Viacom Forced to Admit Error in Political Video Fiasco
Viacom faced a lawsuit and media firestorm after it ignored the right to make “fair use” of copyright content by sending takedowns to YouTube in early 2007 demanding the removal of thousands of video clips that it claimed were infringing. Some of the clips taken down, including one produced by MoveOn.org, used copyrighted material for permitted purposes such as political commentary and parody. Viacom conceded that it had erred in issuing the DMCA notice regarding MoveOn’s video and agreed to set up a website and e-mail “hotline” to review any complaints within one business day and reinstate the video if the takedown request was improper. However, many users and online video enthusiasts remained bitter toward the company for its actions.