4000 Anti-Scientology videos pulled from YouTube
Over a period of twelve hours, between this Thursday night and Friday morning, American Rights Counsel LLC sent out over 4000 DMCA takedown notices to YouTube, all making copyright infringement claims against videos with content critical of the Church of Scientology. Clips included footage of Australian and German news reports about Scientology, A Message to Anonymous/Scientology , and footage from a Clearwater City Commission meeting. Many accounts were suspended by YouTube in response to multiple allegations of copyright infringement.
This certainly isn't the first time that the Church of Scientology has called for censorship of videos on YouTube - in April of 2008, popular anti-scientology journalist Mark Bunker had his third YouTube account pulled in the name of copyright infringement, despite the fact he had no such material on his third channel. The first copyright violation earned him a lifetime ban from posting any material to the site, therefore his later accounts were automatically deleted upon discovery.
It is still unknown whether the CoS is behind this recent massive takedown effort, but many affected members have issued counter notices to the DMCA:
YouTube users responded with DMCA counter-notices. At this time, many of the suspended channels have been reinstated and many of the videos are back up. Whether or not American Rights Counsel, LLC represents the notoriously litigious Church of Scientology is unclear, but this would not be the first time that the Church of Scientology has used the DMCA to silence Scientology critics.