I am a small music creator operating through a limited liability company in the United Kingdom. One of my music tracks was licensed by a major Hollywood studio, and used in the trailer campaign for a major motion picture, so it received a lot of exposure online. On YouTube it received 21 million views.
A person running a YouTube channel, with a Ukrainian address, ripped my music track from the internet, and synced it to their own video. I found it, and used the YouTube procedure to issue a copyright takedown notice. YouTube asked for proof that the music track is mine, I supplied that proof to them, YouTube accepted my proof, and took the infringing video down.
Subsequently the owner of the video, in addition to sending me multiple abusive emails, has challenged my takedown notice using YouTube's counter notification process. YouTube have now sent me this notification:
"We have received the attached counter notification in response to a complaint that you filed with us. We're providing you with the counter notification and await evidence (in no more than 10 business days) that you've filed an action seeking a court order against the counter notifier to restrain the allegedly infringing activity. In most cases, such evidence would include a lawsuit against the uploader who filed the counter notification, which names the specific YouTube URL(s) at issue. If we do not receive notice from you, we may reinstate the material to YouTube."
YouTube also included this statement from the owner of the infringing video in the counter-notification:
"I swear, under penalty of perjury, that I have a good-faith belief that the material was removed due to a mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled. I consent to the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court for the district in which my address is located or, if my address is outside the United States, the judicial district in which YouTube is located, and will accept service of process from the claimant."
QUESTION 1 So it seems to me, that the video owner has said he will accept the jurisdiction of YouTube, which is the state of Californa So I don't have to try and bring a legal case in the Ukraine, which would be virtually impossible anyway. I could take action in California, which would likely be sufficient for YouTube to uphold my claim, keep the video offline, and uphold the copyright strike that I lodged. Is this correct, that I can take action in California and YouTube will accept that validity, because of the statement the copyright infringer has made about accepting that jurisdiction?
QUESTION 2 If the answer to QUESTION 1 is yes, court action could be taken in California because the infringing party has stated he will accept that jurisdiction, is it then possible to inexpensively take the necessary court action that will satisfy YouTube's requirement for having "filed an action seeking a court order against the counter notifier to restrain the allegedly infringing activity". Would a small claims court action do the trick? I understand YouTube would be in the jurisdiction of San Monteo for small claims. Does anyone know a) How much that would cost? b) Would the action be accepted by the San Monteo small claims court, if lodged by a company based in the UK? c) Would the small claims court accept a case against a defendant in the Ukraine, given the defendant already said they would accept the jurisdiction of the courts in YouTube's location? On the San Monteo small claims court website I looked for an email address for someone to ask these questions to, but couldn't find one. Thanks! R.