Ah! Yet another example of the ridiculousness that appears to reign supreme in the tug of war between copyright protection and fair use rights.
Quoting from the article: “The music publisher BMG Rights Management appears to have used the DMCA takedown process to remove another video of the commander-in-chief belting out ‘I’m so in love with you.’ The video, one of many uploaded in the wake of an event at the Apollo Theater earlier this year, was made by YouTube user sNewsCast. When Ars clicked the “play” button from our Philadelphia office, we got the message ‘This video contains content from BMG_Rights_Management, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.’ ”
Sadly, the complained of use clearly fits within the established “fair use” doctrine that permits the use of copyrighted material where, among other things, it is used for the purpose of “commentary and criticism.”
As Ars Technica points out, however: “Unfortunately, the law doesn’t give YouTube much latitude to stand up for fair use if it wants to hold onto the protection of the DMCA safe harbor. The notice-and-takedown procedure requires YouTube to leave an allegedly infringing work offline for at least 10 days, even if the uploader files a counter-notice stating that the work is not infringing.”
While legitimate protection of IP is a good thing, this is clearly a ridiculous case of “throwing out the baby with the bathwater.” This would not be such a big deal, however, if it were not for the fact that this appears to be a significant trend among rights holders who not only routinely seek to stop even permissible uses of copyrighted material but also often seek removal of materials that they are not even the owner.