I shot a video out a window of something happening on the street below, and Paramount filed a DMCA complaint against me with Youtube.

My video should be below:

On Monday, May 10, I was visiting the offices of NeighborGoods. During our meeting, we heard tire screeches outside in the alley. We knew a film was being made, so we rushed to the window to see. To our surprise and delight, I was immediately able to identify it as Transformers 3.

Micki and I whipped out our phones and shot videos of the action below. We watched as they set up a hydraulic lift and loaded a tiny smart car onto it. It was very exciting. They cleared the set, and Michael Bay called action, and the car was launched into the air and went careening down the street.

As soon as it was over, Micki and I literally raced to put our videos online. We even made a nerdy bet to see who would get more hits.

My original post is on my blog, I Love Ben Brown.

The video originally lived here on Youtube.

Micki's video, virtually identical to mine (and featuring a shot of ME filming my version of the video), is still available on Youtube.


Is this a photo of someone violating Paramount's copyright? Photo by Katie Spence

Unbeknownst to me, what we had captured was actually one of the first days of shooting for the movie. As a result, the video got picked up by The Transformers Live Action Movie Blog, and from there spread to a few fan forums. Tuesday morning, Io9 picked it up.

Tuesday morning, Google sent me an email offering me the opportunity to earn money from my popular video. I decided to wait for a while to see how the video performed.

Roughly 48 hours after I posted the video, and after it had received 36,000 views, my video was removed from Youtube. The next time I visited Youtube.com, I saw this screen, explaining that Paramount Pictures Corporation had filed a copyright complaint against me.

On my Youtube "My Videos" page, I see this message, claiming that my video somehow "matched third party content."

Obviously, since Transformers 3 has not been completed, there is no way that I violated any copyright. I shot a video of activity in a public space.

I filed a counter notice on Wednesday, May 12.

On Friday, May 14, Google sent me a response that explains that they've forwarded my counter notice to Paramount, and that my video will be restored only after 10-14 days have passed...

On Monday, after speaking to the EFF, I sent an email to the Viacom copyright hotline. Though I have to this date not received a response from Viacom, Paramount or Google, on the evening of Monday May 17, my video reappeared on Google!

I can totally be reached for comment by email at benbrown@gmail.com, or on the phone at 518-288-8224.

Other links:

I'm Ben Brown, just a guy who has been posting stuff on the internet for like 15 years. My blog is called I Love Ben Brown, and I have a Wikipedia page.

Kevin Poulson of Wired.com covered the story for Threat Level.

Xeni Jardin from Boing Boing wrote up the growing controversy.

Techdirt wrote an article about my video in relationship to Paramount/Viacom's ongoing lawsuit against Google.

My wife told the story from her perspective, and shot the photo used above photo of Micki and I.

Micki wrote a post about my video too!

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