Activist Group Uses DMCA To Take Down Video Exposing Its Fake Concerned Citizens

from the dmca-abuse? dept

We've definitely seen cases where activist groups, upset with what people were saying about them, used the DMCA abusively to remove content that they had no real say over. However, this latest story is a bit strange. Before we get to it, though, I'm going to ask, politely, that the comments stick to the copyright issues at hand, rather than the political issues... Apparently, a group called The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) put together a video of "ordinary people" worrying about the impact of gay marriage being allowed. It turns out that everyone in the video is an actor, and the fact that they're "fake" received plenty of attention earlier this week, including being shown on the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC, which included clips of the audition tapes of the actors. The clip of the MSNBC segment was then put on YouTube. And here's where the copyright questions come in... the video was of the MSNBC segment, but NOM put in a DMCA takedown request, which YouTube obeyed.

That raises all sorts of questions... MSNBC reporting on the videos is almost certainly fair use of NOM's videos. But, it was someone else who uploaded the MSNBC clip to YouTube. MSNBC is still running the clip on its own site -- but, if anyone had any sort of DMCA claim on the video, one would think it would be MSNBC... not NOM. So, then, is NOM abusing the DMCA takedown process, in demanding an entire video (most of which is not its content) be taken down? Seems like you (or, say, the EFF) could make a pretty strong case for that...

Filed Under: copyright, dmca, takedown
Companies: msnbc, nom, youtube


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  1. identicon
    spaceman spiff, 15 Apr 2009 @ 11:20am

    YouTube needs to change policy

    YouTube needs to change its policy regarding DMCA takedown notices. It full well knows that in many instances these are bogus. It should require proof of violation by the instigator of the action that the video in question is infringing material. By placing the burden of proof on the instigator (AFAIK, this is appropriate under DMCA rules), it would do a lot to discourage this sort of egregious activity and protect free speech and fair use of these materials.

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