And don’t forget, this was an expired copyright. It seems no one made an effort to tell the robot that the distribution rights had reverted to me. So if I hadn’t fought to keep my work published, it would have fallen off the Web forever.

For me, this little run-in with the copyright police was a brief but unsettling reminder of just how easy it is for free speech and editorial voice to be silenced by an automated system that takes content down first, and puts authors, poets, filmmakers, and performers in the uncomfortable position of having to fight to keep their work from being silenced by copyright robots.


Steven Rosenbaum is the CEO of, the Web's largest video-curation platform. In 2011, he was named New York City's first Entrepreneur at Large, and in that capacity he works to bring more startups and engineering talent to the city. He is the author of Curation Nation (McGraw-Hill, 2011)