Teen Fakes Out Google With DMCA Notices On A Show Producers Were Happy To Have On YouTube

from the follow-the-bouncing-DMCA-takedown dept

With all the stories about TV execs trying to get their content off of YouTube, here’s one that’s a bit… different. Apparently, the makers of a TV show in Australia were perfectly happy with the free promotion they were getting from fans putting clips on YouTube. However, a teenager decided to take the matter into his own hands and sent a bogus DMCA takedown notice to Google — who proceeded to pull the clips and warn those who uploaded them. This raises all sorts of issues. Filing a bogus DMCA takedown notice on content you don’t own is against the law — though, it seems unlikely anyone is going to go after this kid. Still, it does raise questions about the process by which Google follows through on a takedown notice — and makes you wonder if anyone could just force them to take down just about any video. While some networks are recognizing that letting fans promote their shows for them helps build up a larger audience for the actual TV programming (and its ads), at some point you have to wonder if the networks that are too confused to figure this out will simply try to “help out” the other networks and pull their content for them — especially if leaving it up on YouTube shows that their own strategy is backfiring.

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Comments on “Teen Fakes Out Google With DMCA Notices On A Show Producers Were Happy To Have On YouTube”

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Dom says:

Haha, this happened to me. My video was taken down, but today I came back from uni to find this in my inbox:
“This email is to inform you that your video(s) belonging to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, have been reinstated. Australian Broadcasting Corporation has informed us that the individual submitting the copyright infringement notification was not authorized to act on their behalf. If your account was terminated as a result of this action, it has now been reinstated and the incident will not count against your account’s standings.”

Good on them for admitting their mistake, and being able to easily fix it.

Security (user link) says:

Learning from Past Voids

The statistical probability of anyone filing a fake DMCA notice to take down someone else’property was so remote that perhaps Google / YouTube decided to wait until it became a significant problem, or until a high profile case generated bad publicity.

Perhaps now they will send verification requests to offended parties.

Hiopefully, that teen now realizes that his behavior is wrong and should at least want to make a public apology without being forced.

Wolfger (profile) says:

Re: Learning from Past Voids

“The statistical probability of anyone filing a fake DMCA notice to take down someone else’property was so remote”??? What kind of drugs are in your Wheaties? The statistical probability of this happening, eventually, was 100%. In fact, it has already happened on multiple occasions that major broadcasters have thrown dragnet-style takedown notice nets out there that have caused content they did not own to be taken down. The DMCA is so poorly written that it invites abuse. If I don’t like you, I can file takedown notices against all your videos, and YouTube will be compelled (by its own lawyers) to remove these videos just in case I do own the copyrights. They have neither the ability, the resources, the desire, or the responsibility to investigate my claim.

Anonymous Coward says:


I think this whole situation is really funny. First ABC gets extra publicity for their show thanks to the idea of a 15 yr old (who they should pay for doing this for them). I personally have never heard of their show before and found myself watching it out of curiosity after I read the news article. How many others do you think did this too? Then the whole problems with this takedown notice issue gets exposed to more people as well as making Google look bad for just following every single stupid notice sent to them without looking into it. I say that that day turned out to be a pretty good day for everyone all around (except the bad guys of course)

Jamie says:

I think Google should sue Viacom

I really think that Google should start suing people(though not this kid, public relations nightmare) who send DMCA takedowns that aren’t real. Seems like google could claim damages to it’s service and it’s reputation if it takes down a clip that wasn’t supposed to be taken down.
If they sued a few people, then I think that the fake or poorly identified takedowns would dry up. After all, if you are going to have to pay for a takedown notice that wasn’t legit, then you will think twice about it.
In the case of Viacom, maybe they will actually make sure that the content is their own first.

Anonymous Coward says:


I think google did the right thing to take down the videos when they got the (albiet) fake takedown.

my reasoning is this.

IF it had not been a fake, and Google began to question it, (in todays world) the filer would probally try to open lawsuit with google for delaying.

its better to take them down, realize its a fake, and reinstate. then to dely by investigation, get suied, then take down.

just my reasoning.

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