Video

Lennar Corporation v. Minkow

Date: 

09/19/2008

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Barry Minkow; Fraud Discovery Institute, Inc.; Briarwood Capital, LLC; Nicolas Marsch III; Does 1-10

Type of Party: 

Organization

Type of Party: 

Individual
Organization

Court Type: 

State

Court Name: 

Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit, Miami-Dade County (Florida)

Case Number: 

08-55741 CA 10

Legal Counsel: 

Richard Smith and Evan Roberts - Shook, Hardy & Bacon, LLP

Publication Medium: 

Website

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Pending

Description: 

Lennar Corporation and Lennar Homes of California, Inc. filed a lawsuit in Florida state court against Barry Minkow, the Fraud Discovery Institute, Inc., Briarwood Capital, LLC, Nicolas Marsch III, and several unnamed defendants. Lennar alleged that Minkow, acting in concert with the other defendants, published defamatory statements on websites (lenn-ron.com and frauddiscovery.net), in a YouTube video, and press releases, all falsely accusing the company of accounting improprieties. 

The complaint includes claims for libel, deceptive and unfair trade practices, tortious interference, fraud and extortion, and alleges that Marsch engaged Minkow and Fraud Discovery Institute to publish false information about it as part of an ongoing dispute between Marsch and Lennar.

The case is ongoing.

Priority: 

1-High

CMLP Notes: 

RPK

Content Type: 

Threat Source: 

Google News

Subject Area: 

Jurisdiction: 

Peter Needed a Jew... Bourne Co Needed a Lesson in Fair Use

Congress derives its power to enact copyright laws from the copyright clause, U.S. Const. Art. I § 8, which reads:

Jurisdiction: 

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

Sinclair v. Democratic Underground

Date: 

04/01/2008

Threat Type: 

Subpoena

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Democratic Underground; Digg.com; Google, Inc.

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Organization
Large Organization

Court Type: 

State

Court Name: 

United States District Court for the District of Columbia

Case Number: 

1:08-cv-00434

Legal Counsel: 

Paul Alan Levy - Public Citizen (for mzmolly and Democratic Underground)

Publication Medium: 

Forum
Website

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Pending

Disposition: 

Subpoena Quashed

Description: 

In March 2008, Lawrence Sinclair sued three pseudonymous Internet users -- TubeSockTedD, mzmolly, and Owningliars -- for defamation in federal district court in the District of Columbia. 

In late 2007/early 2008, Sinclair published a YouTube video and blog claiming that he had engaged in sexual activities and done drugs with then-presidential candidate Barack Obama. This sparked a vociferous response from many Internet users, who criticized Sinclair and challenged his claims about Obama. 

According to court documents, one such Internet user, "TubeSockTedD," allegedly posted a video on YouTube that stated "Larry Sinclair is Spreading Lies About Obama."  Days later, another Internet user going by "Owningliars" allegedly posted a statement on Digg.com, linking back to an unspecified video, urging readers to watch it as "proof" that Sinclair was lying, and stating that Sinclair was in a mental hospital when he claimed to have met Obama.  Later still, another Internet user going by "mzmolly" allegedly posted a comment on a forum on Democratic Underground, repeating the claim that Sinclair was a former mental patient.

After Sinclair filed suit, he subpoenaed Democratic Underground, Google, and Digg seeking identifying information about the pseudonymous defendants.  Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen, representing both mzmolly and Democratic Underground, objected to the subpoena in a strongly worded letter. Sinclair then moved to compel Democratic Underground to disclose mzmolly's identity, and both mzmolly and Democratic Underground opposed the motion to compel, arguing that First Amendment protection for anonymous speech shielded mzmolly's identity from disclosure under the circumstances. 

In February 2009, the district court issued an opinion denying the motion to compel and dismissing the complaint in its entirety.  The court held that Sinclair was not permitted to compel the identification of the three pseudonymous defendants because he could not meet the heightened standard required by the First Amendment.

Specifically, the court held that Sinclair's complaint was facially invalid because it did not plead facts necessary to establish the court's subject-matter jurisdiction or personal jurisdiction over the pseudonymous defendants.  In addition, the court ruled that Sinclair's defamation claims failed as a matter of law because he did not plead either actual malice or special damages, and because section 230 of the Communications Decency Act protected mzmolly and Owningliars for "simply summarizing and reporting information obtained from" a third party.

Although it quashed the subpoena and dismissed the complaint, the district court refused to award mzmolly and Democratic Underground sanctions against Sinclair because of the novel areas of law involved. 

Jurisdiction: 

CMLP Notes: 

There are tons of other motions filed in this case; Sinclair has attempted to subpoena Digg and Google alongside the others, and various memos and responses have gone back and forth on these and other issues. Whoever looks at this may want to look through to see what is interesting in these -- or see what others around the web have picked out of them. {MCS}

Priority: 

1-High

Content Type: 

Threat Source: 

Public Citizen

Subject Area: 

Sinclair v. TubeSockTedD

Date: 

03/13/2008

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

TubeSockTedD; Mzmolly; Owningliars

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Individual

Court Type: 

Federal

Court Name: 

United States District Court for the District of Columbia

Case Number: 

1:08-cv-00434

Legal Counsel: 

James R. Klimaski - Klimaski & Associates, P.C., Ray Beckerman - Ray Beckerman PC (for TubeSockTedD); Paul Alan Levy - Public Citizen (for mzmolly and Democratic Underground)

Publication Medium: 

Forum
Website

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Pending

Disposition: 

Dismissed (total)
Subpoena Quashed

Description: 

In March 2008, Lawrence Sinclair sued three pseudonymous Internet users -- TubeSockTedD, mzmolly, and Owningliars -- for defamation in federal district court in the District of Columbia. 

In late 2007/early 2008, Sinclair published a YouTube video and blog claiming that he had engaged in sexual activities and done drugs with then-presidential candidate Barack Obama. This sparked a vociferous response from many Internet users, who criticized Sinclair and challenged his claims about Obama. 

According to court documents, one such Internet user, "TubeSockTedD," allegedly posted a video on YouTube that stated "Larry Sinclair is Spreading Lies About Obama."  Days later, another Internet user going by "Owningliars" allegedly posted a statement on Digg.com, linking back to an unspecified video, urging readers to watch it as "proof" that Sinclair was lying, and stating that Sinclair was in a mental hospital when he claimed to have met Obama.  Later still, another Internet user going by "mzmolly" allegedly posted a comment on a forum on Democratic Underground, repeating the claim that Sinclair was a former mental patient.

After Sinclair filed suit, he subpoenaed Democratic Underground, Google, and Digg seeking identifying information about the pseudonymous defendants.  Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen, representing both mzmolly and Democratic Underground, objected to the subpoena in a strongly worded letter. Sinclair then moved to compel Democratic Underground to disclose mzmolly's identity, and both mzmolly and Democratic Underground opposed the motion to compel, arguing that First Amendment protection for anonymous speech shielded mzmolly's identity from disclosure under the circumstances. 

In February 2009, the district court issued an opinion denying the motion to compel and dismissing the complaint in its entirety.  The court held that Sinclair was not permitted to compel the identification of the three pseudonymous defendants because he could not meet the heightened standard required by the First Amendment.

Specifically, the court held that Sinclair's complaint was facially invalid because it did not plead facts necessary to establish the court's subject-matter jurisdiction or personal jurisdiction over the pseudonymous defendants.  In addition, the court ruled that Sinclair's defamation claims failed as a matter of law because he did not plead either actual malice or special damages, and because section 230 of the Communications Decency Act protected mzmolly and Owningliars for "simply summarizing and reporting information obtained from" a third party.

Although it quashed the subpoena and dismissed the complaint, the district court refused to award mzmolly and Democratic Underground sanctions against Sinclair because of the novel areas of law involved. 

