YouTube Restores National Organization for Marriage Video Outside DMCA Parameters, Cites Fair Use

Ben Sheffner reports that YouTube has restored the National Organization for Marriage ("NOM")'s "No Offense" video without waiting for the expiration of the DMCA's 10-14 business day counter-notification window:

In what I believe is an unprecedented development, YouTube has conducted its own legal analysis of a National Organization for Marriage video that was subject to a DMCA takedown notice, and has re-posted the video prior to the expiration of the 10-14 business day counternotice window after determining that the inclusion of a 3-second clip of Perez Hilton calling Miss California USA Carrie Prejean a "dumb [beep]" was a non-infringing fair use.

Here's the video, which was the subject of a DMCA takedown notice by celebrity blogger Perez Hilton (it was also challenged by the Miss Universe organization in a letter to NOM) :

By restoring the video without giving Hilton at least 10 days to file suit against NOM, YouTube has voluntarily given up the "safe harbor" protection of the DMCA, which means Hilton could theoretically sue the company if the video is infringing. But, under the circumstances, this is a no-brainer: there's really no exposure because the use of Hilton's footage is so clearly fair use.

Ben Sheffner's post has more details, including the text of the email sent by YouTube to NOM's lawyer.

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