For the last month, we have been locked in a battle with “Dr. Chaps” Gordon Klingenschmitt stemming from a series of bogus claims that he filed against our YouTube channel, claiming that we had been stealing and misrepresenting his copyrighted content.
In early November, Klingenschmitt filed multiple claims against our account, resulting in our entire account being terminated by YouTube. We immediately filed counter-claims against all of Klingenschmitt’s complaints, asserting that our videos were protected by Fair Use and, two weeks later, after Klingenschmitt failed to pursue his bogus claims in court, our account was restored.
But just one day later, Klingenschmitt filed another series of false copyright claims against our account and got our account terminated once again. Just as before, we filed another round of counter-claims against all of his copyright notices and, late last week, our YouTube account was restored for the second time.
As such, last week Klingenschmitt was mailed a cease and desist letter [PDF] on our behalf informing him about Fair Use and explicitly warning him that if he continues to file bogus copyright complaints against our YouTube account, legal action will be taken against him:
Over the past several weeks, you have filed a series of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) takedown notices with YouTube targeting video clips taken from your video program, PIJN News. DMCA takedown notices only should be lodged when a copyright owner has a legitimate belief that the challenged material is infringing their copyrighted works. You have no legitimate basis to hold such a belief and, therefore, should not have lodged the notices with YouTube. The videos you have challenged are protected by the fair use doctrine and therefore are non-infringing. 17 U.S.C. § 107 (“the fair use of a copyrighted work . . . for purposes such as criticism [and] comment . . . is not an infringement of copyright.)
Based on this legal analysis, your conduct and public statements, it appears to PFAW that you have lodged the DMCA notices not out of any genuine concerns for your copyrights, but rather for the purpose of causing YouTube to take down the RWW YouTube channel. You have publicized your campaign, and made clear that your efforts are motivated by your political disagreements with both RWW and some of the independent comments posted on the RWW’s YouTube account. RWW has challenged every takedown notice pursuant to YouTube’s counter-notification process, and every video has been restored following the statutory waiting period without any legal action for copyright infringement having been initiated by you. Nonetheless, you continued to submit separate notices, for multiple videos which appears to PFAW to be calculated to rapidly take down the account and disrupt PFAW’s business. Because YouTube has a publicly-stated policy of taking an account offline after three DMCA notices, your unfounded copyright allegations have caused YouTube to take down the RWW account entirely – twice. Based on your public statements, there is little doubt that this was your intended goal.
Your conduct with respect to the RWW YouTube channel must cease immediately. You are on notice that PFAW’s use of your videos constitutes fair use and that the DMCA provides that misuse of its procedures to shut down lawful speech can result in liability for “any damages, including attorneys’ fees and costs” that result. A number of other legal remedies also are available.
Our videos are protected by Fair Use and we intend to continue our efforts to report on the radical views and agenda of Religious Right activists. As such, we will keep posting videos like this of Klingenschmitt railing against Obamacare on his program today and repenting for a nation that treats “the president as if he is a healing god [when] he is not; he’s an imposter, he’s a liar, and he causes cancer through his policies”: