When I began exploring positions against religious belief, it wasn’t long before I discovered the Youtube channel of the Agatan foundation. Here is where I first found videos featuring compilations of debates and arguments from atheists and non-believers. It is the channel that introduced me to Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Matt Dillahunty and others. I subscribed and watched hours of video on this channel, which taught me a lot. Recently, I noticed that the channel wasn’t receiving updates anymore.
Agatan foundation video vexations
The reason for the lack of updates is explained by the channel owner in a video with the title “What to do, what to do?” He explains that due to copyright claims, he’s been missing out on income from the channel. Apparently, Youtube comes down hard on channel owners who are accused of infringing on copyright. This kind of thing isn’t new, of course. I’ve blogged before on issues concerning ACTA and the weird practice of geoblocking.
The usual IANAL disclaimer applies but it seems to me that the content produced by the Agatan foundation could be classified as fair use because these are compilations of videos for educational purposes, not for making a profit.
Regrettable as it is, I understand perfectly why the channel owner can’t fight such legal battles against big media moguls. The cost in money and time effectively prohibits a legal defense unless a lawyer takes the case pro bono.
Creating derivative works is something of a legal minefield but it helps when you use a platform that is more resilient to copyright claims. The Agatan foundation seems to have found this on Dailymotion. The European based video streaming service appears less likely to act on copyright claims. Time will tell if this remains the case. For now, content produced by the Agatan foundation is available there for all to see.
And that’s a good thing. The vast majority of the global population beliefs in some form of religion, often to the detriment of the believer and society as a whole. Religion divides us at a time when we should be coming together to fight global problems like climate change, poverty, health, famine and the like.
Education about the negative effects of religious belief and demonstrating that it is perfectly possible to live a fulfilling and moral life while not believing in ancient superstitions, remains vitally important. Vocal anti-theism continues to matter. Services like those offered by the Agatan foundation (and this modest blog, perhaps) are very important to reach a large audience. If you miss their content or want to continue following them, head over to their Dailymotion channel and subscribe. Hopefully they’ll be able to continue their work there.