Gasp! YouTube Shutters Account For Person Committing DMCA Takedown Fraud!

from the praise-be dept

It should come as no surprise to regular Techdirt readers that the DMCA takedown process is not only wide open to fraud and abuse, but that those avenues are regularly used in real life for just those purposes. Takedowns to silence criticism, takedowns to try to steal traffic from others, or takedowns or monetization claims just to get some paltry amounts of streaming revenue: the point is that this shit happens all the time. What absolutely does not happen with any frequency is the folks behind these bogus actions getting punished in any way for their behavior.

And so when it does happen, it’s worth highlighting it, putting it on a podium, and trying to have it become the norm rather than the exception. To that end, let’s highlight YouTube actually banning an account that appeared to be sending fraudulent DMCA notices.

Yesterday, the owner of the “Musical Creator” channel complained that their channel had been terminated after submitting a copyright takedown request. The operator of the channel doesn’t appear to be a native English speaker as the comment below shows, but it’s clear that they disagree with this decision.

“My youtube channel MUSICAL CREATOR has been terminated due to inlegal information copyright infringement. But I not violating any policy of youtube, I don’t know how my channel is terminated I filled out all the information legal. I want to get back my channel again,” the operator writes.

Now, a couple of things to say here. First, the channel’s name is “MUSICAL CREATOR”? Hmm, okay, totally doesn’t sound like the kind of thing you would create just to send DMCA notices and try to monetize others’ content. And we don’t have any details from YouTube as to what specifically was the issue with whatever takedown notice MUSICAL CREATOR sent. Instead, all we have is this from YouTube’s notice directly.

“We are concerned that some of the information within this legal request may be fraudulent,” YouTube’s response reads. “Please understand that YouTube receives a large number of fraudulent copyright takedown requests, and we take abuse of that process very seriously.”

While that doesn’t tell us much or let us vet out whether fraud was actually committed or not, it’s worth keeping in mind again that YouTube takes very little action on this sort of thing generally speaking. By which I mean that the fact it took action in this case leads me to believe YouTube thinks it’s on very, very solid footing here.

As a result, the MUSICAL CREATOR account is down. Anyone going to its page is simply told that the account is offline due to “a violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service.”

Again, it’s hard to be completely assured that YouTube’s actions in this case are appropriate… but I suspect they are. And, purely as a matter of percentage cases, the fact is that YouTube and other platforms have historically been so vastly on the side of those issuing DMCA notices instead of the potential victims of fraud that it makes stories like this unique.

Even though they shouldn’t be.

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Companies: youtube

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Comments on “Gasp! YouTube Shutters Account For Person Committing DMCA Takedown Fraud!”

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13 Comments
This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
BG (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"we take abuse of that process very seriously."

But not seriously enough to start legal proceedings against someone, costing them money and time and not just mildly inconveniencing them in response to them actually stealing people’s income via DCMA fraud or extortion / blackmail using DCMA (as YouTube has implemented it) as a weapon.

I guess YouTube has a very different understanding of the words "abuse", "very" and "seriously" to the rest of the planet.

Discuss It (profile) says:

Re: Re: Alphabit and Understanding

I guess YouTube has a very different understanding of the words "abuse", "very" and "seriously" to the rest of the planet.

As may be, but they have a complete understanding of stock holder lawsuits for "wasting" money. To bestir the behemoth, one needs must first make it at least somewhat perturbed.

Alphabet has a high pain thresh hold on this sort of matter. I’m surprised they bestirred themselves at all.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
PaulT (profile) says:

This seems to be a story that’s intriguing but really doesn’t give enough to go on right now, so hopefully there will be some developments.

But, this could be anything right now. The person complaining doesn’t seem to have a full grasp of either legal concepts or the English language, so it could jsut be that they filled in the form so completely wrong that it triggered every possible alarm at YouTube’s end. Their citation of YouTube vs Brady seems to suggest that they believe he’s acting as a copyright troll, and while it’s nice if they finally crack down on such things, who knows what the real explanation is?

I look forward to any further developments, but given that whoever is behind this account appears to have only been whining in Google’s support forum and doesn’t seem to have taken the issue anywhere else on social media, I’m not holding my breath.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
David says:

Big deal

The large DMCA notice offenders don’t even have Youtube channels to shut down that would bind them to any terms of service.

Cutting their revenue stream for violations would be a legal matter, not one of "terms of service" or other at the discretion of Youtube.

This is nothing but a little smoke screen around possibly little frauds. The big ones don’t have channels of their own.

Anonymous Coward says:

3 hour videos get dmca notices for the sound of silence keyboard typing sound or public domain music or music in the backround for a few seconds . Sony sends dmca notices on classical music in the public domain because the released concerts of some composer from 1850 on cd
There seems to be very few company’s punished for abusing dmca notice abuse

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

That does seem to be an issue. You perform music according to something written down 200 years ago, the sheet music is not able to be copyrighted, but if you make a vaguely similar interpretation of that music some else who wasn’t born when it was written can shut you down?

I wish I could point out how ridiculous that is by saying that nobody would try taking down a community version of a Shakespeare play, but.. I’m fairly sure if I looked I could find something,

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Anonymous Coward says:

There is a disappointing lack of detail to go on in this case. It might be because we’re used to copyright trolling cases having a history of egregious behavior. In this case, not so much. Not even an example of how this account sent out DMCA notices.

Color me paranoid, but I get the idea YouTube finally put the kibosh on this account precisely because the odds of them effectively contesting the claim are… not high.

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