DMCA complaint against YouTube dropped

Husband of 'Second Life' figure says complaint regarding a video on the video-sharing site was not a copyright issue.

The husband of Second Life land baroness Anshe Chung said he should not have filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act complaint against YouTube in his attempts to have the site delete a video of her avatar being attacked by a barrage of digital flying penises. And as a result, he said, he has revoked the DMCA claim.

In an interview with CNET News.com, Guntram Graef, the husband of Anshe Chung's creator, Ailin Graef, explained that he now understands that the video, which he still considers offensive and a sexual attack on his wife, was not copyright infringement and, therefore, his DMCA complaint was not appropriate.

"I would like to make it clear that I regret filing DMCA claims in this case, because the real issue at hand wasn't at all about copyright," Graef said.

The DMCA claim, and YouTube's resulting decision to take down the video--which stemmed from a --were decried by free-speech advocates as an illegitimate use of the law. The DMCA, passed in 1998, is intended to extend copyright protection to material published on the Internet. However, legal experts said that that the video, and screenshots take from it and used by the Sydney Morning Herald and the tech culture blog Boing Boing, are protected under fair use provisions of U.S. copyright law.

"I didn't realize that some people would misunderstand this as a censorship attempt, which it definitely was not," Graef said.

Graef said he tried to engage in a conversation with everyone involved, but got nowhere and felt he had no choice but to resort to a DMCA claim.

In part, he said, that's because he found no other way to complain to YouTube about what he considered the offensive nature of the video.

"I searched for a way to notify them about the abusive and inappropriate nature of the material," he said. "The only thing readily available was the DMCA complaint form."

Now, YouTube has changed its reasoning for deleting the video. A link to it currently produces a message that the video was removed for a "terms of service violation."

CNET News.com will run the complete interview with Guntram Graef on Tuesday.

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