If You Declare Your Content Is In The Public Domain, Can You Still Issue DMCA Takedown Notices?

from the just-wondering dept

The same guy who is fighting Uri Geller over bogus DMCA takedown notices may now need to be fighting the "Creation Science Evangelism Ministries," which has apparently forced a video off YouTube via a DMCA takedown notice. The video, not surprisingly, is critical of the group, but almost certainly does not violate the group's copyrights. The one really interesting thing here, is that the head of the ministry has apparently declared that all of the group's content is in the public domain -- which raises the question of whether or not you can still issue a DMCA takedown notice on content you've declared to be in the public domain?


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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2007 @ 6:39pm

    I guess hypocisy is ok if comes from religious organaiztions.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker, Sep 17th, 2007 @ 7:08pm

    Was it?

    I've been following this, and although they say "they are not copyrighted," I'm not sure that's enough to put them into the public domain. (I'm talking legal technicalities here.) What does it take to "opt out" of instant copyright protection these days?

     

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    zcat, Sep 17th, 2007 @ 7:39pm

    my nsho

    There are two ways a work can become 'out of copyright'. It can expire (at least, this used to be possible..) or it can be granted to the public domain. Once it's in the public domain there is _no_ copyright holder. No-one exists who can legitimately file a DMCA takedown notice. End of story.

     

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      Stephen, Sep 17th, 2007 @ 8:14pm

      Re: my nsho

      Taking that further: filing a bogus takedown notice like that when you know it's a bogus notice can get you in some REALLY hot water. Not looking good for the Church...

       

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        ChurchHatesTucker, Sep 17th, 2007 @ 10:44pm

        Re: Re: my nsho

        From what I understand, it's not a church.

        But as far as the DMCA goes, the legal hurdles are very low for the whistle blower ("good faith") and higher for the counter claim ("penalty of perjury.") THEN there's the ten to 14 days to see if your counter claim is responded to legally (rife for time-sensetive abouse.)

        And if all that fails, you're liable for costs. Sounds like a recipie for a SLAP-happy (and legally rewarding) world.

         

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          ReallyEvilCanine, Sep 18th, 2007 @ 2:08am

          Good Faith

          There is no "good faith" when demanding a take-down of an item which includes material you hold no copyright to, especially when said material was released by you or your organisation to the public domain. Assignment to PD is irrevocable; once you've done it you can't change your mind. EVER.

           

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            Danny, Sep 18th, 2007 @ 8:29am

            Re: Good Faith


            There is no "good faith" when demanding a take-down of an item which includes material you hold no copyright to


            There should not be any good faith when it comes to take downs but unfortunately there is plenty of good faith. Remember a few months ago when Viacom basically shotgunned Youtube with several takedown notices which included material that was not infringing on their copyrights?

             

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    zcat, Sep 17th, 2007 @ 8:48pm

    'not copyright' vs. 'public domain'

    As a non-lawyer, I would consider 'publicly announcing that you do not consider your work copyrighted' to be basically the same thing as 'granting the work to the public domain'

    Unfortunately non-lawyer's opinions usually don't count for much in court.

     

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    Chris, Sep 18th, 2007 @ 11:44am

    Fair Use

    Even if the content isn't considered in the public domain, wouldn't this be a perfect example of fair use for critique? I don't see how they can force this down regardless of the status of their copyrights.

     

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