Claiming copyright infringement, NASCAR officials attempted to pull this race fan's recording of yesterday's DRIVE4COPD 300 crash off YouTube. They were successful, but not for long.
In it, we see the fan try to capture the last leg of the race as the drivers approach the checkered flag. The cars spin out, and the camera looks towards them as they slide across the track. It's not until he pans back over to the fence that we can see something is dreadfully wrong. That's when people start screaming. A tire appears to have been launched into stands very close to where this fan was filming, and other spectators attempt to wave down paramedics to come aid an injured person.
All in all, it's quite harrowing, and it offers a very different perspective of the crash than what we saw on TV.
NASCAR, however, tried to pull it off YouTube by filing a copyright claim with the website. For a few hours yesterday, the video was unwatchable for this reason.
That's not the explanation they made public, however. Erik Wemple at the Washington Post got this statement on the matter:
The fan video of the wreck on the final lap of today’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race was blocked on YouTube out of respect for those injured in today’s accident. Information on the status of those fans was unclear and the decision was made to err on the side of caution with this very serious incident.—Steve Phelps, NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer.
A NASCAR spokesman declined to speak to Wemple about their policies on YouTube and fan videos. According to Poynter, at least in the past, they have claimed ownership over race footage. Formula One and other racing series have similarly restrictive policies when it comes to photos and videos.
But late last night, YouTube apparently reviewed the copyright claim and decided to put the video back up. Here's what they told the Post:
“Our partners and users do not have the right to take down videos from YouTube unless they contain content which is copyright infringing, which is why we have reinstated the videos.”
So for now, at least, it's back up. Any thoughts on NASCAR's actions with this video?