Althouse on YouTube lawsuit

The Wisconsin lawprof has this to say (Jul. 19) on that copyright-infringement lawsuit that we mentioned in passing yesterday, the one aimed at the hit site for hosting a video of the beating of Reginald Denny:

Robert Tur, who could have just asked YouTube to remove the video someone had uploaded, instead left it there and then sued demanding $150,000 for each of the 1,000+ viewings that occurred. YouTube took the video down when the lawsuit called attention to the problem.

Well, we knew eventually someone would sue YouTube, but could it be anyone less sympathetic then a guy who once got lucky and was there with a camera when someone else was getting beaten up?

More in her comments section.


  • I don’t get it. It seems like he’s just trying to prevent people from misappropriating his intellectual property? I don’t see how that makes him a turd.

    He’s alleging that they didn’t take down infringing copies promptly enough. And that Youtube is integral to infringement commmitted by its users. Pretty colorable claims.

  • This practice is common in Germany. Lawyers send hundreds of warnings (“Abmahung”) to website owners with a bill of $1,800 – per song. See

    As far as I know Germany is the only country where the website owners (in this case) have to pay the bill.

  • Barely colorable. The analysis at is convincing. If anyone should be covered by the safe harbor it’s fun little sites like

    This is like saying AOL is liable because selling broadband connections is “integral to infringement commmitted by its users.”

  • What makes him a turd (according to the quote above) is the DIDN’T try to prevent people from misappropriating his property… he just billed them for it afterwards.

    That is, instead of notifiying YouTube that there was possible infringement going on, then filing suit over the infringment that had already allegedly happened, he simply filed suit, giving time for FURTHER infringement (which he then claimed as further damages).

    If that’s what actually happened, then yes, he’s a turd.