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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

YouTube, Vimeo remove documentary on Rafael Correa for alleged copyright infringement



The obstacles keep coming for the distribution of Colombian-American Santiago Villa's documentary on President Rafael Correa. According to the Ecuadorian NGO Fundamedios, YouTube and Vimeo took down the video after the company Ares Rights brought a lawsuit for copyright infringement.  

Fundamedios said the Spanish company Ares Rights, a group that protects authors' rights for its clients on the Internet, requested the removal of the documentary for supposedly containing "unauthorized images" taken in the state-run television station, Ecuador TV.

The distribution of the documentary has been riddled with accusations and censorship. Villa refused to broadcast the film on the U.S. television channel América TeVe after the network asked him to make changes in its presentation. The filmmaker called the edits censorship and alleged the Ecuadorian government pressured the station. Journalist Andrés Carrión was forced to end his radio program on Armónica after interviewing Santiago Villa. 

"Rafael Correa, portrait of the father of the nation," according to Villa, "uses the protagonists' own words to address topics like the FARC's financing of Rafael Correa's presidential campaign in 2006, [...] the persecution of social and indigenous leaders, the government's campaign to against freedom of expression and legal harassment by the presidential family's former security chief." According to Fundamedios, the documentary is only available for viewing on the Russian-based website www.smotri.com.



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