After the last guest post, I wanted my next post to be something different than Stefan Molyneux. Really, I did.
But on one hand I didn’t have much time or inspiration to write about anything else, and on the other, Stefan recently did something that I cannot remain silent about.

The story is pretty short, and straight forward. A few days ago, the youtube channel Tru Shibes received several DMCA notices from Freedomain Radio which resulted first in some videos being taken down, and then by the whole channel being suspended.
Tru Shibes was posting short excerpts of Stefan’s podcasts with some critical commentary.
Stefan, his employees, and his moderators, have an established record of banning critics, and removing critical commentary from his forums, Facebook profile, or FDR facebook groups. He always responded to accusations of censorship by saying he’s just managing his private property, which is his right, but this time he actually crossed the line to full-blown censorship by state force.

This would be pretty low for anyone.

DMCA takedown notice sent to Tru Shibes

DMCA takedown notice sent to Tru Shibes

Scientologists, and creationists are just two groups known for trying to use IP in order to silence opposing views, and were rightly criticized for that.
However in case of Stefan Molyneux, we’re not talking about just anyone.
We’re talking about the man who fancies himself a philosopher, that cares deeply about ethics.
We’re talking about the man who came up with the “Against me” argument.
We’re talking about the man who makes a point about living according to your values, and criticized free market academics and Ron Paul for not living according to the principles of liberty.
Finally we’re talking about the man who has preached opposition to Intellectual Property for years.
In this particular case we see hypocrisy, wrapped in hypocrisy, wrapped in hypocrisy.

The discussion about this issue was going on for the past few days, and Stefan’s supporters have made some arguments in his defense, which I’d like to address.

I received messages from several listeners about their calls/images/videos from participation in our shows being used to bully them online. This was spread a cross two different channels and they asked if I could have the content removed. Going after listeners is completely unacceptable and I used the methods at my disposal to remove the material. If you attack listeners, you don’t get to use any of our material. That’s the line.


Second DMCA Takedown notice sent to Tru Shibes

This one comes directly from Stefan’s employee, Mike.
While no evidence was ever provided for this claim, there is a grain of truth to it.
Apparently there was also a youtube channel posting FDR podcasts, along with photos from FDR meetups, and very vulgar comments about the meetup’s participants.
There are, however, two problems with this explanation:

First of all, there’s no way you can be against intellectual property, and at the same time use a draconian copyright law to pull other people’s content, even if it’s used in appalling ways.
If you think that content creators have a right to decide how their content is used, that means you’re pro-IP.
So even if we accept Mike’s explanation, at the very least he, and Stefan, who I assume sanctioned this action, should retract their stance on intellectual property.

The second problem is that Tru Shibes did not insult, or bully any listeners.
Most of the videos are available for download here, or viewed on this youtube channel, so anyone interested can judge for themselves.

It’s technically possible that there was some sort of mistake, and Tru Shibes was never meant to be taken down, but that seems unlikely.
As mentioned, there was no evidence provided for the accusation of bullying, no effort was put to make sure the right videos or channels are taken down, and worst of all (though not surprisingly), people asking too many questions were banned from FDR forums and Facebook groups, and some of their comments got deleted.

This isn’t using state violence, it’s just youtube enforcing it’s internal policy.

larkenIt feels a bit absurd having to debate this among libertarians, but this argument was actually made, by Larken Rose among others, so I feel the need to provide a counter argument.
It’s true that youtube’s Terms of Service have clauses that require the users to respect copyright. That’s because they are forced to do so by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. If they did not comply with the law, the state would shutdown the site by force. Therefore Freedomain Radio, by using DMCA notices, is threatening youtube to with state force, if they don’t pull the specified videos.

You’re just like people claiming libertarians are not allowed to call the police / people criticizing Ayn Rand for taking Social Security money.

Those are really bad analogies.
Ayn Rand was paying taxes throughout her life, so there is nothing hypocritical about trying to get some of the money back.
The same argument applies to the police, as well as the fact that they have a monopoly on their services, so there isn’t even another choice.
Stefan, on the other hand, is on record arguing against IP. Not just copyright law as it exists today, by intellectual property as a whole. He had the option of not participating in the IP system, but decided to use it.

What’s the big deal? He’s just some guy on the internet, that argues well for liberty.

Contradicting the principles of liberty with your actions is doing a big disservice to the liberty movement, especially if you’re as renowned as Stefan.