Copyright As Censorship: San Francisco Eviction Lawyer Uses DMCA Takedown To Censor Protest Video
from the because-that's-what-copyright-does dept
Jackson West attended one of the sessions and video taped people protesting it at a seminar given by lawfirm Bornstein & Bornstein. You can see the video below via Vimeo:
In West's account (which is, obviously, just his side of the story), Bornstein doesn't seem to understand copyright laws:
...he began asking to meet in person in order to be “presented as human, multi-dimensional.” I pointed out that issuing a takedown notice without contacting me first didn’t really offer me that same benefit of the doubt. I asked if he’d actually watched the video, which he didn’t confirm but instead indicated that he’d objected to the characterization of the incident in the description, complained about other videos of the event (which can’t be found on YouTube, suggesting he may have issued additional claims) and asked to be sent a copy.Just because you object to the "characterization" of the event, it doesn't magically give you the right to abuse copyright law.
Bornstein promised that if I agreed to meet he would consider dropping the matter, but when I made it clear that I reserved the right to publish a story before the meeting, he replied he’d then have to contact copyright counsel. While not directly stated, the implication was clear that if I agreed to hold the story until after meeting with him, he’d agree to drop the claim.Later in the story, there's an "update" when West goes to meet with Bornstein. After a dispute about whether things are on or off the record, Bornstein trots out another non-copyright, but still bogus, reason for issuing the copyright takedown, claiming West is not "a legitimate reporter."
When I pointed out that a story was already online, along with the video, he rescinded the offer. However, seemingly confused over the difference between copyrights and privacy rights, he seemed intent on arguing that I wasn’t acting as a legitimate reporter for having attended the event and filmed the protest without notifying the firm first.That doesn't really have anything to do with privacy rights either -- and even if it did, it still doesn't give Bornstein (a lawyer, remember) the right to abuse copyright law to takedown the video.
Yet again, we see copyright being abused for the purpose of censorsing content someone doesn't like.
Update: As noted in the comments, YouTube has put the video back up...