Short Hills, NJ asked in Copyright for Rhode Island

Q: Can a foreign rights holder issue a worldwide takedown on content they don’t own in the majority of the world?

Sony Pictures Network India issued a series of YouTube copyright strikes on my YouTube channel, leading to the channel being terminated. My videos contain plenty of NBA content, meaning that I do not own the rights to any of it, and Sony owns NBA broadcasting rights in India (and India only). Yet they submitted takedowns on my videos across the world rather than just blocking them in India. So my question is whether there is a legal basis for me to submit a counter notice because Sony does not own the copyright to the content in the United States (amongst other countries) and therefore cannot issue takedowns for the videos in countries they don’t own the rights in. I am now set up to lose 1000s of hours or work because of this so any help would be extremely appreciated. Thank you.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Timothy John Billick
Timothy John Billick
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Seattle, WA

A: If you are not abiding by YouTube's TOU then they have the ability to shut you down. Also, I'm not sure whether you're correct in Sony's ownership of the NBA IP in the USA. It's possible they own other types of non-broadcasting rights in the NBA IP in the USA that would enable them to issue takedown requests on similar (but slightly different) bases.

Before an IP attorney can give you a proper opinion on the matter, that attorney will need to see the DMCA request and investigate Sony's rights.

It's possible you have arguments, but there simply isn't enough information above to give you a definitive answer unfortunately.

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