There was a video of a county's legislative session posted by their authorized film company posted on YouTube under CC BY. A guy then downloaded it and reposted it on his YouTube channel with attribution.

A few days later a representative of company, who made the film changed the licence, took down video on his own channel and contacted the guy who reposted the film and demanded takedown from guy's channel. He refused. Afterwards he sent DMCA and video got removed.

Now does the guy have any legal recourse for having to file counter notice and expenses occured or a right to punitive damages? Shouldn't have YouTube prevented a DMCA takedown if content was shared under a CC BY licence?

Can he also be sued for something as the guy whose video got taken down had a valid irrevocable licence and the copyright owner was obviously aware of that?

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    Does the guy have any evidence that the license was changed and, more importantly, of the original license terms?
    – phoog
    Mar 22, 2016 at 13:56
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    He does have a screenshoot of original video where the licence is clearly stated as CC BY Mar 22, 2016 at 15:02
  • Can you post a link to the screenshot? Would help clear up any ambiguities. Everyone involved in the USA? Mar 22, 2016 at 23:46
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    @matthew That's unnecessary. We can take the factual assertions in this question at face value and give an answer under the assumption that those facts are true.
    – user3851
    Mar 22, 2016 at 23:52

1 Answer 1


DMCA allows for a counter-notice. You can submit a counter-notice with a statement that you have a licence to distribute the content. Statements in the counter-notice about the facts relating to your permission to reproduce are under penalty of perjury.

You could also sue the content owner to attempt to get an injunction against future takedown requests and you could get costs (not punative damages) awarded under 17 USC 512(f).

  • I do know about counter-notice. That is not in question. Problem is issuing DMCA takedown request knowing that poster of video had a valid licence for it. Mar 22, 2016 at 15:07
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    I wouldnt make assumptions about what the DMCA filer knew. Regardless, your recourse is either DMCA counter notice and/or a law suit or agreement to prevent future takedowns.
    – user3851
    Mar 22, 2016 at 15:10
  • He changed the licence just before requesting removal. Mar 22, 2016 at 15:32
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    There is also 17 U.S.C § 512(f)
    – user3851
    Mar 22, 2016 at 16:05
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    @chanthunder Just to add, it's possible that the original film was not allowed to be licensed under the Creative Commons license, because they did not have the permission. In such a case, they have to change the license, and they may be require to take down anything from that. I'm a little shaky on this though
    – Zizouz212
    Mar 24, 2016 at 0:04

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