Media company's actions are targeting independent creators
Studio 71, a Berlin Germany based media company, has a well-documented history of making bogus copyright claims on YouTube. The Internet is littered with posts from frustrated creators, who have had their content flagged and even permanently removed by Google/YouTube following what appears to be a baseless copyright complaint initiated by the operators of Studio 71.
Studio 71 rolls like this…
One of its creators uploads a video that comments on a subject, maybe a news item or a song or even a game and in reporting the story that creator will refer to something which will naturally include a screen-grab or other image or media in which the Studio 71 creator has no established copyright. In fact, Studio 71’s use of the media is usually based on ‘fair use’.
Another, independent creator (not associated with Studio 71’s stable of creators) in an unrelated video will use an image or song (clip) or some other media that is loosely similar to the content that Studio 71’s creator referred to and when discovered by Studio 71 the company complains to YouTube, claiming copyright and thereby restricting the trade of the independent creator.
The method restricts the trade of the independent creator.
A recent thread on Google/YouTube’s Help Forum describes the scenario:
30 days after appealing/disputing the bogus Studio 71 copyright claim, YouTube notifies the independent creator that Studio 71 “decided to release their copyright claim on your YouTube video” but Studio 71 never held any legal copyright to the content and the original claim was false and merely a means of restricting the trade of creators who are not affiliated with Studio 71.
Making a false copyright claim is a crime.
“Any person who, with fraudulent intent, places on any article a notice of copyright or words of the same purport that such person knows to be false, or who, with fraudulent intent, publicly distributes or imports for public distribution any article bearing such notice or words that such person knows to be false, shall be fined not more than $2,500.” 17 USC § 506(c).