The over-use of takedown notices is a topic that Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney might start mulling after a campaign video was pulled from YouTube.
The video, showing President Obama singing “Let’s Stay Together” mixed with references to lobbyists, was hit with a DMCA notice from “BMG_Rights_Management”.
The video was hit by a DMCA notice Monday night, less than 12 hours after being released. Opinion on the takedown is mixed, with ArsTechnica opining that the video was probably fair use, a position the Romney campaign holds.
However, as it was a formal notice, even if successfully contended, it will be more than a week before the video can be restored, long after the ‘news cycle’ has moved on to other stories.
It’s far from the first time that takedown notices have been used in such an abusive process, helped mainly by the way penalties for misuse of the DMCA have been completely ignored. Nor is it the first time that a Republican Presidential Candidate has had copyright issues. 4 years ago Sen. John McCain had a number of brushes with infringement (despite being backed by the RIAA CEO).
Then again, If Romney wins it is unlikely that he will remember the ways copyright laws have been abused to stifle speech.