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Déjà vu All Over Again: Ecuador and Ares Rights Renew Censorship Campaign

As reported last month, Chevron successfully reinstated over 100 videos that were removed by YouTube after Ares Rights, a Spanish firm working on behalf of the government of Ecuador,  filed meritless Digital Millennium Copyright (DMCA) infringement claims.

Despite Ecuador’s failed attempt to quash free speech and suppress our perspective on the ligation, Ares Rights CEO, Jonathan Palma again contacted Chevron via email on January 10th demanding that we remove the videos (here and here), and threatening to “escalate” the matter further if we did not.

As we have already demonstrated, Chevron has the legal right to use, host and disseminate videos that depict misconduct and potentially illegal activity by Steven Donziger and others associated with the case in Ecuador.  There is simply no basis to any of the claims made by Ares Rights concerning the videos. Each of the video clips was either created by or on behalf of Chevron or, in most cases, was taken from outtakes of video filmed by Joseph Berlinger and his associates in connection with the documentary Crude.  These video clips were provided to Chevron in connection with litigation discovery pursuant to an agreement that allows the company to publically disseminate the videos.  Moreover, because these videos are being used in connection with core political speech and the exercise of Chevron’s First Amendment rights, the dissemination of these videos falls within the “fair use” provision of copyright regulations.

If Ares Rights’ claims were legitimate and not just an attempt to censor unfavorable content, the firm would have filed claim against Chevron in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (where both Chevron and YouTube have offices) or the Southern District of New York (where the Chevron Corp. v. Berlinger matter was litigated) – both locations where Chevron had consented to jurisdiction in filing counter DMCA notifications with YouTube.

While their bullying tactics may have worked against others, Chevron will not give in to this attempt to prevent us from exposing the truth about the fraudulent case against Chevron in Ecuador.


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