Even Mars Has Bureaucrats…

Sorry for the alarming title, but the subject matter of this article may just be that alarming. Alarming, yes; but not in the sense of mechanical failure, or economic catastrophe.  Ladies and gentleman, the latest problem to hit the missions to Mars is one that no one planned for, a problem that even the most skilled and versed scientists couldn’t even predict.

It would seem that on that awesome August 6th morning that all was going well. The Rover and its landing module descended through the martian atmosphere with utmost brilliance, and it to rest on the flat red rock that is Mars. Footage can be seen all around the web of the men and women at the control center leaping with joy, as nearly two years of hard work and preparation finally came to a grand and well deserved hallmark. Video detailing the landing, dubbed the “7 Minutes of Terror”, could also be pulled from “dailymotion.com” to YouTube so that all may enjoy one of the most momentous occasions in nearly a decade. That was… until the unexpected happened. In spite of the monstrous success of the mission, and the simple fact that man had done it again, this monumental video footage would still have to suffer the wrath of non other than the Bureaucrats.

The video was viewable on YouTube and other video streaming sites for nearly 10 hours before the infamous message would rear its ugly head:

“This video contains content from Scripps Local News, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.”

Short lesson in public domain: it’s generally accepted that NASA is an adjunct of the federal government, which means that any footage that it may take and release to the public is indeed PUBLIC domain. When NASA prompted Scripps and YouTube for an answer as to how they could possibly own public domain, they answered in true lobbyist fashion. Scripps responded early the next day with a statement negating the allegations that they wanted the materials blocked based on copyright infringement:

“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.” -Taken from Motherboard Blog

The video was made viewable once again by the good folks at YouTube. At one point in the debate, there was talk that perhaps YouTube’s DCMA screening rules might have been solely to blame, however there is one large caveat to the story. In order for the rules to take effect, and the screening “robots” as they were to do their jobs, a claimant must file a claim of infringement and set the factors that determine such action. In other words, our good friends at Scripps might have prematurely claimed ownership of the footage. Nice try guys… Nonetheless, you can now enjoy any of the Rover’s mission footage which can conveniently be found by clicking this link. ENJOY!

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