BIAC – Why is Neil Young Afraid of a Youtube Video?

NeilYoungRemovesVideoNeil censors video exposing the Palestinian reality behind his scheduled concert in Israel

Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign
For immediate release: July 7, 2014

Neil Young has claimed copyright infringement forcing Youtube to remove the video entitled “Neil Young – Honour the Boycott” criticizing Neil’s scheduled concert in Israel on July 17. The censored video mashup is part of a campaign calling on Neil to honour the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel and cancel his concert in Tel Aviv. The censored youtube link now leads to a blank video with the statement “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Neil Young.”

The censored video – NOW AVAILABLE ON VIMEO –  legally incorporates copyrighted material on the basis of “Fair Use” and strictly follows the “Online Video Best Practices for Fair Use” that is linked from the Youtube copyright fair use page.

Neil Young is a hero to many progressives for his courageous stands against the Vietnam war, Gulf war, George W. Bush’s war mongering, and especially his support of indigenous people in their fight against the Tar Sands and the Keystone XL pipeline. But if Neil entertains and whitewashes Apartheid Israel, many people will see him as a Disposable Hero of Hypocrisy.

To quote Neil back to Neil: this is your defining moment, you can take a stand on the right side of history or you can make a few bucks… and sell out to Israeli Apartheid.

A growing list of progressive musicians are honouring the cultural boycott and refusing to “musicwash” Israel. Less than a week ago, renowned rapper Talib Kweli cancelled his gig in Israel to show “solidarity with Palestinians” so it’s not tool late for Neil to take a stand.

The censored video makes fair use of documentary footage of Neil Young’s speech to the Reject & Protect Rally against the Keystone XL pipeline in Washington DC on April 26, 2014. In his speech Neil claims to stand with the “people of the earth” – farmers and indigenous people.  By juxtaposing portions of Neil’s speech with video of Palestinian farmers and indigenous people being attacked by Israeli soldiers and military warplanes, the video exposes his hypocrisy in abandoning the Palestinian “people of the earth” despite their direct appeal to Neil to honour the cultural boycott and cancel his concert in Israel.

One final question for Neil – Why are you using bullying tactics to assail your fans’ freedom of speech instead of engaging with them about the issues involved in breaking the cultural boycott of Israel?

For more information contact


Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS)

In 2005, more than 170 grassroots Palestinian organizations called for a global campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against the State of Israel – inspired by the campaign against South African Apartheid. The BDS campaign, including a cultural boycott, demands that Israel recognize the Palestinian peoples inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law.

A growing list of progressive musicians are honouring the cultural boycott and refusing to musicwash Israel including: Natacha Atlas, Elvis Costello, Brian Eno, Gorillaz, Gil-Scott Heron, Salif Keita, Talib Kweli, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Santana, Pete Seeger, Roger Waters, and Stevie Wonder.

Israel is confining indigenous Palestinians to open air prisons and Bantustans, as world leaders and South African anti-Apartheid activists including Jimmy Carter and Archbishop Desmond Tutu are accusing Israel of practicing Apartheid. International expert bodies such as the Russell Tribunal and the South African Human Sciences Research Council have also declared that Israel is guilty of the international crime of Apartheid.

Archbishop Tutu wrote to a South African music group that violated the Palestinian Cultural Boycott of Israel: Just as we said during apartheid that it was inappropriate for international artists to perform in South Africa in a society founded on discriminatory laws and racial exclusivity, so it would be wrong for Cape Town Opera to perform in Israel.

Fair Use: The Transformative Factor (Stanford University Fair Use Website)

Measuring Fair Use: The Four Factors

In a 1994 case, the Supreme Court emphasized this [transformative] factor as being a primary indicator of fair use. At issue is whether the material has been used to help create something new or merely copied verbatim into another work. When taking portions of copyrighted work, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Has the material you have taken from the original work been transformed by adding new expression or meaning?
  • Was value added to the original by creating new information, new aesthetics, new insights, and understandings?


Roger borrows several quotes from the speech given by the CEO of a logging company. Roger prints these quotes under photos of old-growth redwoods in his environmental newsletter. By juxtaposing the quotes with the photos of endangered trees, Roger has transformed the remarks from their original purpose and used them to create a new insight. The copying would probably be permitted as a fair use

Comments are closed.