YouTube reposted videos that led to a 30-month ban on accessing the site from Turkey, according to a spokeswoman for the company.
The videos alleged by Turkey to be offensive were removed in the past week when a company set up in Germany by the Turkish Internet Board used YouTube’s automated copyright-complaint mechanism to have them taken down. Removal of the material led authorities to restore access to the site for the first time since May 2008.
YouTube, owned by Google Inc., found after investigation that the videos didn’t violate its copyright policies and decided to repost them to make them accessible from outside of Turkey, Ozlem Oz, deputy country manager for Grayling Public Relations, which represents Google, said in an e-mailed message late yesterday.
The videos were deemed by Turkish courts to have insulted the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, which is a crime in the country. YouTube remained accessible from Turkey as of 11:30 a.m. local time today.
Turkish visitors to the YouTube site have been able to circumvent the ban by using so-called proxy websites.
Las Vegas-based Gabriel Ramuglia, 27, manager of hundreds of proxy sites, told Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News that YouTube- specific traffic from Turkey, which made up for a substantial portion of his revenue, had dropped by half in three days following the lifting of the ban. The newspaper didn’t give specifics of the decline in revenue.
More than 4,000 other websites remain banned in Turkey, Hurriyet reported.
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