That Video Belongs to the New Jersey Turnpike: DMCA Lawsuits Continue
The "sensitivity" of the original poster of the video described below is beside the point: the issue here is whether or not the New Jersey Turnpike Authority has, well, the authority to sue Youtube over a video it has already taken down. Perhaps the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is too broad.
The footage in question was recorded by a NJTA video camera. The video depicts a car traveling southbound on the New Jersey Turnpike and crashing into the Great Egg Harbor toll plaza on May 10. The driver, a 52-year-old New Jersey resident, was killed.
The NJTA is also suing NextPoint LLC, the owner of video-sharing site break.com. The complaint names UK-based LiveLeak.com as a defendant as well, though according to LiveLeak the NJTA has voluntarily removed them from the lawsuit after they removed the video.
The NJTA is suing for direct copyright infringement by public performance, public display and reproduction, as well as inducement, contributory and vicarious copyright infringement.
"The video serves no worthwhile purpose and shows a tremendous lack of common human decency towards the family of the victim," the complaint reads. "Nevertheless, defendants have either refused or failed to remove the video from their Web sites."
According to the complaint, the NJTA requested the video's removal from YouTube upon learning of its existence. YouTube complied, but the video had already been copied by other users and remains on the site.
"YouTube did not try to prevent the very same video from being uploaded again by users immediately after it was purportedly removed," the complaint reads.
A Youtube spokesperson said the company removed the video "because it violated our terms of services. Because our removal also complied with our obligations under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, we see no legal basis for a claim."
(I was unaware that a freeway could "own" a video; such are the peculiarities of this law)