Labor's 'dirty' ad pulled from YouTube at Liberal request

Labor's 'dirty' ad pulled from YouTube at Liberal request

Summary: Shadow Education Minister Christopher Pyne has claimed that YouTube pulled a Labor ad from its website for breaching YouTube's terms of service, but it was actually pulled down due to a copyright claim from the Liberal party.

TOPICS: Google, Australia

An ad mocking the Coalition's New Hope election-launching advertisement created by the Australian Labor Party was pulled just hours after being uploaded, becoming the first casualty of a digital war fought on all social media fronts between the two major parties in the 2013 Australian election.

(Image: Screenshot by Josh Taylor/ZDNet)

The video, which was renamed "The Liberals' New Hope (For Power)", pointed out the flaws that Labor perceives in the Coalition's policies. It was uploaded to the site on Tuesday, but had been removed from YouTube by Wednesday.

In a press release late on Wednesday, Shadow Education Minister Christopher Pyne said that "even YouTube can't trust Labor to do the right thing".

"YouTube remove videos when they breach their terms of service, when they're offensive, contain illegal [Pyne's emphasis] material, or contain copyrighted content," he said in the press release.

"But having a political advertisement removed is unprecedented in Australia."

However, on closer inspection, it is clear that the video was pulled from YouTube at the request of the Liberal Party of Australia on copyright grounds. Undeterred, Labor also uploaded the video to Facebook, only to once again have to pull the video at the request of the Liberal Party on copyright grounds.

A Labor source suggested that the video should be allowed under copyright as it is a parody, but the campaign has not yet sought to challenge the removal requests from the Liberal Party, instead uploading the video to Vimeo. After this article was first published, the video was again removed from Vimeo, but has now been uploaded to Daily Motion.

The Liberal Party is also guilty of using Labor's own copyright material in its advertising, including a photo of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's shaving accident taken from Rudd's personal Instagram account in one of its own ads on Facebook.

A spokesperson for Pyne was approached for comment, but no response had been received at the time of writing.

Google said it does not comment on the removal of individual videos from YouTube.

Topics: Google, Australia


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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  • Orwell

    I can't think of a more egregious violation of the right to engage in political debate than the misuse of copyright law to silence a political opponent. This is quite simply shameful and there should be sanctions levied against the offending party.
    • Sanctions should be put on Labor's spending.

      Fact is Labor used copyrighted material. Reproduce the video without using the contents of Liberal's adverts and I might agree with you. Labor simply broke the copyright law and that can't be denied.
      • Google said it does not comment on the removal of videos from You Tube

        Well Josh is this statement is from Google itself where on earth did you get your information? If Labor can't run a decent advertising campaign without this dirty rubbish perhaps they are getting desperate.
  • The truth must hurt.
  • I'm no Liberal voter

    but I hate these cheap jibe "don't vote for THAT GUY" ads. If you want voters, just put your policies forward and let us, the voters, know what you plan to do with our money and our futures.

    Whether they (whoever they are) actually follow through is a story for another time, but... it would be nice to be treated with some measure of intelligence.