Boston's WGBH initiates careless, groundless legal action against Fedflix project

Rogue archivist Carl Malamud writes, "I got mugged by a bunch of Boston hooligans. Readers of Boing Boing
may be familiar with my FedFlix project which has resulted in 6,000 government videos
getting posted to YouTube
and the Internet Archive."

One of the films the government sent me to post is Energy – The American Experience, a
1976 film created by the Department of Energy (YouTube,
the Internet Archive).

Well, somebody at WGBH saw the words "American Experience" in the title and went through
the laborous process of issuing a formal Copyright Strike on YouTube. This is no casual
process, they had to swear on a stack of affidavits that this really, really is their
video. As a result, my account got a strike, I had to endure the humiliation that is
"copyright school," and my account has many features disabled.

They did this on a Friday afternoon, then (after hours of trying to reach them),
told me that it was a weekend and everybody was off at the Cape or wherever they go,
and besides it really wasn't that important anyway and they'd deal with it on Monday.
Their lawyers didn't seem to get that they had instituted legal proceedings against me.

Luckily, I happen to know folks at YouTube and was able to reach somebody who restored
my video temporarily. But, WGBH still hasn't acted, so the strike is still in place.

I've got a suggestion for YouTube, which I detailed in this letter to YouTube's
legal director. When I get a copystrike foul, I have to go to copyright school, my account
is on reduced capability for 6 months, and if I get 3 strikes my account is disabled.
What's good for the goose is good for the gander, and I've suggested that if people
do what WGBH did unto me, they are not allowed to do anymore takedowns for 6 months,
if they do 3 copyright fouls their account is disabled, and that in any case they be
required to go to copyright school. Especially their lawyers.

Previously on Boing Boing: