It is indeed ironic that a site such as Youtube, built, according to the billion dollar Viacom lawsuit, on stolen intellectual property, removed something unique, and special - a totally original work, which was both designed to, and succeeded in, spreading Christmas joy throughout the world.
(PRWEB) January 8, 2009
Austin Washington's "Need a Little Love" Christmas video, which gained over 1.4 million views on PopMusic.com in December, making it the most popular Christmas video in history, was removed from Youtube on the twelfth day of Christmas, January 5, amid claims it violated John Lennon's copyright. (The video, entitled "Best Christmas Video EVER! Pole Dancing Elves, John Lennon, Santa Claus", was put up temporarily at Youtube after its popularity kept crashing PopMusic.com's severs the week before Christmas). Youtube claimed the song was owned by Yoko Ono, as executor of the late Beatle's estate - although the song came to Austin Washington in a dream a generation after John Lennon died.
Austin Washington, in a story published around the world, woke up on the anniversary of John Lennon's death, December 8, from a dream of John Lennon singing a new song, "Need a Little Love". "Need a Little Love" is indeed a song John Lennon might have written. But he didn't (except in Austin's dream!)
A few days after this dream, Austin serendipitously ran into 150 anarchic Santa Clauses forcibly hugging tourists and federal bureaucrats outside The White House. He filmed this with his phone-cam.
Austin set these acts of spontaneous good-will to the "John Lennon" song that had come to Austin in a dream, a song Austin recorded in a hotel room on his trusty Macintosh with his travel guitar, posting it on PopMusic.com the next day.
He forgot about it, and continued with his day job - helping Obama's transition office write speeches.
Busy with his job, a few days later, when Austin checked, he found that the PopMusic.com servers had crashed, and kept crashing, the demand for "Need a Little Love" was so great. Austin's video of a bit of spontaneous, dreamed-up joy, had taken off around the world, eclipsing even the fame of the President-Elect (gaining a higher rating its first week than any speech by Obama that same week).
Austin hurriedly uploaded the song to Youtube to temporarily take some of the load off PopMusic.com's severs - minutes after uploading "Need a Little Love" to Youtube, it became Youtube's #5 song and #95 video in the world, before PopMusic.com got a new, souped-up server running (something PopMusic.com had been putting off for a few years, anyway).
The widely reported story of the song coming to Austin in a dream apparently confused the folks at Youtube, as, on the twelfth day of Christmas, January 5, Youtube removed their copy of "Need a Little Love" for "community violations", saying "someone else owns the copyright".
Austin and his friends responded in an email to Youtube, in which they refer to Viacom's billion dollar lawsuit against the Google property (http://news.justia.com/cases/featured/new-york/nysdce/1:2007cv02103/302164/ ), saying, in part, "It is indeed ironic that a site such as Youtube, built, according to the billion dollar Viacom lawsuit, on stolen intellectual property, removed something unique, and special - a totally original work, which was both designed to, and succeeded in, spreading Christmas joy throughout the world."
The note goes on, "According to the billion dollar Viacom lawsuit, Youtube has relied upon stolen intellectual work to build its foundation. Youtube today is also rife with hateful, disgusting content. Something as harmless as inanity is a welcome relief, in the world Youtube has created. Yet Youtube chose to remove one of the best, most positive, inspiring, and loved videos in the history of the internet, Austin Washington's 'Need a Little Love'."
Austin concluded by hoping "the world will learn of our sites, ShareMusic.com, which is known as the anti-Youtube, and PopMusic.com - both designed to make the world better...Our sites are all about making dreams come true. Youtube", the note concludes, "apparently can't tell the difference between a dream (of John Lennon singing a song) and reality (it was just a dream)."
The note ends with what may or may not be in ironic "Love, Austin & Friends"
Youtube's response? Says Austin, "Embarrassed silence."
The video can still be seen on PopMusic.com (it's the second video now, after "Fly Like a Bird"), or on the bottom of Austin's own page
Here is the REMOVED Youtube link: