EP Moore and writer-producer Gibbs told Deadline they found out today that their film, which has racked up more than 8.3 million views in a month and more, was removed from YouTube after a copyright claim was filed against the documentary over four seconds of footage. contains.
“This attempt to dismantle our film and prevent the public from seeing it is a blatant act of censorship by political critics of The planet of humansGibbs said in a statement provided exclusively to Deadline (see below). “It is an abuse of copyright law to close a film that opened a serious conversation about how parts of the environmental movement got into bed with Wall Street and the so-called ‘green capitalists’ ” There is absolutely no copyright infringement in my film. “
The planet of humans, supported by Michael Moore, extends its run on YouTube and reports 8 million views
The copyrighted four-second clip arrives 37 minutes after the documentary begins, in a sequence titled “How solar panels and wind turbines are made.” The images show an operation to extract rare earth metals, which are used in the manufacture of wind turbines. Gibbs says he incorporated “fair use” footage, an exception to copyright law that allows reporters, producers and documentaries to have limited access to copyrighted material to illustrate some points.
It is not known who claimed the copyright infringement, although Moore’s representative suspects someone who runs an environmental foundation, which in turn is funded by a group linked to an environmentalist criticized in the documentary. YouTube automatically notifies content creators after filing a copyright claim. The creator then has the option to “contact the requester” to resolve the issue or to dispute the request via YouTube. A representative for Moore and Gibbs confirmed that the filmmakers officially challenged the copyright infringement complaint via YouTube.
“We are working with YouTube to resolve this problem,” Gibbs wrote in his statement, “and have the film saved as soon as possible. “
Moore posted The planet of humans on YouTube on the eve of Earth Day last month. The film argues that the so-called “green solutions” to fossil fuels offer a false promise to save the planet from the environmental collapse caused by global warming, overconsumption and depletion of resources. Gibbs insists that the environmental movement must take into account population growth and mass consumption to have a real impact on what he sees as an apocalyptic scenario. The film also raises questions about possible financial conflicts of interest among leading environmentalists who support green energy, including former vice president Al Gore and Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org.
The documentary, notably from Moore and Gibbs, a steadfast left, and not from climate change deniers, was to provoke a strong reaction. Among the environmental champions leading the charge against The planet of humans was Josh Fox, the Oscar-nominated director of Gasland. Fox ran a previous campaign on Twitter to get the documentary “retracted by its creators and distributors,” calling the film “shockingly misleading and absurd.”
Fox’s effort sparked its own backlash, the PEN America writers’ organization saying it tried to censor. In his statement to Deadline, Gibbs once denounced any attempt to prevent the film from reaching audiences.
Here’s Gibbs’ full statement to Deadline:
This attempt to dismantle our film and prevent the public from seeing it is a blatant act of censorship by political critics of Planet of humans. It is a misuse of copyright law to close a film that opened a serious conversation about how parts of the environmental movement got into bed with Wall Street and the so-called “green capitalists” ” There is absolutely no copyright infringement in my film. This is just another attempt by opponents of the film to undermine the right to freedom of expression.
Opponents of The planet of humans, who dislike his criticism of the environmental movement’s failures, worked for weeks to get the film removed and to keep us from appearing on television and live. Their efforts to overthrow free speech have failed, with almost eight and a half million people already watching the film on YouTube. These Trumpian tactics are shameful, and their goal of stifling free speech and preventing people from struggling with the uncomfortable truths exposed in this film is deeply troubling.
PEN America, which was founded in 1922 and fights for the freedom of expression of artists in the United States and in the world, has spoken out firmly and denounced the initial attempt to censor this film, and we hope that all freedom of expression champions condemn this act of censorship. We are working with YouTube to resolve this issue and have the movie saved as soon as possible. “