Banksy’s own video removed from his YouTube channel on “copyright grounds”

Banksy’s notorious painting shredding video caused a furore but the video that the famous artist shared of it is causing even more controversy as it was ripped off of Banksy’s own YouTube channel.

Banksy is a British artist famed for doing things quite differently with an anonymous identity whose work often appears overnight in public. In October what is possibly Banksy’s most notorious piece of art, the ‘Balloon Girl‘ went up for auction at Sotheby’s in London for £1.04 million.

Banksy famously doesn’t sell his artwork usually except under unique circumstances, like his unannounced, pop-up stall in New York where a tired-looking old man sat and sold official, signed Banksy art for $60 a piece. In true Banksy fashion the Balloon Girl auction wasn’t as it seemed and once the piece had sold it dropped into a shredder built into it’s frame and shredded half of the piece – Banksy claims that it malfunctioned and meant to shred the whole thing.

It was an iconic moment and has been dubbed “quite possibly the biggest prank in art history”. The artist, or at least someone working with him, recorded the event and uploaded it to Banksy’s YouTube channel but in a cruel example of YouTube’s ridiculous copyright rules it was taken down on ‘Copyright Grounds’ on behalf of French media company Canal+.

The giant French media company re-uploaded the video of the painting being destroyed and in the process have claimed the content as their own, leading to copyright takedowns of the video. Fortunately the video is back live and viewable on Banksy’s YouTube channel as they no doubt quickly realised the gravity of their mistake. However it exemplifies how indiscriminate YouTube’s copyrighting system can be as it is often critiqued for.

The takedown was discovered by ‘professional engineering YouTuber’ Dave Jones, who tweeted: “What a bloody joke. Banksy’s own original video has been false copyright claimed and blocked.” He described YouTube’s system as a joke and said that Canal deserved “at the very least lose their content ID privilege”,

Head of Social Media and Marketing, RouteNote

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