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Major League Soccer Abusing The DMCA To Censor Controversial Clip Of Player Misconduct

from the copyfraud dept

Back in 2008, we wrote about how Major League Soccer (MLS) was abusing the DMCA to take down video clips which it had absolutely no copyrights over (the event was not filmed or broadcast by MLS) because it didn't like the content (showing a fight that broke out at the soccer match). It appears that MLS has not learned that you cannot abuse the DMCA just because you don't like what the clip shows, as it appears to have done it again. Big time soccer fan (and big time free speech lawyer) Paul Alan Levy noticed recently that a YouTube clip showing Houston Dynamo player Colin Clark calling a ball boy a "faggot" for not throwing the ball to him properly, had been taken down via a DMCA copyright claim from MLS.

As Levy notes, the controversy around what happened resulted in a widespread discussion among fans about the incident, including comparisons to the recent controversy over racist statements by fans in the UK. It also resulted in a public apology from Clark. And yet, still, MLS took down the video.

Levy reached out to the guy who posted the video and sent a letter on his behalf, pointing out that MLS clearly broke the law in not considering fair use before issuing the takedown. The letter lays out why the 20-second video (from a 2-hour match) was clearly, without a doubt, fair use, and how the takedown violates the clear language of the DMCA. He notes that the guy who uploaded the video is a big MLS fan (as is Levy), and they don't want to burden MLS with a lawsuit, but would like MLS to take the following steps:
  1. Explain how it made the decision to issue a DMCA takedown notice to YouTube.
  2. Promptly inform YouTube that it is withdrawing its takedown notice.
  3. Express regret to Mr. Vega for the takedown notice.
  4. Put procedures into place to ensure that fair use receives full consideration before any takedown notice is issued.
  5. Disclose publicly both what procedures have been adopted, and what standards MLS is providing to its representatives to ensure that they give proper consideration to fair use before issuing takedown notices in the future.
Seems like an easy way out, but who knows if anyone at MLS will even pay attention enough to care.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    ColinClark, Mar 30th, 2012 @ 2:08pm

    Dear Paul Alan Levy,

    F*ck you, f****t and your qu**r demands...

    XOXO,

    Colin

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2012 @ 2:09pm

    'Seems like an easy way out, but who knows if anyone at MLS will even pay attention enough to care.'

    regardless of whether they want to burden MLS with a lawsuit or not, i bet it will be the only way to get it sorted. like all 'big' industries or whatever, they think they can do as they like and screw everyone else.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2012 @ 2:14pm

    This is obviously MLS trying to use the Streisand Effect to draw more attention to the fact that there's a MLS.

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2012 @ 2:20pm

    Re:

    I LOL'd

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2012 @ 2:39pm

    Re: Re:

    I button'd.

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2012 @ 2:41pm

    Perjury? What's that?

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2012 @ 2:41pm

    Re:

    must be something related to poor people

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2012 @ 2:49pm

    Re:

    Perjury: The amount of money you must have per jury to avoid ever having to see one.

     

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

  9.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 30th, 2012 @ 2:54pm

    Re: Re:

    See one what, poor person? Ah, that makes sense.

     

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

  10.  
    icon
    Overcast (profile), Mar 30th, 2012 @ 3:24pm

    As if the MLS wasn't already bad enough - not only do they try to cover this up obviously, but break the law in doing it.

    Fail.

    I would boycott them, but I was never a big MLS fan, and I certainly won't change that now! lol

     

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

  11.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Mar 30th, 2012 @ 7:53pm

    Re: Re:

    Funny, sad and true, all at once, truly a great comment.

     

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

  12.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 31st, 2012 @ 7:40pm

    If they were as diligent in keeping their players from doing stupid stuff as they are in abusing the legal process this would not have happened.

     

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

  13.  
    icon
    Ophelia Millais (profile), Mar 31st, 2012 @ 9:41pm

    If the law has been broken, and the copyright owners have no intention of making it right on their own, then it needs to be made into a painful experience for them, such as by pursuing a lawsuit against them.

    I'm sure that from MLS's point of view, getting shamed on a few blogs is a very small price to pay to help keep an embarrassing clip of their misbehaving employee from going viral. Is anyone pursuing any false/unjustified DMCA takedown cases in court? If not, why not? If no lawyers will take such a case, or if they always lose, then there needs to be some kind of legislative advocacy, not just a gripe on Techdirt every 4 years.

    Sorry, I'm just kind of in a "sh*t or get off the pot" mood today...

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Nate Dunham, Nov 5th, 2012 @ 6:06am

    They can't keep up

    forex bonus

     

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


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