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A Double-edged Sword: Copyrights Threaten Activists. Will Revolution Archives Be Lost?

Activists are receiving notices on social media telling them that videos they have posted are the right of a news agency, according to Orient News.
A Double-edged Sword: Copyrights Threaten Activists. Will Revolution Archives Be Lost?

A group of Syrian Revolution activists are alarmed by notices coming to them on their personal or public accounts on YouTube or Facebook apps telling them that the video they have posted is the right of a news agency, and they have options, including deleting it from them despite their ownership of it or its public ownership.
The property of registering ownership of the content enables any party to acquire the video simply because it is the first entity to have ownership rights to publish it. In return, there is no previous ownership of it, which makes this feature preserve rights at the expense of the loss of other original rights, especially the videos of the general revolution published by activists, most of whom have been circulated for years.
Activists are worried about losing the archives of the revolution if the theft of property content continues based on the news agency’s registration of its own rights, including Tamer Turkmani, director of the Syrian Revolution Archive Foundation, who began to suffer from this problem about three months ago.
Turkmani tells Orient Net that: ” when I get a Facebook notification that the ownership of some videos from demonstrations and events belonging to the revolution, “especially for a certain party,” I have three options: It must be deleted from me or marked under the video as belonging to that party or submit a claim in which you put evidence of ownership of the video.” He pointed out that he won more than one claim, and the video owner removed this feature, including a recording of Rami Makhlouf in 2020.

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According to Turkmani, these videos will one day be theirs just because they put a part of the video that may not exceed ten seconds in their own videography.
In the same context, journalist Ahed al-Salibi considers that the appropriation of the rights to public video is a “clear theft” added to Facebook’s policy of dealing with Syrian revolution activists after it deleted thousands of accounts and developed a terminology algorithm that restricts activists.
The danger of restricting public rights to a private party is that these parties will one day seize many videos that are not their own, as Salibi told Orient Net. He spoke about his experience a few days ago, that he was surprised by a notice from Facebook telling him that a clip of the martyr Abdel Basset al-Sarout published on his public page in 2019, a year in circulation, should be deleted because his ownership rights have become for the news agency Step News.
As for the videos of the revolution, journalist Abed Melhem does not believe there is a danger to them, as they are documented and stored on many platforms and with activists and media professionals. However, the fear remains when there is no corresponding measure to Facebook notifications, and you have to file an objection to any party claiming ownership of the clip.
As for the public clips, they do not belong to anyone because they documented the events of the revolution and circulated them to everyone. Regarding the policy of property rights on Facebook, it is not new. Still, again Arab parties and media outlets have begun to apply it and benefit from it to protect their rights, according to him.


This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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