Universal Music's Second Strike

Last year, Universal Music threatened Javier Prato with legal action for using "I Will Survive" in a humorous video posted on YouTube. It retreated after the Fair Use Project explained Prato's video was protected by Fair Use.

Now, Universal has targeted video blogger Michelle Malkin, who has been harshly critical of one of Universal's recording artists, the rapper Akon. Malkin posted a video blog on YouTube detailing (and showing) what appears to be footage of Akon assaulting a fifteen year old girl during a concert, and asking why his actions have not been addressed by Akon's label (Universal), his other sponsors, and certain politicians. In her video, Malkin includes footage from the concert at which this alleged assault happened, and other examples of what she asserts to be Akon's misognystic performances, in order to make her case.

So how did Universal respond? It apparently issued a DMCA takedown notice to YouTube on the ground Malkin's blog infringed its copyrights. The video was taken down from YouTube, but you can still see it here, on Malkin's blog. Read Malkin's discussion of the issue here.

If Universal did issue this takedown notice, it needs to retract it and apologize at once. Copyright is not a tool to silence or remove speech you don't like.

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