Copyright Holder Fighting Fraudulent DMCA Notices on YouTube

YouTube has built a reputation for quickly pulling copyrighted material from its servers. Many have argued for years that YouTube pulls content a little too quickly and some have expressed frustration over re-instating content that was wrongfully yanked. One copyright holder, namely the creator of the Nyancat, is finding out how hard it is to undo the damage of a copyright imposter.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

BoingBoing is pointing to a story of the trouble one rightsholder is having with material he has created. A DMCA notice was filed against several video’s using the NyanCat, the famous poptart cat flying through space. The rightsholder was not happy about the video’s, not that they were posted, but the fact that someone is using the DMCA to remove them. Understandably, the rightsholder is upset and has posted the following picture to let everyone know that whoever is taking the video’s down via copyright, it was neither the real rights holder nor was it authorized:

The owner has received several messages from angry users complaining about the takedown of the video and comments, “people are flagging my videos on Youtube and giving me death threats just like upstanding Internet citizens usually do. Good job.”

The owner is currently in the process of trying to have the video’s re-instated, but complains that YouTube is making the owner jump through all these hoops just to reinstate the video’s.

Sometimes, I converse with people whether online or offline and I have received numerous funny looks over my belief that copyright has been a tool for censorship. For some, it just doesn’t happen or it’s an excuse to infringe on copyright. Here, we have a prime example of such a thing happening right now. I think that for other countries considering copyright laws more in line with the US, there are reasons why some demand there be stiff penalties for those who wish to abuse the law in order to take down material they neither own nor have any rights over.

What’s really sad is the idea that whoever is filing these fraudulent claims will no doubt keep doing so whenever and wherever they please. I don’t see there being as many lobbyists out there saying to politicians, “Hey, we got to make sure people don’t send fake DMCA notices!” as there are lobbyists saying, “Hey, we need to increase penalties for copyright infringement!”

In all, I think this sends a message that free speech does not belong in a society with copyright laws, that free speech is incompatible with copyright. If you really want to have true free speech, do not use an outlet that are shackled by the DMCA. Instead, use overseas services and your video will stand a better chance at surviving censorship whether maliciously or otherwise.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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