YouTube Decides Obama Singing Al Green Is Fair Use; Restores All The Videos

from the your-move,-BMG dept

Earlier this week, we wrote about BMG issuing a takedown to YouTube over a Mitt Romney advertisement that used a clip of President Obama singing one line of an Al Green song. As we noted at the time, this seemed like a clear fair use case. Also, people pointed out that it was clearly an attempt to stifle speech since BMG only went after the Romney commercial, and not the original clips of Obama singing. Realizing this, BMG then also issued takedowns for those videos. If YouTube wanted to retain its DMCA safe harbor provisions, it is supposed to keep those videos down for 10 days and then it could (but does not need to) restore them. However, Google has jumped the gun and restored the videos already (you can see it here), saying that the company made a determination that the content does not violate copyright laws.

At this point, the ball is back in BMG's court. Technically, it can now file a lawsuit against the uploaders of the video if it wants (so, the Romney campaign, the Associated Press and others). Also, it could potentially try to go after Google itself, claiming that the safe harbors no longer apply due to the early reposting. Of course, one would hope that BMG realizes that pursuing any of these strategies would lead to ridicule and, quite possibly, a court issued rebuke for wasting their time with a bogus copyright claim. Unfortunately, for reasons that remain a mystery to me, when it comes to copyright claims, many copyright holders fail to recognize this kind of likely outcome ahead of time.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Mike, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 3:43pm

    Homeland Security Started Issuing DMCA Takedown Notices on YouTube Today

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 3:54pm

    I'm sure it's ok for Obahma, but what about everyone else who sings that song, Screw Youtube and the double standards they are promoting.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 3:55pm

    Obama smoking weed and doing cocaine was "fair use"

    but he wants to keep it illegal for everyone else

     

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

  4.  
    icon
    ken (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 4:02pm

    Sue BMG for abuse of the DMCA

    Romney campaign should make an example of DMCA abusers and sue BMG.

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 4:10pm

    Re: Sue BMG for abuse of the DMCA

    That would only piss of some potential supporters and as such would be counter productive.

     

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

  6.  
    icon
    Kyle Reynolds Conway (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 4:56pm

    If copyright holders focused on the future we wouldn't be in this mess.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 5:30pm

    Re:

    are you confusing him with Bush?

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 5:32pm

    Re:

    I did work in the past or bought work someone did in the past. The past makes me money. I'll be dead in the future, fuck you for reminding me I'm old and will die soon. Now I need to find some whores to attempt to fill this hole in my worthless existence.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 5:34pm

    Re: Homeland Security Started Issuing DMCA Takedown Notices on YouTube Today

    You know it wouldn't surprise me if they trademarked, copyrighted and patented every president. Fuck logic right.

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 5:41pm

    Re: Re:

    No! He wrote about the white shit in his book, and he was known to bogart the pakalolo. The fact that O is a push over is my biggest problem with him. Fucking politicians. It's all about the next election and not about truth or freedom. Two faced liars.

    But this is the way it works...
    But this is the way it has always been...

    Those who feel this way are enablers. Why don't we fix the things that are so clearly wrong? Is it tradition, or a bunch of spineless creatures that are comfortable in their false reality?

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 5:42pm

    If I copyright the word "THAT" then conceivably. I could control all most all printed text, then I would be at very least, The Best James Bond villain Ever, MUHAHAAHAA

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 6:23pm

    Hey, if all these entertainment companies want YouTube to determine infringement, it's only fair that they determine non-infringement, right?

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    CK20XX, Jul 19th, 2012 @ 9:46pm

    I have a perverse desire to see this case continue and be taken even further, just to shove copyright reform further up the political agenda.

     

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

  14.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Jul 19th, 2012 @ 10:59pm

    Re:

    Copyright 'IT' as well, and restrict it's use and you'd have the backing of the Knights who say NI, and who doesn't need the support of ridiculously tall knights?

     

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

  15.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Jul 20th, 2012 @ 1:57am

    Re:

    Well that just doesn't work you see. Because while anyone can determine what is infringing, due to it being so obvious of course, only the *AA's can determine what isn't.

    Any if anyone noticed the massive fail in logic there, congrats, you thought about it more than the *AA's.

     

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

  16.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Jul 20th, 2012 @ 4:38am

    Re:

    +1

    Although the MAFIAA is already doing a good job in ruining the respect ppl have for copyright and driving their customers away.

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    Eric, Aug 1st, 2012 @ 7:10pm

    FOIA Request

    I'm just going to file a Freedom of Information Act request to Homeland Security since apparently you didn't.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This