Lavandeira v. National Organization for Marriage

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the "Description" section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.

Summary

Threat Type: 

Correspondence

Date: 

04/30/2009

Status: 

Pending

Location: 

New Jersey

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
Mario Lavandeira, a.k.a. Perez Hilton, sent a DMCA takedown notice to YouTube, claiming that a clip of an advocacy ad entitled "No Offense" from the National Organization for Marriage ("NOM") violated his copyright. In response to Lavandeira's notice,... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

National Organization for Marriage

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Organization

Location of Party: 

  • California

Location of Party: 

  • New Jersey

Legal Counsel: 

Barry A. Bostrom - Bopp, Coleson & Bostrom
Description

Mario Lavandeira, a.k.a. Perez Hilton, sent a DMCA takedown notice to YouTube, claiming that a clip of an advocacy ad entitled "No Offense" from the National Organization for Marriage ("NOM") violated his copyright. In response to Lavandeira's notice, YouTube removed the video.

According to NOM, the ad "highlights the efforts of same-sex marriage activists to silence and discredit pro-marriage advocates, calling them 'liars,' 'bigots,' and worse." The ad, which appears in 30-second and 60-second versions, uses approximately three seconds of footage from Mr. Lavandeira's video blog, in which he calls Miss California Carrie Prejean a “dumb bitch.”   

Mr. Lavandeira also sent a cease-and-desist letter to NOM, demanding that it stop broadcasting the ad on television. NOM's lawyers shot back a response letter refusing his demand on fair use grounds:

No permission was required and no permission was sought from Mr. Lavandeira for use of the approximately three second clip of the video he posted on the Internet of his unjustified and unprofessional diatribe against and personal attack on Carrie Prejean, Miss California, for her response to his question at the Miss USA Competition, April 19, 2009. NOM's use of this three second video clip is protected by 17 U.S.C. § 107 for the purpose of criticism, comment, news reporting, and education as it relates directly to NOM's exempt purpose. NOM's use is not a commercial use, but as an issue advocacy advertisement is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the fair use doctrine of the Copyright Act.

According to one press account, NOM's lawyers also sent a counter-notification to YouTube, requesting that the video be reinstated. 

Details

Content Type: 

  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Broadcast
Website

Subject Area: 

  • Copyright
  • Fair Use
  • DMCA
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • New Jersey

Source of Law: 

  • United States

Relevant Documents: