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

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.

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.