YouTube Demands Additional Info for DMCA Takedown Notice

Biologist and photographer Alex Wild takes awesome photos of insects. So he is published a lot. So he is infringed a lot.

In his efforts to battle copyright infringement, he has sent DMCA Takedown Notices to YouTube via YouTube’s online form. But YouTube has replied that it requires a corporate email address (instead of his gmail address) and a publicly-documented phone number (he has a cell phone):

Thank you for your notification. We require verification that you are affiliated with the corporate entity listed as the copyright owner in your notice. Please understand that content will remain live on the site until we have received this information. In order to verify your position at your business, please forward this message to your corporate email address and then re-forward to copyright@youtube.com, preserving the ticket number in the subject line. Corporate notifications may not be accepted from generic email providers (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, etc.) In addition to this, please provide a publicly listed telephone number on which we may contact you – including documentation (such as a URL link) of the publishing of that number. Please note that under DMCA Section 512(f), any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that material or activity is infringing may be liable for damages. Abuse of the copyright notification process will result in the termination of your YouTube account.

 – The YouTube Team 

But the DMCA doesn’t require this information. Instead, it requires only that the Notice:

  • Be in writing;
  • Be signed by the you, as the copyright owner, or your agent (your electronic signature is sufficient);
  • Identify the copyrighted work that you claim has been infringed (or a list of infringements from the same site);
  • Identify the material that is infringing your work;
  • Include your contact information;
  • State that you are complaining in “good faith;”
  • State that, “under penalty of perjury, that the information contained in the notification is accurate;” and
  • State that you have the right to proceed (because you are the copyright owner or the owner’s agent).

So Alex asked YouTube:

Out of curiosity, since the DMCA makes no mention of a copyright infringement notification having to include a corporate email address, on what legal grounds do you demand one? As best as I can tell, if I don’t provide YouTube such an address, I’ve still satisfied the requirements of the DMCA, and YouTube would lose the DMCA protection and be liable for the infringement.

And YouTube replied:

Hi there,

Thank you very much for your notification. The content has been removed.

Regards,
The YouTube Team

Nice job in protecting your rights, Alex!

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