3 Count: Gatekeeper Lawsuit

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1: YouTube Sued by Content Creators For Copyright Infringement, Unfair Treatment

First off today, Kristin Errick at Law Street reports that an anti-piracy firm as well as a musician, Maria Schneider, have filed a class action complaint against YouTube saying that the video-sharing site does not afford all creators the same chance to protect their work as they do “powerful copyright owners.”

The lawsuit, which targets YouTube as well as its parent companies, alleges that YouTube doesn’t make it’s Content ID system available to “regular creators” such as Schneider and that, by handling the vast majority of copyright infringements, insulates repeat infringers from having their accounts terminated. The lawsuit goes on to say that YouTube deliberately makes the Content ID system available only to the largest of creators, such as major record labels and movie studios.

According to the lawsuit, there are at least a dozen versions of Schneider’s song Hang Gliding on the site without her permission and that, no matter how many times she files takedown notices, the same people keep putting them back up. The lawsuit is hoping to attract a class of similarly-impacted rightsholders

2: Twitter Deletes Trump’s Photo of Himself After NY Times Copyright Complain

Next up today, Todd Spangler at Variety reports that yet another one of President Trump’s tweets has been removed due to a copyright complaint, this one by the New York Times, which filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown request against an image Trump shared that was taken by a New York Times’ photographer.

The image, which was a black and white photo of President Trump pointing his right index finger at the camera, was originally part of an October 2015 profile on President Trump in the New York Times Magazine. According to the Lumen Database, a site that tracks DMCA notices, the notice was filed on July 1 against his June 30th tweet.

This is the third time in recent weeks the President has had one of his tweets removed for alleged copyright violations. The most recent took place two weeks ago when CNN ordered the removal of a doctored video President Trump shared. The image in question remains available on President Trump’s Facebook page.

3: Anti-Piracy Company & Record Labels Are “Running Pirate Sites”, Investigation Claims

Finally today, Andy Maxwell at Torrentfreak writes that an anti-piracy initiative that aims to shut down some 200 professionally-operated music piracy sites has begun releasing its initial findings and it appears many of the internet’s most popular piracy sites may have connections to both professional DJs and record labels.

The coalition, entitled The Music Mission, is headed up by the anti-piracy firm AudioLock as well as many key industry players. While there are many interesting findings being reported, one of the more important ones is that both professional DJs and heads of record labels are operating piracy websites, taking care not to offer their own music up for free.

None of the labels or DJs were named due to “legal reasons” but the investigation is ongoing. Given that this project has the backing of some of the biggest players in music, it seems likely that a day of reckoning is heading to the music industry.

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