioned through traditional entertainment media sources where they can be supported by ads from major corporations.

The Los Angeles Police Department probably regrets that such a law is not in effect here.  The United States does have a different sensibility when it comes to this kind of stuff, and a more or less undiluted First Amendment.  That does explain, if nothing else, the popularity within the U.S. of the Jackass movies, the television series 24, and public acts recorded with camera phones. 

The International Herald Tribune story is here.

March 7, 2007 | Permalink

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