I tried to upload a video from Arrested Development to You Tube. It was 22.8 seconds long and it was bookmarked between a screen that read, “Sometimes satire just makes things worse.” And “Now millions of ‘hip’ Americans think Parliament has 3 houses. Maybe it’s because Congress has three houses.”
The scene I took was from the episode “The Ocean Walker.” In it, Michael asks Rita, who is mentally challenged, how many houses are in the British Parliament. She replies, “Seven!” And Michael says, “That does sound about right.” Meanwhile, the narrator claims that the number is three. When I first saw this episode, I didn’t get the joke. Instead, I thought, “Wow, I’m stupid! I thought there were only two.” So I looked it up, and sure enough, I am stupid—not because I was wrong but because I’m so gullible; I’ll believe anything Ron Howard says.
It occurs to me that many people watching the show went away thinking that the British Parliament has three houses. Not only did the narrator say it twice, George Michael, the most earnest character ever created, says it as well.
But that 22.8 seconds of Arrested Development violated Fox’s copyright claim and the video was blocked instantly. (Ever notice how when uploading videos to YouTube, most of the time is spent “analyzing”? I believe that is just checking the video against such claims.) I am certain that what I’ve created falls under fair use. It is an outrage that such a tiny section of video is automatically discounted without thought by YouTube. What’s more, such a policy is bad for Arrested Development itself. Little snippets like this are nothing if not commercials.
So until I get a letter from Fox, the video is provided here. If I can figure out how to embed it directly here I will.
I’ve filed a dispute claiming fair use. Our society is screwed up when the onus of fair use is on the user, but so be it. Temporarily, the video is on YouTube. I am not hopeful for my claim—not because it is invalid but because the copyright law is now so skewed that it is hopeless. I’m looking forward to copyright being expanded another 15 years for the sake of Disney.
For the time:
Update (7 June 2014 11:00 pm)
I should have done this update a long time ago. Fox agreed with my claim and it is up for good, I guess. You could help me a little. The video currently has 7 thumbs up and 6 thumbs down. All of those 6 thumbs down came at the beginning. I think this is because they thought I was criticizing the show, which I’m not. I think this is one of the most brilliant jokes ever. So you could give the video a thumbs up.