DMCA Horror Stories

MMA H.E.A.T. vs. Charisma on Command

Charlie at Charisma on Command published a commentary on UFC fighter Conor MgGregor explaining the various body language and posture signals that go into making someone appear highly confident. His video was a transformative work and made use of brief clips from MMA Weekly under Fair Use. Unfortunately, MMA H.E.A.T. didn’t see things that way and issued a copyright takedown on the video. They also harassed Charlie with threats of criminal prosecution:

“Our policy: if it didn’t come from your own camera or a cameraman you hired, it’s illegal. You stole content from our network partner, MMA Weekly. If you choose to file a counter claim, we will prosecute and we will also notify our Google account representative of your channel. As they have done with other channel’s we’ve reported, they’ll scrutinize it for other stolen footage and most likely terminate the channel all together.”

MMA H.E.A.T.’s opinions don’t override the law. Their takedown was abusive and unfounded, but unfortunately many smaller content creators have to take these sort of threats very seriously. Having your YouTube channel taken down can mean a loss of income that is difficult to recover from. Charlie posted a response video.

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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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