GOOGLE Kenya have rejected demands from a local film authority to remove a music video featuring same sex couples from YouTube.
The clip, titled Same Love, is a remake of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s hit single of the same name. It reveals a snapshot of being gay or lesbian in Kenya, where homosexuality is punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment.
Google’s lawyer for sub-Saharan Africa Ife Osaga-Ondondo addressed a letter to KFCB, which stated the Kenyan unit does not administer services on YouTube and so lacks control over the content accessible through the channel.
“We are in receipt of your later dated February 22 regarding a request to take down a YouTube video titled Same Love on grounds of being inappropriate and in contravention of the Kenyan law,”Osago-Ondondo said.
“We, therefore, would like to request you to submit your legal request electronically via web or by contacting YouTube LLC/Google Inc. directly via postal mail, email or fax.”
A spokesperson for Google in the US told Quartz: “YouTube has clear policies that outlines what content is acceptable to post and we remove videos violating these policies when flagged by our uses.
“We review government removal requests when notified though the correct legal processes and in keeping with out company philosophy on transparency and freedom of expression.”
KFCB chief executive Ezekial Matua said the company has issued a letter to YouTube LLC/Google Inc as requested by Osaga-Ondondo and were awaiting a response.
“Google took a while to respond, but following what their lawyer said, conversation is in progress and we are giving them time for internal consultations,” he told Business Daily Africa.
“We have not reached the point of taking them to court for non-compliance, but we are building a case that if we will be required to prosecute we will do so.”
KFCB initially banned the video in late February, claiming the content will create a “Sodom and Gomorrah” in the country and threatened punishment for anyone caught distributing it.
At the time of print, the video was still online: