DMCA Horror Stories

Sony takedown over Martin Luther King speech

We (Fight for the Future) published a political commentary about Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, which included footage from the actual speech. The MLK speech was historic, and a lot of other transformative works include audio from it. One of those works is apparently a song copyrighted by Sony, who uses an automated system to scan YouTube for their copyrighted material. Because our video and their song had some audio in common (the MLK speech), they flagged our video and issued a Content ID strike.

The Content ID system and other automated copyright scanning methods are prone to false positives, and unfortunately these false positives err on the side of punishing smaller creators who aren’t able to fight big companies like Sony.

Sony and Fair Use don't mix

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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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