DMCA Horror Stories

I Hate Everything Vs. Cool Cat

In 2015 a Youtuber named Alex (aka ‘I Hate Everything’) uploaded a comedic review of the Derek Savage’s “Cool Cat Saves The Kids” a low budget so-bad-its-good movie about an anthropomorphic talking cat that teaches kids life lessons. Many other Youtubers had taken their turn reviewing the movie, and some of them even got friendly endorsements from Savage himself, but something about Alex’s review rubbed Savage the wrong way, and he quickly descended into dirty tactics to have Alex’s hyper-critical review scrubbed from the internet under the pretense that Alex was violating copyright laws by using clips from Savage’s movie in his review.

Savage’s weapon of choice was the often abused use of a DMCA take down. Youtube promptly pulled Alex’s review from the internet and slapped his account with a copyright violation strike. 3 strikes and Alex’s channel would be pulled offline. Savage continued to threaten and harass Alex with further legal action, and more attempts to have his account removed from Youtube. This is a common and vicious form of censorship, that is unfortunately built in to current copyright law. While Alex’s review may have been harsh, he was in no way violating copyright laws. His video fell under The Transformative Factor of Fair Use.

The damage that Alex’s review caused to Savage’s ego was far less than the damage that would have been caused to Alex’s livelihood if Savage had successfully gotten Alex’s account suspended. Alex’s Youtube channel in his own words is “…my life, my welfare. I’ve been building it for years. Pouring blood, sweat, and tears into nearly every hour of every day. It means everything to me.”

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Takedown abuse has gone too far.

For years, huge companies like Sony, Disney, and Comcast have been abusing the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) to take down enormous swaths of online content, using automated software that ignores Fair Use rights and frequently misidentifies music and videos as copyrighted. Despite the fact that the system is already weighted in their favor, these companies are arguing that the DMCA doesn’t go far enough to give them control over online content. It's time to fight back against takedown abuse!

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