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NASCAR Attempts to Take Down YouTube Video on Copyright Grounds

imgresFollowing a horrific crash during the DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, controversy emerged involving a fan video of the crash that was uploaded to YouTube. NASCAR had initially said the video was taken down on copyright grounds, citing language on the back of tickets.

On a ticket from a NASCAR event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, NASCAR claims to own the rights to “all images, sounds and data from this NASCAR event.” As the story surrounding the crash developed, NASCAR went on to claim the video had been taken down due to the uncertain health status of the approximately 30 fans injured in the crash. However, NASCAR still claimed the rights to the content.

YouTube disagreed and reinstated the video. The following statement from YouTube was issued to the Washington Post regarding the video:

“Our partners and users do not have the right to take down videos from YouTube unless they contain content which is copyright infringing, which is why we have reinstated the videos.”

The statement claims that NASCAR had no right to remove the video from YouTube and that NASCAR does not own all images, sounds and data they claim they do. However, those involved realized that there was nothing in the video that was copyrightable. The video focuses more on the stands than the actual race itself.

Most leagues have similar copyright rules, preventing fans from uploading images of the game to YouTube. This incident could play a future role in cases involving professional leagues and images captured by fans.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/John Raoux

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