The Online-Video Takedown Smackdown

Filmmakers say their material is being unfairly removed from video-sharing sites, accusing Viacom and its ilk of censorship

Amateur filmmaker Matt Hawes thought his video spoof of MTV's The Real World was sufficiently funny to get noticed on YouTube. But the Indiana resident wasn't laughing earlier this month when his video grabbed the attention of MTV parent Viacom (VIA) and was removed from the video-sharing site for alleged copyright infringement. "It was a parody of reality television in general," says Hawes. "Obviously no one had bothered to watch it."

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