Fun to Stay at The DMCA! – by “Misbah U” 

Have you ever been excited to watch a video online only to click it and realize that it’s been taken down for copyright issues? Us too, which is why we decided to do our project on the topic of the DMCA and fair use circumvention. Conveniently, the song “YMCA” by the Village People was ripe for a parody on the topic. The goal in creating the “DMCA” song, music video, and website was to present the DMCA and certain safe-harbor law in an easily digestible format. Too many videos are taken down without true cause, and understanding of fair use arguments as well the the word and intent of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act could lead to more counter-notices and hence a greater pool of video entertainment available to the public.

While the video is not necessarily a parody of the YMCA, per say – it doesn’t comment on the source material itself – we believe the the creation is significantly transformative. In addition to this, we created it for non-commercial purposes and as an educational tool, which makes the fair use argument fairly easy.

Hopefully this website and video will spread awareness of fair use rights. The website and the information and links on there aim to teach viewers the specifics of the law–and fair use, specifically since it’s a concept that is often confused. As Brad proved this semester in our class, often humor is the best way to make learning effective and fun. While our video is certainly a bit silly, we believe the overall message is an important one worth addressing.

The lyrics for the video are as follows (they can also be found on the website):

Young man, I see your video’s down.
I said, young man, there’s no reason to frown.
I said, young man, there are tricks all around
To help get your vid reposted.

Young man, there’s a place you can turn.
I said, young man, there’s no need for concern.
I said, young man, there are loopholes to learn
You can fight that takedown notice.

Well have you heard of the D-M-C-A?
Have you heard of the D-M-C-A.
If you want your work back, well you know there’s a way
In the O-C-I-L-L-A
Have you heard of the D-M-C-A.
If you think in good faith, that their actions were wrong
Listen up to our awesome song

Young man, there’s a problem at hand,
I said young man, you could get yourself banned
So let’s face it, why don’t you take a stand
And just send that counter notice

Young man, you’ll be mocked by your friends,
I said, young man, be like Stephanie Lenz,
And just sue them, then they’ll make their amends
And you’ll be a web sensation

You’ve got to study the D-M-C-A (x2)
If you’re stealing the work, just to sell it yourself
Then your venture won’t turn out well.
You’ve got to study the D-M-C-A (x2)

Just make sure that your use still remarks on the source,
Or the takedown could  be enforced

[Music cuts out and video shows a DMCA takedown notice by the Village People]

[Music comes back with a counter-notice on the grounds of non-profit, transformative, educational use!]

Good thing we knew of the D-M-C-A!
Good thing we knew of the D-M-C-A!
Now our work’s back online for the public to see
But there’s problems ahead for me

Too bad we knew of the D-M-C-A
Cause this video sucks, and I know it will stay
On my digital dossier

Group: Misbah Uraizee SM’13, Jerome Luo TD’13, Nick Letizio TD’13, Michael Holkesvik TD’13

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