Oscar-Nominated Filmmaker Misuses DMCA To Take Down Video Of Reporter Asking Him Tough Questions

from the copyright-as-censorship dept

And here we are with yet another example of someone using copyright for censorship. Stephan Kinsella points us to the news that Josh Fox, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker of the documentary Gasland, has apparently sent a takedown notice to YouTube, concerning a video of a reporter asking him some pointed questions about apparent omissions in the film. The reporter posted the 3-minute video to YouTube, which is almost entirely footage of him asking Fox questions at a screening. Early in the clip there is 26-seconds of footage from Gasland to provide the context of the questioning. This seems like a classic case of fair use, and yet if you visit the YouTube clip that the guy uploaded, you see this:
The journalist has now reposted the video to Vimeo, where he hopes it'll stay up (Update: and... just like that, it's gone too):
It's almost impossible to construct a scenario where that's not fair use. Whether or not you agree with Fox or the reporter concerning issues of natural gas drilling and "fracking" (and I actually consider myself among those who is concerned about fracking -- the issue that Fox tried to highlight with his documentary), we should all agree that it's absolutely wrong and abusive to use the DMCA in this manner. The guy asked Fox some tough questions, and he answered them. He might not like how the video appeared but that's not a copyright issue. Issuing a bogus copyright takedown claim is an abuse of the law (for which there are penalties) and, even worse, makes him look like he's running scared from these questions and unwilling to deal with them further.

Fox is free to argue that the clip misrepresented him, misquoted him or otherwise was unfair or questionable, if he believes that's the case. He can argue that he didn't give good answers and would like to answer the questions more fully. But what he should not be able to do is to issue a totally bogus copyright claim on the video which is clearly fair use, and where he's obviously not using copyright law as intended, but as a way to silence a critic of his.

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  1. icon
    bugmenot (profile), 7 Jun 2011 @ 10:06am

    What is wrong with you?

    They used of the logo and the film maker's name without his permission.

    those people were not able to light their water on fire before the fracking started, and now they can.

    citing studies in other parts of the world, at other times in history is complete BS and a ridiculous tactic.

    The clown asking questions is a buffoon and an idiot.

    He is using non-sequiturs, taking things out of context, and it will be interesting to follow the money on him.

    The documentary is scientifically sound and the guy is not lying. If you have to do your -own- research, then do it.. but the fact is the fact..

    Besides, what the hell is wrong with you people? do you really want those chemicals pumped into the ground and contaminating your water? seriously.. are you stupid?

    well, you don't have to answer that.. but I can tell you this.. if you try that "drill baby drill" s***t and that fracking in the great lakes region of the upper midwest.. you're going to learn about second amendment solutions really quick.. so good luck.. we like our water here, and we are only trying to protect your water supply, so quit your whining and convert to a free competition economy so we can have new energy sources.

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