Chrysler’s “It’s Halftime in America” pulled from YouTube

The erroneous takedown highlights YouTube's “yank first, probe later” policy when it comes to potential copyright infringement.

Mar 3, 2020, 8:49 am*


Kris Holt 

Kris Holt

Not all Super Bowl ads are readily available online.

If you were looking to check out Chrysler’s “It’s Halftime in America” ad from Sunday’s game, you might have had some trouble when trying to watch it on the auto-manufacturer’s YouTube channel on Monday morning. As first spotted by The Baltimore Sun, the National Football League (NFL) appeared to have issued a copyright claim against the ad, blocking YouTubers from seeing it on Chrysler’s channel.

The stirring clip features Clint Eastwood rallying all of America to tap in to its resilient qualities and make a comeback from times of adversity. Chrysler said this morning that it was working to rectify the issue and also posted the video to its corporate YouTube channel.

The video has been reinstated on the Chrysler account, though questions remain over why the takedown occurred in the first place.

YouTube has a content identification tool that copyright holders can use to identify any videos on the site that may be infringing their intellectual property. It appeared as though the NFL used the tool to discover videos that YouTubers posted of the game, including the bizarre winning play, in order to have them removed.

However, The Balitmore Sun reports that was not the case at all; the NFL did not file a copyright claim. The organization asked YouTube’s owner Google “to reinstate the ad.” At the time of writing, Google is looking into how the ad’s removal happened. YouTube has not responded to a request for comment.

As discovered with the Justin Bieber/Lady Gaga video takedowns from last year, it seems YouTube has a “yank first, probe later” policy when it comes to removing videos that allegedly infringe upon copyrighted material. This latest takedown request has again placed the spotlight on YouTube’s questionable takedown policy, which some YouTubers abuse to have videos they simply don’t like removed from the site—at least for a few hours.

Of all the people that could have been targeted with a Super Bowl copyright claim, it had to be Dirty Harry? Someone must have been feeling lucky.

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*First Published: Feb 6, 2012, 2:07 pm