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March 20, 2007

Law Professor Tackles NFL Copyright Claim

Ars Technica has a nifty story on Brooklyn Law School Professor Wendy Seltzer and her copyright tussle with the NFL.  She posted a clip on YouTube consisting of the copyright notice aired during the Super Bowl.  Her point is that  the notice excludes fair use rights and shows how media property owners are expanding their own rights to the detriment of fair use.  The NFL issued a takedown notice, and the clip was removed.  Professor Seltzer issued a counter notice and the clip was replaced.  The NFL issued another takedown notice.  Professor Seltzer's argues that the clip is fair use in an educational setting.

The second takedown notice was the wrong procedure on the part of the NFL as sending the second takedown notice constitutes knowing misrepresentation that the clip is infringing, at least according to section 512(f)(1) of the DCMA.  The NFL's option should have been to go to court, which may be the only option they have at this point.  However, the governing section of the DMCA makes them liable for all court costs, including those of Professor Seltzer.

Fair use of media in educational settings is well established.  The real question is whether YouTube, accessible to the entire world, is considered an educational setting.  Is it possible that the clip could have been restricted to sites at Brooklyn Law School accessible by students and not the entire world.  This should be fun if it gets as far as a court.

March 20, 2007 | Permalink


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