Guy Who Tried To Extort YouTubers With Bogus DMCA Takedowns Agrees To Settlement

from the that-was-mighty-quick dept

Just a couple months back we wrote about YouTube suing a guy for trying to extort YouTubers with bogus DMCA notices. The evidence was pretty damning that Christopher Brady had been harassing and demanding money from various YouTubers and using the threat of bogus DMCA notices (which could kill someone's account) for leverage. The complaint also suggested that Brady was looking to swat some YouTubers as well. As we noted in our original post, the case hinged on Section 512(f) of the DMCA, which was supposed to be the tool to prevent false takedown notices -- but, which in practice is effectively a dead letter, as 512(f) claims rarely go anywhere. If there was some hope that a case with the facts so blatant might breathe new life into 512(f), well, that ended quickly as Brady has wasted no time at all in agreeing to settle the case.

The settlement is pretty straightforward. Brady agrees not to send any more bogus DMCA notices to YouTube and also agrees not to "misrepresent or mask" his identity on any Google property. He also agreed to pay $25,000 to Google, which probably about covers their legal bills for bringing this case. Brady also released an apology statement, which suggests he may have sent more bogus DMCA notices than were included in the lawsuit.

“I, Christopher L. Brady, admit that I sent dozens of notices to YouTube falsely claiming that material uploaded by YouTube users infringed my copyrights. I apologize to the YouTube users that I directly impacted by my actions, to the YouTube community, and to YouTube itself.”

Of course, while it's good to see such an apology and settlement, it still doesn't change the fact that bogus DMCA notices happen all the time. While Brady may have been more extreme and more blatant than most, there's still a huge problem with a law that creates a situation that mere accusation will often get content removed.

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Filed Under: 512(f), christopher brady, dmca, dmca 512, dmca 512f, dmca notices, extortion, shakedown, takedowns
Companies: google, youtube


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2019 @ 8:26am

    Re: Re: What's the ratio of "bogus DMCA notices" to real infring

    "uncontested takedown" is a big misnomer.

    This. It's been assumed by other pro-copyright commenters here that a takedown that doesn't get counter-claimed is therefore legitimate. This isn't true, for multiple reasons including the one you gave for why you didn't contest.

    I used to work for a website hosting company, and about 1% of the DMCA notices we received were counter-claimed.

    Of the 99% that weren't, the majority of those appeared to be reasonable takedown claims. There were some pretty blatant abuses though, and I saw many DMCA notices that should have been countered, but weren't.

    Of the 1% that were counter-claimed, most appeared to me to be reasonable fair use claims, although there were a few bogus counter-claims. Also, claims that were countered virtually never went to the lawsuit level.


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