The Electronic Frontier Foundation reports on some good news, and bit of bad news, regarding the blizzard of DMCA takedown notices sent to YouTube on behalf of the Church of Scientology. Back in early September, the American Rights Counsel, Schaper Company, and Media House Enterprises, among others, sent hundreds of takedown notices to YouTube demanding the removal of videos critical of the Church of Scientology. According to EFF, "[i]t soon became clear that these entities did not hold the copyrights to the materials they claimed to be infringed, including footage from a Clearwater City Commission meeting and a man-on-the-street interview. In addition, many of these videos were obvious fair uses, such as independent news reports."
If inappropriate DMCA takedowns don't surprise you -- and they shouldn't (if you've been reading our blog, you know that misuse of the DMCA is widespread) -- YouTube's response might just put a smile on your face. As EFF reports,
YouTube quickly realized something was fishy, and began investigating. Within days, YouTube suspended the accounts that had sent out the allegedly fraudulent DMCA takedown notices, reinstated the accounts that had been suspended for multiple allegations of copyright infringement, and put most of the videos back up on YouTube, all without waiting to receive DMCA counter-notices from YouTube users who had had their videos taken down.
The bad news? Well, you'll have to read the rest of EFF's excellent summary of the situation for that.