The Electronic Frontier Foundation applauds Viacom today for standing up for upfront “fair use” rights of YouTubers.
Responding to Viacom's willingness to take steps to protect the free speech rights of those who post videos to YouTube and similar video sharing sites, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Stanford Law School's Fair Use Project (FUP) today dismissed a lawsuit filed on behalf of MoveOn.org Civic Action and Brave New Films (BNF).
The lawsuit was filed in federal court last month, after a parody of "The Colbert Report" was removed from YouTube following a meritless copyright complaint by Viacom. The humorous video, called "Stop the Falsiness," was created by MoveOn and BNF using clips from the Comedy Central television series. It was a tongue-in-cheek commentary on Colbert's portrayal of the right-wing media and parodied MoveOn's own reputation for earnest political activism.
What’s more: “Viacom has agreed to set up a website and email "hotline," promising a review of any complaint within one business day and a reinstatement if the takedown request was in error.”
Now would be a perfect opportunity for Google to follow Viacom’s lead and stand up for upfront copyright rights of media companies.
According to the EEF:
"If copyright owners are going to be sending hundreds of thousands of DMCA takedown notices, they also have a responsibility to protect the legitimate free speech rights of the citizen creators who rely on platforms like YouTube," said EFF Senior Intellectual Property Attorney Fred von Lohmann. "By choosing to respect newsworthy and transformative uses of their materials -- and establishing a simple process that lets improperly targeted users get their material back up quickly -- Viacom has taken important steps toward meeting that responsibility. We hope other media companies will follow Viacom's lead."
I hope GOOGLE will follow Viacom’s lead.Why are copyright owners “going to be sending hundreds of thousands of DMCA takedown notices”? Because of the massively copyright infringing business model of YouTube, as Viacom asserted in its $1 billion lawsuit.
Google has a responsibility to protect the legitimate content ownership rights of the media companies upon which YouTubers rely for their high quality clip culture entertainment.
Google ought to choose to respect copyright by proactively blocking unauthorized uploads of copyright videos. Wouldn't it be the simplest solution for all?