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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  • icon
    Anonymous Poster (profile), 16 Apr 2007 @ 1:05am

    I KNEW this was going to be the first story on Techdirt once you came back from the weekend. And Google really should implement some sort of better procedure for investigating/confirming DMCA requests.

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

  • identicon
    Dom, 16 Apr 2007 @ 1:14am

    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.

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

    • identicon
      checkmate444, 16 Apr 2007 @ 1:34am

      Re: Haha, this happened to me

      I feel that the omments made by Dom and his/her experience is more significant the the original story.

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

  • identicon
    Rick, 16 Apr 2007 @ 3:18am

    Why not?

    It would be amusing if this started a rash of DMCA takedowns by people posing as copyright owners.

    Maybe it would get enough attention as to how stupid the procedure is, and the fact that nobody has been prosecuted for false DMCA takedowns yet - person or corporation.

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

  • identicon
    Brad Eleven, 16 Apr 2007 @ 3:48am

    re: Why not?

    Very interesting. Let's set it up like a pyramid scheme, or better yet, as chain-letter spam:

    "Please don't break this bogus DMCA chain. Lonelygurl15 broke it and within five minutes, the world realized her YouTube show was a fake, and now she's no one."

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

  • identicon
    JCScar, 16 Apr 2007 @ 5:23am

    Re: Regarding Teen Fakes

    To the guy who posted the comment above. Idiot.

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

  • identicon
    Security, 16 Apr 2007 @ 5:31am

    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.

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

    • identicon
      Wolfger, 16 Apr 2007 @ 6:26am

      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.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Apr 2007 @ 6:40am

      Re: Learning from Past Voids

      Read the article, he's already released an apology statement.

      Apparently those that actually read are at an advantage.

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

  • identicon
    Overcast, 16 Apr 2007 @ 6:16am

    Well, if Viacom can file take down notices for content they don't own - why can't anyone else?

    Afterwards, just claim is was remarkably similar to.... whatever.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Apr 2007 @ 6:21am

    Haha!

    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)

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

  • identicon
    Joe Bob, 16 Apr 2007 @ 7:03am

    Two Words.......

    Michael Crook..

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

  • identicon
    Jamie, 16 Apr 2007 @ 7:09am

    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.

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

  • identicon
    Rob, 16 Apr 2007 @ 7:09am

    Regarding Teen Fakes by Chad Hurley

    Chad has too much time on his hands.

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

    • identicon
      Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), 16 Apr 2007 @ 8:23am

      Re: Regarding Teen Fakes by Chad Hurley

      Of course! He is very wealthy now without any life stress thanks to mindless eyeballs. ;)

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Apr 2007 @ 9:01am

    Google

    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.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Apr 2007 @ 11:16am

    provided you can charge/fine anybody who files a bogus takedown request

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


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