/// A Race, A Crash, and The NASCAR Approach to YouTube Video Takedowns

February 24, 2013  |  All Things Digital


To say events at the Drive4COPD 300 race in Daytona Beach on Saturday were a nightmare would be an understatement. Nearly 30 fans sustained injuries after parts of driver Kyle Larson’s car tore through the stands in the wake of a final-lap crash involving multiple cars. Almost immediately, an intense video of the wreck was shot by a fan and uploaded to YouTube, detailing some of the carnage that swept across the stands and the race-goers that filled them. In a particularly intense moment, one person appeared to be pinned down by an entire errant wheel that flew off of one of the wrecked cars. But just as quickly as it was uploaded, the video was taken down from YouTube at NASCAR’s request, citing copyright concerns. Odd, that, considering a quick YouTube search for Daytona Crash 2013 returns a host of videos from the event, yet to be pulled. So what gives? Is NASCAR lagging on taking down all the copyrighted content showing up, or is NASCAR selectively censoring the more gruesome footage showing up on YouTube? It seems the latter is the case, though NASCAR positions it in a more noble light. “The fan video of the wreck on the final lap of today’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race was blocked on YouTube out of respect for those injured in today’s accident,” said Steve Phelps, NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, in a statement issued to AllThingsD . “Information on the status of those fans was unclear and the decision was made to err on the side of caution with this very serious incident.” NASCAR wouldn’t respond to my further questions of whether the organization would pull other fan videos, referring me to the company’s original statement. So it looks as if we can view this in a few ways; either NASCAR is indeed concerned with the well-being of the injured, or NASCAR is trying to avoid a major PR headache by stymieing the viral video of the brutal injuries its fans suffered. Call me a cynic, but I’m leaning towards the latter case. But whatever side you want to take, there’s another problem here: NASCAR may not have the standing to request takedowns of these videos in the first place

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A Race, A Crash, and The NASCAR Approach to YouTube Video Takedowns


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