Romney hit with DMCA Take-down Notice for unlicensed use of Song in Campaign Ad
A YouTube video produced by the Romney for President campaign was taken down by YouTube pursuant to a DMCA Notice from BMG yesterday. Mitt Romney posted an ad that shows Pres. Obama singing Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” with “headlines about Obama rewarding lobbyists and campaign donors.”
On Monday BMG Rights Management sent a DMCA Notice to YouTube. According to the DMCA, YouTube MUST remove the allegedly infringing material in order to avoid a lawsuit from BMG. YouTube cannot make a determination of fair use because if it is wrong, and does not remove the post because it thinks the use is fair when it is not (as determined by a judge after spending hundreds of thousands on attorneys’ fees), then it will have liability for contributory copyright infringement.
The Romney Campaign can send a counter-notice but it must be careful not to send a fraudulent notice. They will have to allege that the take down was a result of a mistake made by YouTube. YouTube must put back the video if it receives a counter-notification unless ten days after the receipt of the counter-notification, BMG files a lawsuit against Romney.
BMG is an international group of music companies focused on the management of music rights. BMG covers the entire range of rights administration, development, exploitation worldwide and funding of new master recordings, placing the needs of songwriters and artists at the core of its business model.
Will the Romney Campaign send a Counter-notification? If so, will BMG sue Romney? (BMG cannot sue YouTube as long as YouTube complies with the DMCA which is the entire point of DMCA).
Let’s see how this plays out.