Facebook pulled down a National Museum of Military Vehicles’ video chronicling America’s powerful role in World War II following a dispute from a Chinese Communist Party-linked broadcasting company.
The video, which highlights the sacrifices made by American troops and how the country’s manufacturing capabilities powered it to victory, was pulled down within 15 minutes of being posted to the museum’s page. The National Museum of Military Vehicles (NMMV) promptly received the following notification from Facebook, indicating that Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), one of South Korea’s leading television and radio networks, had claimed ownership of 14 seconds of footage used in the hour-long film.
As a result, Facebook removed the entire video – sourced primarily from Department of Defense archives – from its platform.
MBC has deep ties to the Chinese Communist Party, having partnered with China’s state-run broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) – dubbed a “long-standing weapon in Beijing’s arsenal of repression” – on producing films. The company also has an “MBC China” brand with offices in Shanghai.
MBC’s swift copyright claim is curious given that the message of the video – hemorrhaging manufacturing jobs to China hurts America’s national security and economy – is at odds with the outlook of the Chinese Communist Party.
NMMV insists that MBC’s 14-second copyright claims, which center on the 1:00:03 timestamp, are baseless. Images used in the timeframe have either been attributed to a German photographer or have been licensed from major stock photo companies. Among the video sources are widely used archives from the Hoover Institution and Department of Defense.
Following NMMV’s dispute of the copyright claim, Facebook temporarily reinstated the video while awaiting MBC’s response.