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Activists Drop Viacom Suit, Media Giant Lowers YouTube Shield

Publication Date: 
April 23, 2007
Ben Fritz

Stanford Center for Internet and Society's "Fair Use Project" was founded in 2006 to provide legal support to a range of projects designed to clarify, and extend, the boundaries of "fair use" in order to enhance creative freedom. This week, Variety reports:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Stanford Law School Fair Use Project filed the suit on behalf of liberal group and Brave New Films last month after Viacom told YouTube to take down a video parody using clips from "The Colbert Report." (Daily Variety, March 23)

...Viacom general counsel Michael Fricklas said further investigation found that the conglom did, in fact, mistakenly issue the takedown notice to YouTube.

In addition to admitting the error, Fricklas said Viacom is setting up an e-mail address and information on its corporate Web site to help those who believe their videos constitute legal "fair use," such as parody, and should not have been removed.