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July 13, 2007

First Published Court Opinion Citing a YouTube Video

A specific YouTube video has been cited in a 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion, marking the first time a video on the service has been cited by a judge.  This information comes from Declan McCullagh's post on the CNET News blog.  The case involves a trademark litigated against baseball great George Brett.  The video showed the Pine Tar incident where a Brett home run was invalidated in a game between the Royals and the Yankees.  The video has since been deleted by YouTube because Major League Baseball claims a copyright interest, and as we all know, when a copyright holder comes to YouTube, they do the right thing. 

McCullagh notes that a search of legal databases confirms this event.  It's true.  For all the talk and litigation surrounding the video service, YouTube is briefly mentioned in only four other federal cases and in no state cases.  Westlaw confirmed this.  That will probably change in the next few years.  It's also interesting that the Court cited the YouTube video without worrying about its copyright status, just as any user of YouTube would.

July 13, 2007 | Permalink


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