Is Major League Soccer Sending False DMCA Takedown Notices?

from the maybe-so dept

Dave writes in with an interesting story suggesting that Major League Soccer is potentially violating the DMCA by issuing a takedown of footage for which it does not own the copyright. The details are a little confusing, and some parts aren't entirely clear -- but from the account at the link, two Major League Soccer teams participated in a separate tournament, called the U.S. Open Cup. The event was not televised at all, despite efforts among fans to provide a streaming webcast. Apparently, at the soccer match, a fight broke out, and the local news covered it, using footage from the game. Following this, some bloggers posted the news stations' story about the fight on YouTube -- at which point MLS sent a DMCA takedown notice. The question is whether or not MLS has copyright over the footage (MLS's trademarks are meaningless here, as the DMCA only refers to copyright).

What is not clear is who took the footage. Considering that the game was not televised and the event itself was not an MLS event, it's difficult to believe that it's MLS's footage, and thus, MLS wouldn't hold the copyright over it. However, even if it is MLS coverage, the fact that it was a newsworthy event, and the footage was used in a news report, it would suggest that this particular snippet was actually fair use as used in commenting on it for news purposes. And, if anything, the copyright on the overall clip of the newscast belonged not to MLS, but to the news company. Overall, it seems quite likely that this attempt to censor the clip from YouTube was illegal, as MLS is probably asserting copyright over content for which it does not hold the copyright. But, these days, that's just all in a day's work of misusing the DMCA.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 11:11pm

    So?

    Dave writes in with an interesting story suggesting that Major League Soccer is potentially violating the DMCA by issuing a takedown of footage for which it does not own the copyright.
    So? Laws are for the little people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Dave, Jul 17th, 2008 @ 5:09am

    The video is back online

    For the record, the video was restored a few days after my initial post.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIE7lmgK2xw

    I think MLS realized their mistake and quietly fixed it, hoping the rest of us wouldn't notice. They've been trying to bury the U.S. Open Cup for years, because they don't want the rest of America to find out there's another soccer league (USL) with teams in major cities that might actually be able to compete with MLS on the pitch.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    Steve R. (profile), Jul 17th, 2008 @ 5:30am

    Only the Begining

    The way our legal system is evolving, the concept of "due process" is being castrated. If you don't need proof of "infringement" and there is no penalty for instigating false claims, then the floodgates of abuse are wide open.

    Furthermore, it appears that companies don't even have to provide proof that they actually own content in order to "lock the content down".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    MAtt, Jul 17th, 2008 @ 5:49am

    Re: The video is back online

    There may be match-ups which favor the USL, but overall MLS is the stronger league. Still, funny they would feel the need to divert attention away from the USL when they clearly have better venues and a vastly superior marketing machine.
    I just can't figure out why they run a season at odds with all the major soccer leagues of the world and play half the amount of games. We're losing some of our best talent to European soccer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    jaf, Jul 17th, 2008 @ 6:20am

    it's soccer for goodness sake

    Even if it were on TV that means what, six people in the US would have seen it? It's soccer and nobody cares...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Improbus, Jul 17th, 2008 @ 6:43am

    Wha?

    I didn't know that soccer had "Major League" teams. Isn't soccer a kids game?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Rick, Jul 17th, 2008 @ 6:56am

    Re: it's soccer for goodness sake

    Low blow. That's a yellow card for you buddy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    JB, Jul 17th, 2008 @ 8:51am

    Re: it's soccer for goodness sake

    Soccer, or Football as it's referred to outside the US, is the favored sport of the world. More people watch the World Cup than have ever watched American Football or Baseball, let alone any of the US's major broadcasts. Soccer is picking up viewership in the US and I wouldn't doubt that it may become the new national pastime as the number of European and Southern American immigrants grows.

    (Disclaimer: I am a white, male, protestant, middle-class American and only have subtle ties to European and American Indian bloodlines.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    alternatives, Jul 17th, 2008 @ 9:22am

    URL(s) of illegal take down notices and lawyers who take such cases?

    So - is anyone out in the big bad internet have a collection of claims of incorrect DMCA takedown notices or the lawyers who take such?

    I know a gal who wants to put up some content, and I figure the expected DMCA takedown notice would create a Striesand effect. (Hint: involves a rat who runs a game and bad pizza racket)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Dustin, Jul 17th, 2008 @ 9:39am

    Why the assumption that they don't own the rights?

    Contrary to the assumption that people are making, Major League Soccer may actually own the video rights for US Open Cup games where its teams are the home team.

    In the few instances where an MLS team has provided video streaming coverage of a USOC game, that coverage has been available at the MLS website, while when a USL team has a home game in the USOC, video streams of those games have been available at the USL website.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2008 @ 11:31am

    Re: Re: it's soccer for goodness sake

    The only reason it's the favored sport of the world is because it's cheap to play. All you need is a blanket wrapped up with a rope and you've got a ball.

    It's lame for people to say it's the world's most popular sport when the only reason is because there isn't any other sport to play.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Idi Amin, Jul 17th, 2008 @ 1:03pm

    Blanket wrapped up with a rope? Where are you, some industrialized nation? All you need is the head of one of the opposing players.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Raf, Jul 18th, 2008 @ 7:40am

    Footy

    The big football news in Poland is Przemek Kazmierczak...
    https://newzar.wordpress.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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