YouTube is known worldwide for rapidly pulling copyrighted content from its servers, and a lot of critics argue that the service pulls material too quickly, thus making people express some frustration over re-instating the videos that were wrongfully yanked. For example, one of the rights owners, the creator of the Nyancat, is currently trying to find out how difficult it is to undo the damage of a copyright imposter.
One copyright holder has problem with the content he has created: someone filed a DMCA notice against a number of videos using the Nyan Cat – the popular poptart cat flying through space. Although the copyright owner wasn’t happy about his videos on YouTube, it wasn’t about seeing them uploaded there, but about the fact that someone used the DMCA to remove them! Naturally, the copyright owner was very upset and even posted the picture saying “I did NOT file a copyright complaint to YouTube about the Nyan Cat video”, so that people know that whoever was taking the videos down through copyright complaints, it wasn’t the real content creator or someone authorized to do that.
The creator of the videos received a number of angry messages from Internet users who complained about the takedown of the videos with comments to them. That’s why the copyright holder is now trying to have the material re-instated. However, it appeared that YouTube made him jump through all these hoops to get his videos back.
This example proves the critics’ statement that copyright laws have always been an instrument of censorship. They believe that for other countries thinking of copyright legislation in line with the United States, there are sound reasons to reconsider the section of penalties for people trying to abuse the law and remove content they neither own nor have any rights over.
Meanwhile, whoever is filing those fake DMCA complaints will likely keep doing so, since there are no lobbyists of the provision which would make sure people don’t send fraudulent DMCA notices. Instead, there are tons of lobbyists calling to increase penalties for copyright infringement.
In other words, examples like this should send a message that free speech doesn’t belong in a society practising copyright legislation, i.e. free speech isn’t compatible with copyright. Today, if people want to have true free speech, they can’t use an outlet shackled by the DMCA. Instead, they can use overseas services to give their own content a better chance at surviving censorship.