It seems the abuse of DMCA takedowns by YouTube’s Content ID system have reached a new peak.
The latest episode of Family Guy depicted Peter and Cleveland playing the 80’s NES basketball classic Double Dribble. Featured above, the clip shows Peter using a game exploit to always get 3 points shots from the top right corner of the court.
As reported by Torrent Freak, the clip depicted on that scene actually belongs to a Youtube user called “sw1tched”, which was uploaded back in February 2009.
Following the airing of the Family Guy episode, YouTube has taken down the original clip on grounds of copyright infringement, despite the original YouTube video being the source.
TorrentFreak got some clarification via Fight for the Future CTO Jeff Lyon:
“It’s most likely that this is just another example of YouTube’s Content ID system automatically taking down a video without regard to actual copyright ownership and fair use. As soon as FOX broadcast that Family Guy episode, their robots started taking down any footage that appeared to be reposted from the show — and in this case they took down the footage they stole from an independent creator,” Lyon says.
“The problem with an automated DMCA takedown system is that robots can never know the difference between fair use and copyright infringement. It is not hyperbolic to call this mass censorship.”
It’s worth mentioning the original video is back up now, whether YouTube or Fox themselves realized their error and dropped the DMCA claim.