Perez Hilton is the latest thug to use a bogus copyright claim to get an embarrassing video removed from YouTube.
The video in question was produced by the National Organization for Marriage, a group that opposes gay marriage. The one-minute video shows a three-second clip of Hilton, whose real name is Mario Lavandeira, calling Miss California Carrie Prejean a “dumb bitch.” According to copyright lawyer Ben Sheffner, the video has now been removed from YouTube:
I found the video elsewhere on YouTube, and I just uploaded the video to my own YouTube account:
It is clear that Hilton is embarrassed by what he said, and he is using a transparently frivolous copyright claim to try to squelch free speech about his ridiculous statements.
I’m not standing for it.
If Hilton sends me a DMCA takedown notice, I’m going to fight it — and I may sue him. I have never seen a clearer example of fair use in my life. The video shows a mere three seconds of Hilton calling Prejean a “dumb bitch” (the word is bleeped out). Later, there is a one-second clip of the same video confined to a small box at the bottom right-hand portion of the screen, as the announcer intones: “They want to silence opposition.” He had no idea how right he was.
Speaking of a 30-second version of the same video, which uses the exact same clips of Hilton, copyright lawyer Sheffner writes:
The use is transformative (for a political purpose), noncommercial, extremely brief, and won’t harm the market for the work. . . . [M]aking bogus claims merely to silence one’s political opponents is wrong, and will ultimately harm responsible copyright owners.
As with the Susan Roesgen/CNN copyright thuggery, I am encouraging bloggers everywhere to download the video. Upload it to your blog, and/or to you own YouTube accounts and other video sharing sites.
Let’s make this guy wish he had never tried to suppress this video.
UPDATE x2: The National Organization for Marriage is fighting back. Bring it, Mario! Details here.