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02 November 2011

YouTube, DMCA and Safe Harbor

The Trials of Peter Hadfield


About Peter Hadfield


The YouTube user known as Potholer54 has produced many videos on YouTube on topics such as science and debunking anti-science. His videos are informative, witty and entertaining.

Thar's Gold in Them Thar Ducks and Crocodiles!


One of his video series is called The Golden Crocoduck Award and is awarded annually to those whom Peter's viewers feel has lied the most for Jesus that year. Nominees for this year's award included such illustrious types as Ian Juby, Louis Giglio, Richard Kent and Amenakin (I guess for Amenakin, she lied for Mohommad. Still counts though.)

When Peter produced his video for the nominee, Amenakin, he promptly received a DMCA takedown notice on her behalf. Peter counter-filed and in the meantime had a conference with Amenakin. Amenakin admitted that she was wrong in her video and agreed that the DMCA takedown notice was inappropriate though she still felt her copyright was violated.

YouTube's Unorthodox Decision


Despite Peter following the standard procedure, there being no legal grounds for YouTube to refuse to put the video back up and Amenakin withdrawing her DMCA-violation complaint, YouTube has refused to put the video back up. Since YouTube depends on its Safe Harbor status to avoid lawsuits over videos user's post on their channels, this decision has some far reaching implications.

Peter's Video Explanation



My Opinion


I believe that YouTube's decision will threaten its Safe Harbor positions and possibly erode it for other sites that claim Safe Harbor in other countries. Once a neutral party begins deciding who owns copyright and who does not then they have taken a side and must act accordingly. In fact, YouTube will be expected to act accordingly.

IANAL, please take my opinion for what it is, an opinion of a non-professional.

Updates


07 November 2011


Potholer wins! Potholer wins! Potholer wins!

Yes folk, Potholer54 has won his case against YouTube's copyright infringement claims. It's sure nice to see the good guys win once and awhile.