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September 28, 2012

Google to remove contentious Brazil video from YouTube

Videos breached local election laws.

By CBR Staff Writer

Search engine giant Google has agreed to remove a controversial political video on YouTube that led to arrest of its Brazilian operations president Fabio Jose Silva Coelho.

Google chief’s arrest follows a ruling by Mato Grosso do Sul state’s regional electoral court Judge Flavio Peren that videos posted on YouTube breached local election laws.

Coelho said that the firm’s final legal appeal has been denied and so now it has no choice but to block the video in Brazil.

"We are deeply disappointed that we have never had the full opportunity to argue in court that these were legitimate free speech videos and should remain available in Brazil," Coelho said.

"Despite all this, we will continue to campaign for free expression globally — not just because it’s a key tenet of free societies, but also because more information generally means more choice, more power, more economic opportunity and more freedom for people."

The search engine giant also argued that it was not responsible for the content of videos posted on its site, while pressured that it would follow its guidelines and the legislation of each country.

"If a video is illegal in a particular country, we will restrict access to it, after receiving a valid court order or government complaint," Coelho said.

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"Because we are deeply committed to free expression, we often push back on requests that we do not believe are valid."

In an another development, a US federal judge has ordered arrest of a Californian man connected to an anti-Islam film posted Google’s YouTube and accused that he breached terms of his trial on a bank fraud conviction.

Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt defended hosting of an anti-Islam film at its video sharing site YouTube that sparked violent protests across Muslim countries saying the answer to "bad speech is more speech" — not a ban.

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