Help us to save our trustworthy UPOZIT against Islamic Republic of Iran

Help us to save our trustworthy UPOZIT against Islamic Republic of Iran

Started
December 12, 2022
Signatures: 3,793Next Goal: 5,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Dariush

Please help us save Upozit from being shut down by YouTube. Upozit is one of the most popular and reliable Farsi language news programs focused on Iran. Over the course of nearly a decade, Upozit has aired 630 news episodes on Iran. It is one of the most trusted independent sources of Iran news for the Iranian diaspora around the world and for Iranians inside Iran. 

Iran is in the grips of a just revolution against one of the most brutal and ruthless regimes in the world. Upozit has been a steady thorn in the side of the Iranian regime for its steadfast,timely, and sharp reporting. Its continued work in amplifying the voices of the Iranian people is of utmost importance and must be preserved and supported, especially as the Iranian regime continues its reign of bloodshed and violence by torture, forced confessions, and executions of protestors without any due process. 

And yet, this invaluable source of Iran news and information is being threatened by YouTube after being targeted by the Iranian regime. YouTube is threatening to shutdown Upozit for alleged "copyright violations" for showing segments featuring the song "Baraye"/"For" by Shervin Hajipur in various episodes of the show. The outrageous and baseless copyright claim is being asserted by a German company, based in Hamburg, called Kontor New Media Music, where a man by the name of Daryush Ziaabadi is listed as the Director of Channel and Rights Management. Daryush Ziaabadi is the grandson of Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Ziaabadi, who was a student of Khomeini, taught at the Tehran Seminary School, and was a close advisor of the Guardian Counsel and the Assembly of Experts until his death in 2021. 

The shameful copyright claim asserted is baseless and infuriating. Iran is not a party to any international treaties on the protection of copyrights, therefore, Iranian content creators cannot obtain copyright protection unless they file a copyright application in a qualifying jurisdiction. It is well known to everyone following Iran news that Mr. Hajipur, who resides in Tehran, Iran, was quickly arrested by the Iranian regime's authorities for writing and performing this song, released following intense domestic and international pressure, and has been at his residence since, likely under house arrest. Moreover, in his last Instagram post on October 9, 2022, Mr. Hajipur expressly states that he did not write this song to make money and has no intention of profiting from it in any way, and that he wrote the song for Iran and the Iranian people. Aside from the appalling bogus copyright claim and most importantly, as a news program, Upozit is entitled to First Amendment protection for freedom of the press. This song, which has become the unofficial anthem of the Iranian revolution, is a legitimate news item in its own right, and reporting on it and the unfolding Iranian revolution, including playing the song, reporting on the fate of its creator, and playing important packages produced by activist organizations such as the well known hacker group Anonymous that use it, are all protected activities. Unfortunately, YouTube is threatening to shut down the Upozit news channel, with 630 episodes, for the baseless copyright claims raised against 3 episodes. Demand that YouTube reinstate the Upozit news channel and protect the free press. YouTube must do more to investigate the veracity of copyright claims before impinging on a right as important as the First Amendment protected freedom of the press. 

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Signatures: 3,793Next Goal: 5,000
Support now