Media Analysis

Youtube allows countless parodies of Lorde song — but pulls down one detailing Palestinian oppression

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Earlier this month, some creative friends of Palestinians did a stirring cover version of Lorde’s hit song “Royals” that exalted the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) as a means to end Palestinian persecution, as well as saluted the young New Zealand artist for respecting the BDS call and not playing Israel. Replete with disturbing images of the occupation– the cover video can be seen on Facebook.

The video– “a gift for Lorde” — was originally up on Youtube. But after 75,000 views or so, Youtube removed the video “due to a copyright claim by Kobalt Music Productions,” which owns the rights to Lorde’s music.

I am told that the makers of the video will be challenging the censorship. Glaringly, there are tons of other videos on YouTube by others covering Lorde’s hit and adding lyrics that discuss such matters as– the Kansas City Royals, the almighty, the Cleveland Browns, Pinterest… just about anything. Many of these videos are aimed at mocking Lorde for being spoiled or blase– often savagely.

While the “Loyals” song is a paean to Lorde’s work, and was drawing thanks to Lorde from viewers who admire her stance.

It is plain that Palestine crosses Youtube’s red lines.

What’s more, removing pro-Palestine cover treatments of popular songs is a tried-and-true tactic of the Israel lobby. The group Creative Community for Peace specializes in these efforts. In 2013 they bragged:

Take down notices— Boycott activists violate copyright laws by using an artist’s original music to manipulate perceptions about Israel and to pressure them into cancelling their performances. CCFP successfully removed theses videos, including ones for Depeche Mode and Alicia Keys, from Youtube for copyright infringement.

One of those videos was a parody of Keys’s “Girl on Fire” that urged her not to play Israel. Keys played there anyway.

Again in 2014, the Creative Community for Peace group bragged on its efforts:

CCFP caused several boycott propaganda videos to be removed from YouTube.

While Phan Nguyen reported for us that CCFP claimed to be an “apolitical” arts group– but was actually a front for StandWithUs, the American advocates for illegal Jewish settlers.

CCFP also spoke about its Alicia Keys work at this recent StandWithUs conference.

Again, you can find the Lorde cover on BDS South Africa’s Facebook page. Here are the lyrics.

I’ve never seen my homeland in the flesh

I only know Palestine through stories
And grandma still knows the address, but it’s all gone now
Replaced with pine trees

What would you say if someone came in, took your house, put you in the bathroom,
Controlled if you go in and out, decided they could bomb you
Would you not care – if other people said they heard you scream
That’s why we use our power
Boycott divest sanction israel
End the occupation end this brutal hell
To be clear
We won’t allow these systems there or here

And we’ll never be loyal
To apartheid and spilling blood
You put up walls, say just for us
And we smash them just because
We reject all rulers
And white supremacy
In life work and school (school school school school)
BDS till we’re free

My friends and I we know what’s owed
We’ve been taught life from young and old, and grieving bodies
We won’t stop till the whole world knows
If you commit war crimes
You don’t get our money

So we boycott
Sabra, HP, products from the dead sea
Caterpillar, Ahava, Israeli dates and Soda Stream
We don’t care
Israeli apartheid needs a scare
That’s why we use our power
Boycott divest sanction israel
End the occupation end this brutal hell
To be clear
We won’t allow these systems there or here

And we’ll never be loyal
To apartheid and spilling blood
You put up walls, say just for us
And we smash them just because
No respect for rulers
500 youth in penitentiary
Don’t convince us that’s cool
BDS till we’re free

Oh ooh oh ohh
We’re bigger than we ever been
And Palestine is getting free
Oh ooh oh ohh
Oppression has got a scare
Never again, anywhere

We’ll never be loyal
To apartheid and spilling blood
You put up walls, say just for us
And we smash them just because
We reject all rulers
And white supremacy
In life work and school, school school school school
BDS till we’re free

Update: This piece originally included the idea that the video was believed to be a “fair use” of the original and did not violate copyright. The “Loyals” makers inform me that having consulted lawyers who are expert in intellectual property law, they believe Kobalt was likely within its rights to demand the removal on copyright grounds. They also say that the “The Loyals collective will be in touch with Kobalt to try to persuade them to restore the video. We stand by the fact that this removal appears selective, hypocritical and motivated by censorship, as countless other covers have been allowed by Youtube and Kobalt.”
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The tentacles of the zio-pus span far and wide gripping onto what it can including, it would appear, YouTube. Phil breaks it down nicely leaving little doubt of Zionist interference regarding the removed YouTube vid. Interesting articles on YouTube / Google and the Israeli Govt https://www.alternet.org/israel-announces-coordinate-google-youtube-censor-palestinian-videos-conflict http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/google-talks-israel-block-palestinian-videos-youtube-1531093 It’s always amazing to me at how much time, effort and money has been spent by this rogue state to do violence to innocents and the truth so… Read more »

Israel must be warning Google that they’d pull out their ads & go to another distributor, well maybe we too should do the same thing, this can be a fun tug of war. We have our preferences too & if we find other carriers who are more open to our preferences
We Will GO There ! :) (Y)

Thank you for sharing this unfortunate news regarding YouTube. Shame on them for their selective censorship.

Censoring a song is … so arrogant, … so evil.

YouTube has also removed all of the IAK videos that had been posted for some time. Big Brother Israel is omnipresent!