Scripps News Network temporarily blacks out NASA Curiosity video on YouTube

A NASA video from Monday's historic Mars Rover landing was briefly taken down from YouTube due to a news agency's copyright claim.

Mar 3, 2020, 3:53 am*


Chase Hoffberger 

Chase Hoffberger

10 minutes in a NASA mission control room can be more riveting and suspenseful than the closing sequences of the Super Bowl, American Idol, or… well, you name it. We saw it in 1969 when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. We saw it in Hollywood when Ed Harris and the Apollo 13 mission control tried to bring Tom Hanks and Bill Paxton back into Earth’s gravitational pull.


It is, for every sweaty brow and firmly clenched fist, an absolute thrill.

Last night, after successfully landing Curiosity, a car-sized roving vehicle, on Mars, NASA sought to archive ten minutes of control room footage. The agency posted “NASA Lands car-size rover beside Martian Mountain” to its official YouTube channel, where it would be free to watch by all the masses of space junkies who couldn’t stay up until Curiosity’s 1:33 a.m. ET landing.

But the video was removed from the site just a few minutes later. “Nasa lands” had been victim to a Content ID takedown filed by Cincinnati-based Scripps News Network. As Vice so eloquently pointed out this morning, “a NASA-made video posted on NASA’s official YouTube channel, documenting the landing of a $2.5 billion Mars rover mission paid for with public taxpayer money, was blocked by YouTube because of a copyright claim by a private news source.”

Scripps vice president of corporate communications Tim King has not returned a request for comment—he was “on the phone with [Scripps’s] legal team” when the Daily Dot spoke with his office this morning—but the video has been restored to NASA’s channel since its takedown this morning.

YouTube can remove a video from its site for three reasons: if it violates any terms of service, if it is automatically found to match previously copyrighted content, or if it receives a request from a copyright owner to remove pirated content. In cases pertaining to the third takedown method, YouTube will remove the video from its site and wait for the original poster to file an appeal for reinstatement.

This isn’t the first time that Scripps News Service has found itself in a middle of a tiff between YouTube and NASA. In April, the company flagged footage of a Boeing 747 carrying the space shuttle Discovery as it took off from Cape Canaveral.

YouTube restored that video, just as it did with last night’s celebration, just a few hours after taking it off the site.

UPDATE: The Daily Dot has received the following statement from Scripps’ Tim King:

“We apologize for the temporary inconvenience experienced when trying to upload and view a NASA clip early Monday morning. We made a mistake. We reacted as quickly as possible to make the video viewable again, and we’ve adjusted our workflow processes to remedy the situation in future.”

Photo via YouTube

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*First Published: Aug 6, 2012, 2:31 pm