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"MoveOn, Brave New Films Sue Viacom For Illegal Takedown of YouTube Video"

Reported by Chrish - March 22, 2007 -

From EFF.com:

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) asked a federal court today to protect the free speech rights of MoveOn.org Civic Action and Brave New Films after their satirical send-up of "The Colbert Report" was removed from YouTube following a baseless copyright complaint from media giant Viacom.

"The video, called "Stop the Falsiness," was created by MoveOn and Brave New Films as a tongue-in-cheek commentary on Colbert's portrayal of the right-wing media and parodying MoveOn's own reputation for earnest political activism. The short film, uploaded to YouTube in August 2006, includes clips from "The Colbert Report" as well as humorous original interviews about show host Stephen Colbert. In March of this year, Viacom -- the parent company of Comedy Central -- demanded that YouTube take "Stop the Falsiness" down, claiming the video infringed its copyrights.

"Our clients' video is an act of free speech and a fair use of 'Colbert Report' clips," said EFF Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry. "Viacom knows this -- it's the same kind of fair use that 'The Colbert Report' and 'The Daily Show' rely upon every night as they parody other channels' news coverage."

Read the rest.

News Hounds' YouTube account was recently deactivated when I used a clip from the Daily Show that mentioned FOX News and the Nevada Democrats' cancellation of the presidential debate, with the understanding that was completely legal under Fair Use law. The account has since been reinstated, minus the Viacom clip. We will watch this case with great interest.