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Justin Bieber and Why DMCA Takedown Notices Are No Joke

August 31, 2011

For a few hours this week, Justin Bieber videos disappeared from Youtube. “A miracle?” You ask.

No. Rather, the videos were taken down after a YouTube user, iLCreation, filed a false DMCA takedown notice.

A DMCA takedown notice is a summary procedure by which the owner of copyrighted material informs a hosting site, like YouTube, that her copyright is being infringed by the site’s users. The site can escape liability for the infringement by taking the content down after receiving notice.

The problem here: iLCreation, had no legal claim to the videos, many of which came from Bieber’s own official channel.

Under the DMCA, takedown notices must meet a number of formalities, and must include:

(vi) A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed. (17 USC 512(c)(3)(A)(vi))

It’s unclear if iLCreation will be subject to any liability, but the DMCA makes clear that he could be. YouTube has, however, deleted the account. While riling the Beliebers with a false DMCA claim might be a funny prank, it’s not a good legal decision.

(via techdirt)

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