Michael Geist has the latest example of what appears to be a company abusing the DMCA takedown process
to try to quiet the speech of someone they didn't like who was criticizing them. In this case, Canada Post sent a takedown notice to YouTube for a video from union members making fun of Canada Post's CEO. The video was a parody song, sung to a Dr. Seuss tune, with lyrics making fun of the CEO. Since the song was clearly not covered by any Canada Post copyright, a DMCA takedown would break the law, which requires any takedown be from the copyright holder. Canada Post tried to claim that the infringement was actually an altered photo of the CEO briefly shown in the film -- but that's a pretty clear fair use, and, as Geist notes, recent US court rulings say that fair use should be taken into account before sending a takedown.
This seems like a pretty clear case of abusing the takedown process to try to silence critics. But it's made even more interesting that it involves two Canadian organizations... but is using US law. That's because the video was hosted at YouTube, in the US. It certainly does raise, once again, questions concerning jurisdiction on the internet -- and how laws apply across borders.