Web Sheriff DMCA's Scouta Over YouTube Content Uploaded By Warner Music

Online music recommendation and sharing site Scouta has received a DMCA notice from IP enforcement group Web Sheriff, demanding that a White Stripes video hosted on YouTube and displayed on Scouta, be removed from Scouta due to copyright infringement. This despite the video being uploaded to YouTube by Warner Music, the White Stripes current record label according to Wikipedia.

The issue differs from a similar dispute covered at TechDirt. Where as the legality of the content on YouTube was in question in that case, in Scouta’s situation the video was legally uploaded to YouTube by the rights holder, with full rights given for the video to be embedded in 3rd party sites.


The stupidity of companies such as Web Sheriff apparently has no bounds with the DMCA notice sent to Scouta (pdf) failing to comply with the act.

Web Sheriff failed to demonstrate where the original content could be viewed as required in a DMCA notice; simply they couldn’t demonstrate the source of the original content to demonstrate infringement because Scouta was showing the original content as legally uploaded by the rights holder. The notice demands that Scouta “Remove [the] Infringed Title(s) from Infringing File Location” despite Scouta not hosting the file (YouTube does). The act is clear that such notices should only be sent to those hosting infringing files; if the content did infringe the act (and it clearly doesn’t), then YouTube should have received the notice.

The abuse of the DMCA by companies like Web Sheriff highlights the abject failure of the law. Startups such as Scouta and others should not have to be subjected to erroneous claims such as this one. There is an urgent need for America’s legislators to dump the DMCA into the realms of history where it rightly belongs.

For those who enjoy the White Stripes: the video in question, Compliments of Warner Music and Google/ YouTube.