EFF Sues Rodeo Group Over Removal Of Videos On YouTube

Calls copyright claims baseless

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation has asked a federal court to protect the free speech rights of an animal rights group after its video critiques of animal treatment at rodeos were removed from YouTube because of false copyright claims.

The group Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) is a non-profit that videotapes rodeos in order to expose animal abuse. SHARK posted two dozen videos to YouTube to illustrate animal mistreatment.

The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) filed takedown notices for 13 of the videos under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), saying the videos infringed their copyrights.

YouTube removed the videos and canceled SHARK’s YouTube account, but the PRCA has no copyright claim in live rodeo events.

"The PRCA may not like it when our clients raise tough questions about how animals are treated at rodeos, " said EFF Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry. "But this copyright claim is completely baseless, and made simply to block the public from seeing SHARK’s controversial videos. The PRCA can’t be permitted to silence its critics through a misuse of the law."

Because of the copyright claims, SHARK’s videos were unavailable to the public for two weeks. In the lawsuit, the EFF is asking the court to affirm that SHARK’s videos do not infringe any of the PRCA’s copyrights, and to hold the PRCA accountable for lodging spurious claims.

"We must stop the abuse of the DMCA," said EFF Intellectual Property Fellow Emily Berger. "Those bringing meritless copyright claims must be held accountable so that free speech can continue to flourish online."

EFF Sues Rodeo Group Over Removal Of Videos On YouTube
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  • Guest

    YouTube  should be made to pay all expences.they are getting too self importaint. people must rember they have a choice where to post their videos many alternate sites are now available.

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