YouTube Litigation

Gamers Beware - YouTube Takedowns on "Let's Play" Videos

Guest Post by Gaming Lawyer Zachary Strebeck

Gamers beware - YouTube will take you down for "Let's Play" videos.  A flurry of activity occurred in early December as YouTube users posting “Let’s Play” videos, which generally feature recorded gameplay with running commentary by the user, were hit with Content ID takedown claims resulting in thousands of blocked videos.

To battle copyright infringing content on Youtube, YouTube’s Content ID system matches up content with the supposed copyright owner and then allows copyright holders to

  1. automatically block the third-party posted infringing content; or
  2. divert any ad revenue from the third-party posted video to the actual copyright owner.

According to reports, some takedown claims did not come from the actual copyright owner.  What's more interesting is YouTube activated this round of Content ID matches without the support of the game developers. So far, many game developers are united in allowing the "Let's Play" videos on YouTube.


McCain DMCA Take Down

by Tamera H. BennettOctober 15, 2008

There is a lot out there regarding YouTube taking down McCain's political campaign videos because they use third party copyrighted material.

Links to interesting reading:

Link to the letter to YouTube from McCain PCMAG Electronic Frontier Foundation WIRED CNET

Seton Hall Call For Journal Articles

by Tamera H. BennettApril 23, 2008

The folks over at Seton Hall Law Review requested I pass along the following information:

Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law Call for Submissions!

The Seton Hall School of Law Journal of Sports & Entertainment Law is seeking submissions for possible publication in future issues. If you are a law professor, other type of professor, practicing attorney, judicial clerk, law student, or graduate student who has written a substantive piece that pertains to sports or entertainment law, please consider submitting your work.

For more information or to submit a piece, please e-mail Tara Touloumis, Articles Editor, ttouloumis at Thank you!


by Tamera H. BennettAugust 8, 2007

Robert Tur, the cameraman and copyright owner that filed the first lawsuit against YouTube for copyright infringement, will dismiss his case in California against YouTube and join forces with the Football Association Primer League and the Bourne Company to battle YouTube in district court in New York.

Additional plaintiffs to join the class action include the National Music Publisher's Association, Finnish Football League Association, the U.K.'s Rugby Football League, X-Ray Dog Music, Knockout Entertainment Limited, and Seminole Warriors Boxing.

French Online "Host" Provider Liable for Copyright Infringment

by Tamera H. BennettJuly 18, 2007

DailyMotion, the equivalent to YouTube in France, was held liable for copyright infringement because it had knowledge that unauthorized third party copyrights were posted to the website.

Thanks to Marty Schwimmer for the heads up on the case. Read the comment of a French attorney.


by Tamera H. BennettJune 12, 2007

Google announced today plans to implement video recognition in conjunction with video postings on YouTube.

YouTube executive Chris Maxcy told news agency Reuters the tool would be tested in a month's time. The tool, when implemented will allow a "fingerprint" to be placed on copyrighted videos. The copyright holder could then determine whether or not a posting remains on YouTube. If a posting remains on YouTube, there is talk of a revenue sharing arrangment between YouTube and the copyright owner.

The technology will be beta tested with numerous partners such as Time-Warner and Disney. If successful, the product will be rolled-out to all copyright owners.

At least YouTube can not longer argue they do not have the technology to block infringing posts. Are the impending lawsuits finally making YouTube and Google realize the shield of the DMCA may eventually be removed?

I applaud YouTube/Google for moving in the right direction. It still frustrates me as an attorney and an owner of intellectual property that the burden will continue to remain on the copyright holder to police the content on YouTube.

Reuter's Report Read the BBC report Read the Houston Chronicle article