It’s been a few months since I’ve posted a rollicking internet copyright yarn. Not that there haven’t been infringements. Those are constant. It’s just that most are overly pedestrian- a pest control coupon that’s removed on request, for example. Not worth blogging. This one, however, involves a barely literate YouTube host pretending to be a lawyer, and his messages are simply too bizarre to pass up sharing.
I won’t bore you with the details of the infringement beyond the basics: 6 photographs of driver ants, most with my name cropped out, uploaded twice to a popular YouTube tabloid without being credited or licensed. The infringer responded to my formal copyright notice by committing perjury, claiming to Youtube that he had rights to my work and that my notice was mistaken.
Thinking the rights grab a bold move, I emailed him. Our correspondence follows:
This provoked two responses:
And Mr. Dowlatsingh’s:
This line of argument was obviously not headed anywhere, so off to the lawyers it goes.
Update (8/25/2015): Mr. Dowlatsingh has sent a DMCA counter-notice to YouTube that implicates YouTube and Google as being knowing, approving parties in the infringement. Updated Strategy: have attorney pen letter to Google’s legal department requesting verification?
Update 2 (10/24/2018): Apparently some commentators are under the impression there was a lawsuit of some kind. There wasn’t. I briefly hired a Canadian attorney in 2015 to look at the possibility of recovering my license fees, and we determined that Mr. Dowlatsingh had no assets, so I was just throwing money down a hole. Whatever impression you may have of Mr. Dowlatsingh’s success, he appears to be flat-ass broke. So I dropped the entire thing. There was no lawsuit on either my part or Mr. Dowlatsingh’s. Other photographers appear to have pursued him for similar infringements, but that ain’t me.