Did Freeview Pull Down That Parody Ad? (UPDATED: Yes, They Did)

What started out as a funny, accurate and refreshing take on the farce that is Freeview in Australia has grown into something much uglier. UPDATED.Last week, after we showed you the parody ad by comedian Dan Ilic and Triple J presenter Marc Fennell, advertising publication Adnews reported that Freeview were considering legal action against the duo. That was quickly updated, but not before a heap of publications like Crikey, The Australian, and TechWiredAU picked up on it. Of course, when they were questioned about threatening legal action against the video’s makers, Freeview responded with a clear and concise, “No”.

So, you’d think that would be the end of it. But no. Hours after Freeview denied threatening legal action, YouTube pulled the video for allegedly violating terms of use. Asher Moses over at the SMH is convinced that the only way that could have happened is if Freeview requested YouTube to pull the clip down, while Freeview has explicitly denied any such action to Margaret Simons over at Crikey.

The end result of all of this, of course, is that a funny video that would have only lasted a few days in the eyes of the Internet has now received mainstream coverage for five days or so, amplifying the message that Freeview is a joke.

So who’s telling the truth? Ultimately, it doesn’t matter, because as any online evangelist will tell you, once something goes online, you can never take it back. The original parody, although pulled from YouTube, has shown up on several other sites, expanding its audience even further. The real question is whether Freeview is actually going to learn from the experience – my heart hopes it does, but my gut knows it won’t…

UPDATE:Turns out those bastards at Freeview did have the clip pulled down. In an email to Margaret Simons at Crikey, Google spokeman Rob Shilkin said:

I wanted to confirm that we received a DMCA notice for lawyers acting on behalf of Freeview Australia Limited to remove the video in question.

So, essentially the Freeview lawyers (and the people who pay them) are lying douchebags. Kind of makes me glad I have Foxtel, really.

[Freeview Parody Ad on Giz]