from the that's-now-how-copyright-works dept
Joseph M. Durnal was the first of a whole bunch of you to send in a version of this story showing how NASCAR abused copyright to take down some videos. You may have heard that there was a big NASCAR crash at Daytona that sent debris flying into the stands. Well, a video from those same stands, which shows a wheel lying in the seats next to someone injured, was deleted from YouTube via NASCAR claiming copyright on it and issuing a takedown. Obviously, that’s a bogus claim, because the copyright would belong to the guy who filmed it.
As the press started calling, NASCAR gave what might seem like a perfectly reasonable response:
The fan video of the wreck on the final lap of today’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race was blocked on YouTube out of respect for those injured in today’s accident. Information on the status of those fans was unclear and the decision was made to err on the side of caution with this very serious incident.—Steve Phelps, NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer
Sounds great, except it’s totally bogus. NASCAR may well be concerned about those injured by the crash, but that does not give them the right to automatically remove someone else’s video, nor does it allow them to abuse the DMCA takedown process for that purpose. The DMCA only applies to copyright.
Of course, once again, we’re seeing how when our laws make it easy to censor via copyright claims, many people seek to do exactly that. Thankfully, all of the attention on the takedown has resulted in YouTube doing what appears to have been an expedited review, and have put the video back: