The NFL Issues Takedown For Chrysler Super Bowl Commercial

from the nicely-done dept

Ah, the bogus takedown. The latest is that apparently the NFL somehow and for some reason took down Chrysler’s Clint Eastwood Super Bowl commercial from YouTube. Pretty much every advertiser put up their commercials on YouTube, and it’s unclear why or how the NFL might claim any sort of copyright on any of those ads. But, for some time that’s exactly what happened, making Chrysler’s own website promoting the ad look pretty silly:

Considering how much Chrysler had to pay for that ad, you have to wonder if they now feel that the NFL owes them something for making it impossible for people to watch for a while…

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Companies: chrysler, nfl

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Comments on “The NFL Issues Takedown For Chrysler Super Bowl Commercial”

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fogbugzd (profile) says:

Bogus copyright claims and DCMA claims ought to be a crime. And content should not be taken down under DCMA until the person who posted has a reasonable opportunity to dispute the claim.

Leaving violations up for an extra day or two probably does little damage to the rights holder, but examples like this show how huge the damage can be to the person holding the video.

Anonymous Coward says:

Bots! Damn bots!

This is the problem when the takedowns are automated. Now when a powerful player like Chrysler gets their rights infringed you can bet someone moves on it right away to correct the situation, but if it’s some powerless dweeb whose free speech is being taken away it’s just “oh well, guess you’re SOL…”

This is why the penalties for false takedown should be equal to the penalties for infringement.

Anonymous Coward says:


You see Youtube should make as easy to contest something as it is easy to complain about it and let people fight it in the courts, just put a form “this video has been contested do you wish to file a counter notice to have it up and running again?” and the step by step with warnings of what may happen, including the fact that if the guy can prove that somebody acted in bad faith they would be responsible for all his legal fees in court of course this only applies to people who don’t work a normal 8 to 5 job otherwise risking your job over a Youtube video seems ridiculous.

Anonymous Coward says:

make false take downs punishable with as big a fines as genuine ones and one of the huge corporations that have been threatened by and complied with the NFL, have the balls to take them on! they are as bad as the rest of the ‘entertainment industries’ (watching a match is entertainment, right?) and have probably been coached by them anyway

Anonymous Coward says:


notice and notice instead of notice and takedown. That is – give the person a chance to contest the takedown claim. If it is obviously infringing, the person would not generally contest the takedown. If the takedown is a mistake/ over-reach/ covered by fair use, that gives the person a chance to respond. Not perfect but an improvement certainly.

timmaguire42 (user link) says:


Absolutely. I have a lot of problems with the Safe Harbor provisions of DMCA, which are basically “guilty until proven innocent” (read: a violation of due process rights), but much of my objection could be alleviated if the supposedly infringing material came down only if and when the “infringer” failed to respond to the takedown notice.

Makoto (profile) says:

Too bad for those not watching the Super Bowl!

According to family and friends, this was the one commercial that was really good, too…

Seriously, NFL – you already GOT your paycheck for the runtime of this ad, so what the hell do you have to gain by issuing a takedown notice? The whole point of putting ads in the Super Bowl is so the product makers get more exposure!

Well, I could look it like this: Maybe Chrysler will rethink its relationship with the NFL.

Gwiz (profile) says:


Exactly – thank you! It’s the law that’s broken here, not YouTube.

Agreed, but it would be nice to see YouTube do something proactive about this. Something simple even, like x amount (or percentage or something) of successfully countered notices and the rights holder loses automatic take down privileges and has to file paper notices. They wouldn’t lose DMCA protection that way, would they?

Anonymous Coward says:

video is back up. Now the blame game is playing out. NFL says they didn’t request the takedown – Google screwed up. Google says they only take down videos from a request but are not yet presenting the request.

YouTube expeditiously removes content when it receives a copyright notification from copyright owners, or from third party agencies operating on their behalf. We reinstate content when we receive a retraction from the party who originally submitted the notification. The video has been reinstated.

I replied to the spokesperson:

The NFL says they never filed a complaint about the video — even though the video screen said there was a complaint from NFL Properties LLC. Was it taken down due to some type of auto filtering technology that YouTube uses?

Your statement doesn’t really say what happened in this case. Thanks.

The YouTube spokesperson’s response:

No, a video comes down when we receive a copyright complaint about a specific video from the copyright holder, or from the third party agency that they designate to make such complaints on their behalf.

Then I ask back:

So did the NFL’s third party agency make the complaint? Because the NFL itself is telling me they didn’t complain.

