Less than 24 hours after the, shall we say, misguided Brad Paisley and LL Cool J song "Accidental Racist" went viral, YouTube videos featuring the song appear to have been taken down — but it might not be YouTube doing the pulling, exactly.
After Paisley said he would not apologize for the song, he went on defend it on Ellen today. "Accidental Racist" appears on his album Wheelhouse, and it's still available on Spotify, so the YouTube "pull" may be more of a rights' issue than anything. (Google provides some content providers with the ability to pull down videos of their material.) We have reached out to Sony Music Nashville and Google for comment, and there is at least one YouTube version of the song still available on the video site (albeit with not that many plays). But it's a convenient bit of copyright usage that the version of the song — set to pictures of Paisley with lyrics on top of them — viewed by tens of thousands on Monday and Tuesday has suddenly vanished. It certainly takes away some of the punch when a video featuring the controversial song is no longer available alongside the many posts taking it to task:
Update: A YouTube spokesperson told us via email: "If a user removes a video, we display a message that informs you that the user took it down. If a copyright holder notifies us of a YouTube video that infringes their copyright, we remove the content and display a message informing you of the copyright claim, including the name of the copyright holder."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.