Sinclair vs Watts: An Update

(Read the original story on this issue if you haven’t already.)

The DeSmogBlog Youtube channel has uploaded the original video. I’m not sure if Peter Sinclair is aware of this, but somehow I think he won’t mind much. Mr Watts, however, will probably throw another fit.

I will consider the issue a true victory for Sinclair when he re-uploads the video on his account. But for now, at least people will be able to watch the video behind all this controversy.

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Sinclair vs Watts

Many of you probably are familiar with Peter Sinclair’s Climate Denial Crock of the Week channel, which dispels popular climate myths.

Many of you are probably also familiar with Anthony Watts and his blog Watt’s Up With That.

Several weeks ago, Sinclair created a video called “What’s Up With Watts?” in which he debunked the idea that the urban heat island effect is skewing the temperature records – the very premise of Watt’s Surface Stations project. He discussed how the temperature readings in urban centers are calibrated with nearby rural stations so that any heat bias is removed. Most impressive was a graph of the temperature readings from stations Watts deemed satisfactory; they showed the same upward trend as all of the stations together. NASA’s obviously doing a pretty good job of correcting that GISS data.

However, just a few days ago, Watts complained to YouTube and got the video removed on basis of a “copyright claim”. It is my knowledge (although I might be wrong) that YouTube will remove any video as soon as anyone complains about copyright.

The  only mention on Watt’s blog of the incident was a comment from a reader:

“Sorry to post off topic (although the comments are all backslapping anyway) but is there a reason you (Anthony) filed a DMCA complaint against Greenman3610’s youtube video “Watts up with Watts”?

From Youtube:
“This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Anthony Watts Surfacestations.org”

Surely his video falls under fair use. Relying on the nanny state to attack critics or am I missing something?

REPLY: I don’t care to discuss my reasons here as they are private and unrelated to this discussion. Google agreed that complaint was valid and removed the video. – Anthony”

But as Kevin Grandia from DeSmogBlog writes,

“Quite frankly I don’t know what part of the video Watts would have a problem with. There’s nothing I saw in the video that appears to break any copyright as it relates to Watts.

Now maybe he took issue with the short (credited) clip at the beginning from Will Ferrell’s Anchorman movie…. but I think this is more about a video that thoroughly shreds Watts and his argument that the world is wrong about climate change and he is right.”

If the copyright claim was indeed about the Anchorman clip (most likely to conceal other motives, however – you could spend your whole life filing complaints about YouTube videos that had clips from movies) it will be all too easy for Sinclair to edit that out of the video and repost it.

Otherwise, Watts hasn’t got a leg to stand on. It really exposes a person’s motives when they don’t even write a logical rebuttal when they take issue to their arguments being challenged – they simply censor those challenges instead.