Youtube obeys fake takedown request

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 15, 2007
Updated • Jun 12, 2013
Internet, Youtube

YouTube Sunday it seems. We all know that YouTube likes to cooperate with everyone who looks just a bit like authority and takes down videos pretty fast. It does not always have to be copyright infringement, it can also be original works of art that some authorities like the Turkish or Thai government want removed from YouTube pressuring the site with a countrywide ban (man I love the Turkish interpretation of Democracy and free speech).

It is apparently even easier. A 15 year old Australian boy send a fake takedown notice to YouTube pretending to be a representative of the Australian Broadcast Company. He requested the take down of hundreds of videos from a popular comedy show. Guess what? YouTube reacted immediately and removed the videos and even send a message to the users who uploaded the videos threatening them with a ban if they would continue to upload copyrighted videos.

One would think that YouTube would try and reach out to someone from the company requesting the take down before they actually take the videos down, or gasp, the alleged infringing account owner to get the other side of the story.

This was apparently not the case which makes me wonder if anyone can send fake take down requests to YouTube to delete videos? Thailand, Turkey are you listening? It is easier than banning YouTube. Just send in a fake take down request and everything should go your way.

Google in the meantime has added a feature to YouTube that gives certain rights holders unprecedented deletion rights on the site. That is not all though: there is a filter in place that scans all uploaded videos for copyright infringement automatically. This led to situations where a  bird song was wrongfully identified as copyrighted sounds.

You may have come across silent videos on YouTube, which are another automated reaction that rights holders can put in place. Or, they can simply take over all advertising revenue the video generates instead.


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