This is a first for this blog. I am linking to an article from TMZ.
TMZ reported on Monday that youtube.com has taken down all of videos of Canadian pop singer, Justin Bieber, aka the Biebs, aka “What’s a Bieber”?
If you don’t know who Justin Bieber is, you probably live in a hole, and you definitely do not have a tweenaged daughter.
Reportedly, youtube received a complaint from a company called iLCreation claiming to own the copyright to the videos, including the famous (or infamous) “Baby” video, which has received over 600 million hits. That’s right, it has the number of hits equal to 10% of the world’s population. From TMZ:
YouTube has a yank first, ask questions later policy when a copyright claim is made — so they simply pulled the videos off the site … until the dispute is resolved.
This is where TMZ and its lawyer head guru Harvey Levin gets it wrong. Youtube doesn’t pull the video only because of its policy. It pulls the video because they are required to BY LAW.
Once a hosting site has received takedown notice, or a copyright infringement complaint, they MUST remove the video within 24 hours, in accordance with the Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998 (DCMA), or more specifically, Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act (OCILLA).
The process is simple, they receive the complaint, they must take down the video. Once the video is down, they notify the person who posted the video. Only then can the person who posted the video challenge the removal. It is a classic example of shoot first and ask questions later.
This provision of DCMA is very controversial because it is always in the hosts best interest to remove the video and wait for the situation to pan out. This gives incentive for businesses to use this provision of the DCMA to target their competition by sending false copyright claims. According to PC World, as of March 2009, 57% of complaints received by google were by businesses targeting their competitors, 37% of the complaints were invalid copyright claims.
Is this really what the law was intended to do?