Jurisdiction: 

CMLP Notes: 

There are tons of other motions filed in this case; Sinclair has attempted to subpoena Digg and Google alongside the others, and various memos and responses have gone back and forth on these and other issues. Whoever looks at this may want to look through to see what is interesting in these -- or see what others around the web have picked out of them. {MCS}

Priority: 

1-High

Content Type: 

Threat Source: 

Public Citizen

Subject Area: 

INA v. Lee

Date: 

01/12/2009

Threat Type: 

Correspondence

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Kevin B. Lee

Type of Party: 

Organization

Type of Party: 

Individual

Publication Medium: 

Website

Status: 

Pending

Disposition: 

Material Removed
Material Reinstated

Description: 

Film commentator Kevin B. Lee posted some of his critical video essays on YouTube.  Lee's essays contain clips from the films he is reviewing. After receiving a DMCA takedown notice from the rightsholder to the film "And God Created Woman" (designated "INA" in one of Lee's posts about the takedown),  YouTube disabled access to the video and subsequently disabled his entire account (this was the third such takedown notice).  Lee filed a DMCA counter-notice with YouTube, claiming that his video essays are proteced by fair use.  YouTube temporarily reinstated Lee's account pending further action by the rightsholder.

Content Type: 

Priority: 

1-High

CMLP Notes: 

Note: We should continue to monitor Kevin's blog (alsolikelife.com/shooting) to see what the ultimate resolution is.  At this time, his account has been temporarily reinstated while YouTube reviews the counterclaim.

Subject Area: 

Threat Source: 

Google Blogs

Progress Illinois' YouTube Channel Reinstated After Fox Declines to Sue

Late last week, YouTube reinstated Progress Illinois' YouTube channel after Fox Television declined to sue for copyright infringement within the 10 day window prescribed by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

Jurisdiction: 

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

Fox Television WFLD-TV v. Progress Illinois

Date: 

11/18/2008

Threat Type: 

Correspondence

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Progress Illinois LLC

Type of Party: 

Media Company

Type of Party: 

Organization

Publication Medium: 

Website

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Concluded

Disposition: 

Material Removed
Material Reinstated

Description: 

On November 18, 2008, Fox Television sent a letter to YouTube demanding the takedown of a video uploaded by Progress Illinois, an organization that "provides online news and commentary on issues important to Illinois working families and the progressive movement at large."  The video, Beavers On Back-Door Pay Raises, was embedded in a blog post that examined how some Cook County commissioners were using their expense accounts for personal gain and contained a 26-second clip from a FOX Chicago newscast that had aired a week earlier. 

Fox subsequently sent a second letter to YouTube claiming copyright infringement as to two additional videos, Axelrod: Obama Talked to Blagojevich about Senate Seat and Axelrod: "Our Job Is To Come In . . . With Guns Blazing",  that included 1-2 minute clips from an interview conducted with President-Elect Obama's adviser David Axelrod on Fox Chicago Sunday that Progress Illinois embedded in a blog post on its website, Axelrod Comments On Open Senate Seat, D.C. Leadership Vacuum.

On December 10, 2008, YouTube removed the two videos containing clips of the Axelrod interview and, later that day, suspended Progress Illinois YouTube channel "due to repeat copyright offenses."  

On January 5, 2009, Progress Illinois sent a counter-notification to YouTube pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, requesting that the three videos be restored and its account reinstated. (Note: lawyer Ben Sheffner at the Copyrights & Campaigns blog comments on some potential deficiencies in Progress Illinois' counter-notification to YouTube.)

Update:

1/12/09 - Progress Illinois, through its counsel Paul Alan Levy at Public Citizen, has stated that it is considering filing a lawsuit against Fox unless it withdraws its copyright objections.

1/29/09 - Progress Illinois' YouTube account has been reinstated.

Jurisdiction: 

CMLP Notes: 

from John Bracken

Content Type: 

Threat Source: 

User Feedback

Subject Area: 

Fox Television Forces Shutdown of Progress Illinois' YouTube Channel

Progress Illinois, which "provides online news and commentary on issues important to Illinois working families and the progressive movement at large," has had its YouTube channel terminated after receiving three notices of copyright infringement from Fox Television Stations, Inc. arising from the organization's use of news footage from WFLD-TV, the Fox affiliate in Chicago. 

Jurisdiction: 

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

N.H. Supreme Court Rules that Porn is not Prostitution

The Supreme Court in the state where "Live Free or Die" adorns the license plates has answered the question "why can't producers of adult films be charged with prostitution?" The short answer -- because it would violate the First Amendment (or at least the New Hampshire Constitution's equivalent thereof). See New Hampshire v. Theriault, No. 2007-601 (N.H. Sup. Ct. Dec. 4, 2008). 

Jurisdiction: 

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

Doe v. MySpace II

Date: 

12/06/2007

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

MySpace, Inc., Kiley Ryan Bowers

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Individual
Large Organization

Court Type: 

Federal
State

Court Name: 

District Court of Dallas County, Texas; United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas

Case Number: 

07-14369 (state court); 3:08-cv-00309 (federal court)

Legal Counsel: 

Thomas S Leatherbury, Christopher V Popov - Vinson & Elkins; Kiley Ryan Bowers (Pro Se)

Publication Medium: 

Social Network

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Pending

Description: 

The family of a 15-year-old girl who comitted suicide is suing MySpace, alleging that the site was negligent in its safety practices. The girl apparently had committed suicide after a sexual relationship with a 27-year-old man she had met on MySpace. The family filed suit against MySpace in state court in Texas in December 2007, also naming as a defendant Kiley Ryan Bowers, the man who allegedly had a relationship with the deceased.

Bowers removed the case to federal district court in Texas, but the court remanded the case to state court. The CMLP has not been able to determine what has transpired since the case returned to state court in late April 2008.

Jurisdiction: 

CMLP Notes: 

entry-VAF

Priority: 

1-High

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

CMLP Joins with YouTube and PBS to Help Citizens Video Their Vote

As part of a new project spearheaded by YouTube and PBS called "Video Your Vote," the Citizen Media Law Project is researching the laws regulating recording activities at polling places.  Our specific focus is on the laws that impact voters' ability to document their own voting experiences through video and still photography, as well as their ability to carry out other newsgathering functions, such as interviewing other voters outside of polling places.

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

McCain's YouTube Takedowns Inspire Fair Use Fervor

There's nothing like a misfired copyright claim to make a presidential campaign see the value of fair use.

Jurisdiction: 

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

Silver v. Lavandeira

Date: 

07/22/2008

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Mario Hermando Lavandeira, Jr. aka Mario Lavandeira aka Perez Hilton

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Individual

Court Type: 

Federal

Court Name: 

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

Case Number: 

1:08-cv-06522

Legal Counsel: 

Bryan J Freedman - Freedman and Taitelman LLP; Jeffrey M. Eilender - Schlam Stone & Dolan LLP

Publication Medium: 

Blog

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Pending

Description: 

On July 22, 2008, Elizabeth Silver, a blogger on PerezRevenge.com (now www.rPulse.com), which describes itself as a "website where celebrities could post information about their careers, events and when necessary personal lives without the taint of rumor or speculation" sued rival celebrity blogger Mario Lavandeira (aka Perez Hilton), who operates the blog perezhilton.com, for copyright infringement, violation of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, and other claims.

On July 21, 2008, Hilton had sued Silver, Infuse LLC, and Margie E. Rogers over their use of the name PerezRevenge, claiming the use was a violation of the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, as well as unfair competition, federal dilution of trademark, and unfair trade practices. See the related claim, Lavandeira v. Infuse, LLC.

Update: 

On January 7, 2009,  a magistrate judge issue a Report and Recommendation rejecting Silver's claims.  After Silver failed to object to the Report, the court on February 26 adopted the Report and Recommendation in its entirety.  According to a March 06 order issued by the court, Silver appears to have then filed for voluntary dismissal of the case.

Jurisdiction: 

Content Type: 

Threat Source: 

MLRC

Subject Area: 

Lavandeira v. Infuse, LLC

Date: 

07/21/2008

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Infuse, LLC; Margie Rogers; Elizabeth Silver-Fagan; Does 1-10

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Individual
Organization

Court Type: 

Federal

Court Name: 

United States District Court for the Central District of California

Case Number: 

2:08-cv-04764

Legal Counsel: 

Pro se

Publication Medium: 

Blog

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Pending

Disposition: 

Default Judgment

Description: 

Celebrity gossip blogger Mario Lavandeira (aka Perez Hilton), who operates the blog perezhilton.com, sued Infuse LLC, Margie E. Rogers and Elizabeth Silver-Fagan, the owner, editor and publisher, respectively, of a rival celebrity blog named PerezRevenge.com, which describes itself as a "website where celebrities could post information about their careers, events and when necessary personal lives without the taint of rumor or speculation." Hilton's complaint asserts that their use of the name PerezRevenge is a violation of the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, as well as unfair competition, federal dilution of trademark, and unfair trade practices.

