A happy story that involves MLB Advanced Media (really)

Sometimes MLB Advanced Media gets it.  Sometimes they understand what is in their best interests. 

This is one of those times.

Baseball fan Russ Gooberman created a mash-up video of Texas Ranger Josh Hamilton featuring his longest homerun from the All-Star Game Home Run Derby.  He set it to some music and uploaded it to YouTube. 

Gooberman says the very next day, MLB Advanced Media sent a trademark claim to YouTube and the video was taken down.  YouTube sent him a notice that read:

"This is to notify you that we have removed or disabled access to the following material as a result of a third-party notification by MLB Advanced Media claiming that this material is infringing:"

Through YouTube, Gooberman responded to MLB Advanced Media.  His counter-notification was very well written in my opinion.  It says in part (you can read the whole bit at lessig.com):

"Under established Fair Use principles, if a work is considered transformative, it does not represent an infringement. This video in particular, is extremely transformative. First of all, it takes less than a minute of footage out of an over three hour exhibition. Secondly, the footage is edited differently than the original telecast. Thirdly, the entire soundtrack has been removed and replaced. Fourthly, the footage itself has been altered, added to, subtracted from, and has had the meaning changed altogether.

This piece is fully non-commercial. The website behind the creation of this piece takes in zero revenue, and is a free entertainment service. Non-commercial use is another standard by which copyrighted material is allowable for re-use.

Again, this is only a small part of what Gooberman wrote and his whole piece is quite eloquent.  Kudos to him for taking the time and effort to make his case. 

As I said, this story does have a happy ending.  In response to his notice and perhaps a second look at the video, not only did MLB Advanced Media rescind their takedown notice, they featured Gooberman’s mashup video on the official MLB Entertainment Blog.

Is MLB starting to see the light about intellectual property?  Are they beginning to realize that posting one minute videos or photographs of MLB baseball does not hurt their bottom line but indeed increases fan interest in the game? 

Probably not.  But it’s a good step in the right direction and I heartily applaud MLBAM for seeing the light in this one case. 

There may be hope yet.

Here’s the video in question.  If you are Josh Hamilton fan, you’ll love it.

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