Straight to the point: Google’s YouTube has agreed to block a video clip in Brazil that has been the focus of legal action and, oddly, an arrest.

The company, in a statement, made it plain that when it receives a take down request that it finds onerous, it does legally protest. However, once that legal dance has run its course, if a court does demand that a clip be restricted, Google complies.

Here’s where things stand at the moment:

Late last night, we learned that our final legal appeal has been denied and so now we have no choice but to block the video in Brazil. We are deeply disappointed that we have never had the full opportunity to argue in court that these were legitimate free speech videos and should remain available in Brazil.

Free speech has been a hot issue recently, after a buffoonish clip lampooning the Prophet Muhammad led to global protests, riots and violence.

Google is taking a longer view on this issue, promising to “continue to campaign for free expression globally.” In a time in which it’s all too simple to get caught up in the minutiae of the smartphone wars, it is important to realize how large a company such as Google truly is, and how complex their operations in fact are.

I’ll give the company the final thought:

Ironically, the user who published one of the videos has now removed it and closed their account – showing just what a chilling effect these episodes can have on free speech.

Indeed. For shame, Brazil.

Top Image Credit: Steve Johnson