Hilton seeks injunctive relief and treble damages.

On July 22, 2008, one day after Lavandiera filed his lawsuit, defendant Silver, the publisher of PerezRevenge.com, filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Lavandiera in New York. See the related lawsuit, Silver v. Lavandiera.

UPDATE:

05/06/09 - The court, after awarding a default judgment for Hilton, enjoined Infuse from "using the domain name perezhilton.com... [or] using the term 'Perez' to designate any platform...that contains entertainment or celebrity news or gossip."  Silver's site now resides at www.rPulse.com.

Jurisdiction: 

CMLP Notes: 

Updated 2/19/2009 - VAF

Updated 6/25/2009 - AVM added enjoining order

Priority: 

2-Normal

Content Type: 

Threat Source: 

MLRC

Subject Area: 

FBI v. Wolf

Date: 

02/06/2006

Threat Type: 

Subpoena

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Joshua Wolf

Type of Party: 

Government

Type of Party: 

Individual

Court Type: 

Federal

Court Name: 

United States District Court for the North District of California

Case Number: 

3:06-xr-90064

Legal Counsel: 

Daniel Mark Siegel; Jose Luis Fuentes; Martin Garbus; David A Greene

Publication Medium: 

Broadcast
Website

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Concluded

Disposition: 

Settled (total)

Description: 

The Federal Bureau of Investigations subpoenaed video blogger and freelance journalist Josh Wolf for information regarding a political demonstration that resulted in harm to a police officer. The FBI sought the identities of protestors who appeared in Wolf's video recording of the protest, which Wolf claimed was an attempt by the government to use a journalist (himself) as an investigative tool.

On July 8, 2005, Wolf filmed a San Francisco demonstration against the G8 summit in Scotland. During the course of the protest, a San Francisco police officer was injured, and protestors allegedly damaged a police car. Wolf published an edited version of the video on independant news site Indybay and also sold footage to local TV station KRON.

As part of an investigation into the officer's injury, the FBI subpoenaed Wolf to appear in front of a federal grand jury. The subpoena asked Wolf to produce the full video and any other documentation regarding the protest. The subpoena also sought information regarding the identities of individuals who appeared in the video.

Wolf filed a motion to quash the subpoena, claiming protection under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and California's journalist shield law. The North District of California denied Wolf's motion to quash. The court focused on federal journalist protections and held that Wolf was required to comply with the subpoena because he had not demonstrated that the grand jury investigation was conducted in bad faith.

After Wolf again refused to comply with the subpoena, the court ordered him to show cause as to why he should not be held in contempt of court. Wolf again asserted his First Amendment rights, as well as his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Wolf's arguments were supported by amicus briefs by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

The court rejected Wolf's and the amici's arguments on grounds similar to those in its denial of Wolf's motion to quash. It held Wolf in contempt and ordered that he be confined until he complied with the subpoena. Wolf and his lawyers appealed the order to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

On appeal, the 9th Circuit granted a motion allowing Wolf to leave prison on bail. However, the court soon after revoked bail persuant to a motion by the FBI. The court then affirmed the district court's contempt ruling and ordered Wolf to testify and reveal the unpubished portions fo the tape. The 9th Circuit's decision agreed with the district court's holding that Wolf could not legitimately refuse to comply with the subpoena without demonstrating that the grand jury was conducted in bad faith.

The FBI and Wolf ultimately settled the case. Wolf published the full version of the video online and filed a DVD copy with the court. In return, he was released from prison and did not have to testify in front of the grand jury. Wolf had served 226 days in prison, the longest term ever served by a journalist for refusing to disclose unpublished source material.

