Last month (and still) it was the story of how a Houston, Texas Attorney, J Mark Brewer, coerced a cartoonist in England, Dave Walker to remove some blog postings.
Guess what happened. Dave’s postings, readily available from Google’s cache, are now republished in many, many places on the Internet. And a simple search for J Mark Brewer yields almost nothing but blog articles about this, hundred of them. Try it: type J Mark Brewer into Google Search.
Now, as Slashdot and dozens of websites are reporting:
The International Olympic Committee filed a copyright infringement claim yesterday against YouTube for hosting video of a Free Tibet protest at the Chinese Consulate in Manhattan Thursday night. The video depicts demonstrators conducting a candlelight vigil and projecting a protest video onto the consulate building; the projection features recent footage of Tibetan monks being arrested and riffs on the Olympic logo of the five interlocking rings, turning them into handcuffs. YouTube dutifully yanked the video, but it can still be seen on Vimeo. (Be advised; there is some brief footage of bloody, injured monks.)
Guess what happened. Guess how many copies of the video are going around the net. Guess what Google is turning up in their images section: the Olympic logo morphed into handcuffs — hundreds of copies. (Note of interest: Google owns YouTube).
One example: The Mad Priest, a priest at St. Francis, Anglican Church in Newcastle Upon Tyne, in his blog — the same blog that published many of Dave Walker’s postings after J Mark Brewer forced his hand — is now featuring the Tibet video on his blog.
Wikipedia defines the Streisand effect as:
. . . a phenomenon on the Internet where an attempt to censor or remove a piece of information backfires, causing the information to be widely publicized. Examples are attempts to censor a photograph, a file, or even a whole website, especially by means of cease-and-desist letters. Instead of being suppressed, the information sometimes quickly receives extensive publicity, often being widely mirrored across the Internet.