(hope that’s not a copyright violation by quoting them…)

Anonymous Coward says:


Eh, I was mistaken. The counternotification procedures are to protect the service provider from liability to the user, not the person making the infringement.

Anyway, the safe harbors only require that the service provider “act expeditiously” after receiving the notice, so there at least ought to be time to contact the user, as opposed to just acting immediately.

At any rate, Chrysler probably has a claim for damages against the NFL here unless there’s some reason the NFL thought it had rights that were legitimately infringed.

DannyB (profile) says:


Not lose DMCA protections. Get this ridiculous law overturned. Everyone saw this coming over a decade ago when this farce of a law was passed.

There are potentially huge compliance for not taking it down. There should be equally, if not significantly larger costs for a false DMCA claim.

The penalties for false DMCA takedowns need to have some serious teeth.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:


It’s back up now. And it’s a great ad. Not just for America as a country but for those who find themselves with their backs against the wall as individuals.

It’s great.

Whatever bot or idiot at the NFL filed the takedown should be taken out and given a really good talking to about publicity and what the Internet and You Tube can do for them.

This time around the Internet and You Tube are probably saying really, really nasty things. Like here.

DannyB (profile) says:


A site (eg YouTube) should have safe harbor protection as long as either of the following happen:
1. YouTube receives counter notice to keep the video up — at that point all liability for any actual infringement is now on the party giving the counter notice.
2. YouTube does not receive a counter notice within some specified time — at which point YouTube takes the video down to keep its safe harbor protection.

Either way:
1. The party who put up the video can contest the takedown and assume liability. (And also sue in the case of a false DMCA takedown.)
2. The party who put up the video does not contest, and the video goes down. (And the DMCA filer might sue the party who put up the video for infringement.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Something here does not compute. The NFL is DMCA and copyright savvy, so it seems rather unlikely it would send a takedown notice to YouTube. Looking around at other reports, it seems pretty clear that none of the principals have a firm handle on how this happened, which is confirmed by everyone saying they are investigating what transpired.

Indignation leveled at copyright law and the DMCA may prove to be premature, and perhaps even wrong.

nasch (profile) says:


Anyway, the safe harbors only require that the service provider “act expeditiously” after receiving the notice, so there at least ought to be time to contact the user, as opposed to just acting immediately.

There are substantial penalties for failing to act expeditiously, whatever that means. The penalty for acting too quickly is absolutely nothing. So you can see what the law causes service providers to do.

Anonymous Coward says:


“There are substantial penalties for failing to act expeditiously, whatever that means.”

Not necessarily. I mean, if it’s not infringement in the first place, there’s no “penalty.” Even if it is infringement, the service provider might not be liable. However, they *know* they’re not liable if they act expeditiously to disable it.

You’re right, thought, that the incentives are in favor of disabling access, except for those service providers who feel there is a market advantage to developing a reputation for standing up to such notices.

Anonymous Coward says:


What? Someone filed a false DMCA takedown notice as a ‘trusted third party’ without being a trusted third party????

Sounds like a case of fraud and theft of content (sure it’s back now… but they stole it and it was gone for a while there….)

… I would make a point, but why when I can make three … and imply ‘something’….

know what I mean?

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Bots! Damn bots!

You Tube does invite people, under their terms and services, to place videos on their site so if Chrysler followed them You Tube has an obligation to keep them up.

The NFL issed a DCMA takedown notice on a video they didn’t own the rights to. While You Tube did follow the rules one could say that Chrysler has grounds for an action against the NFL or at least the rights to get very, very pissed off at the NFL and the perfect right to tell them so as Chrysler owns the rights to the ad NOT the NFL.

nasch (profile) says:

Chevy's advert

The advertisement (the one I saw on the web at has a great many trademark “issues” from the direct reference to Ford to the Twinkies box.

It’s not a trademark issue to show or mention a brand name product in a commercial (or any other context) unless there’s likelihood of customer confusion. Trademark holders just want you to think it is.

Anonymous Coward says:


” if it’s not infringement in the first place, there’s no “penalty.”

You want your 15$ an hour worker who process DCMA claims making that call or are you going to have him take down whatever is requested and let the counterclaim department pass anything that looks interesting(if the defendant keeps calling foul after you tell him he is a thief) to the lawyers?

pixelpusher220 (profile) says:

Part of me wonders...

Personally I think Rove is upset at the big lie in the video

“Detroit almost lost everything. But we all pulled together and now Motor City is fighting again”

Dammit we all did NOT pull together. Rove and Romney and the rest of the GOP were AGAINST saving Detroit and millions of jobs.

They just want to make sure that is clear….oh wait ๐Ÿ˜‰

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