Jurisdiction: 

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

Williams v. Advertising Sex, LLC

Date: 

03/18/2005

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Advertising Sex, LLC; Raymond Williams; Palmbeach-Online.Com, Inc.; Kenneth M. Boyd; Steve Bryant ; G.A.M.E.; Nicholas Cain; Cain Web Design, Inc.; Charlie Hintz; Mental Shed, LLC; Chris Hartmann; XOTECK, LLC; VIDBIDNESS, INC.; Eric Ridley; Performan

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Individual
Organization

Court Type: 

Federal

Court Name: 

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia

Case Number: 

1:05CV51

Legal Counsel: 

Robert R. Waters (for Vitigliano and Xoteck, LLC); John W. Dozier (for Chris Hartmann & Xoteck); Stephen P. Goodwin, Alexander D. Pencu, Joseph L. Clasen, William J. Kelleher, III & Raymond S Franks, II (for Castle Co. Pty Ltd, The Moles Trust, Russe

Publication Medium: 

Website

Relevant Documents: 

Status: 

Pending

Disposition: 

Dismissed (partial)

Description: 

Former Miss West Virginia, Allison Williams, filed a lawsuit against approximately sixty defendants, including Joseph Vitagliano, who operates Taxi Driver, a website that focuses on celebrity gossip and regularly features nude or semi-nude photographs of female celebrities. Williams alleges that Vitagliano defamed her by posting an advertisement on his website that falsely indicated that she, as Miss West Virginia, participated in a pornographic video that was available for download. 

Williams' complaint alleges defamation, false light invasion of privacy, misappropriation of name and likeness, and violation of the right of publicity. Williams seeks permanent injunctive relief.

According to filings in the case, Vitigliano's website contained advertisments for pornographic websites, including an advertisement for a site that allegedly offered to sell a pornographic video described as depicting "Allison Williams, Miss West Virginia."  Williams avers that she never appeared in the sex tape advertised on Taxi Driver, and has never appeared in any other pornographic video.

On August 31, 2007, the Court held that it lacked personal jurisdiction over Vitigliano because he had not purposefully availed himself of contacts in West Virginia.  The suit continues as to a number of the other defendants.

The case is also noteworthy because the court allowed plaintiff to serve litigation documents on one of the foreign defendants by email (see Internet Cases blog on this).

Jurisdiction: 

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

Viacom v. Knight

Date: 

08/29/2007

Threat Type: 

Correspondence

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Christopher Knight

Type of Party: 

Large Organization
Media Company

Type of Party: 

Individual

Legal Counsel: 

Pro se

Publication Medium: 

Website

Status: 

Concluded

Disposition: 

Withdrawn

Description: 

Viacom Inc. alleged that independent filmmaker Christopher Knight infringed its copyright by posting a clip of a VH1 television program containing Knight's own video that VH1 had used without permission. YouTube removed Knight's clip at the request of Viacom, the parent company of the VH1 network.

According to Knight's blog post about the events, he made his own series of video campaign commercials when he ran for a school board seat in Rockingham County, North Carolina in 2006. After Knight posted the commercials on YouTube, one that contained humorous Star Wars imagery attracted the attention of producers at VH1. VH1 ran an episode of Web Junk 2.0 called "Animals & Other Crap" making fun of Knight's commercial and showing parts of it. By Knight's account, VH1 never requested his permission to use the commercial. On July 11, 2007 Knight posted a clip of this VH1 segment on YouTube.

On August 29, 2007, Knight received an email from YouTube informing him that it had removed his video of the VH1 segment in response to a DMCA takedown request from Viacom alleging that Knight had infringed its copyright in Web Junk 2.0 program content.

After consulting with Fred von Lohmann of EFF on an informal basis, Knight submitted a counter notification to YouTube, asserting that his video was a fair use of the VH1 program and claiming that Viacom had infringed his copyright in the original commercial. YouTube restored the clip on September 11, 2007.

Jurisdiction: 

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

Turkish Court Ends Latest YouTube Ban

The Guardian reports that a Turkish court has lifted the ban on YouTube in that country, imposed by an Ankara court in May 2008 after it determined that certain videos posted on the popular video-sharing site insulted Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey.

Jurisdiction: 

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

California Court Warns Copyright Bullies Not to Ignore Fair Use

A federal district court in California held on Wednesday that copyright owners must consider fair use before sending DMCA takedown notices to avoid liability for abuse of the law's procedures. The ruling is a huge victory for free speech advocates and may have far-reaching implications for the way content owners police infringement online. 

Jurisdiction: 

Content Type: 

Subject Area: 

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