May 21 2016

Fox, Family Guy, Double Dribble, YouTube, and the DMCA

Proving yet again how absolutely broken the YouTube copyright system is, Fox has issued a DMCA takedown against a YouTube video of the NES game “Double Dribble.” The reason? The video clip, which was uploaded in 2009, was used in the most recent (at this time) episode of the animated comedy Family Guy.

That’s right. They used his video clip, and now this clip is copyright claimed by Fox because, it’s clearly footage from Family Guy! (That’s sarcasm for those who can’t tell.) While the video is currently up, it appears at a point early on the video was actually taken down completely due to the Fox claim.

Really. Let’s look at this. The production team behind Family Guy used his footage of the game, which is unique in that it shows a glitch being exploited, in their show without any actual rights to do such. Fox can’t just steal someones recording like that, and yet they did with immunity, and have now, basically, claimed the clip as their own.


You can’t argue fair use on Fox’s part for this one. It isn’t for review or critique, it’s just straight up being used as a part of the show. This is ironic as anything considering that if you use clips of Family Guy in a YouTube video critiquing an episode, Fox will still file a take down against you for using those clips, even though they fall completely under fair use.

Ah, YouTube, you prove yet again how absolutely screwed up you are. Then again, what would I expect from Google, the overlords of YouTube who can’s seem to keep anything straight, and sure as anything don’t listen to any customers lesser than other megacorporations.

I would love to see anyone at Fox, or YouTube, justify this. Granted, this is most likely due to automatic systems in place in the YouTube copyright system, but still, why would a video from 2009 at all be “stolen” from a Family Guy episode made in 2016? It still is absolutely stupid, regardless.

They should not in any way be able to claim the original video. Moreover, they shouldn’t be able to just take and use that clip however they wish in their TV show. Period. Not without express permission from the video creator.

Seriously, this is absurd, and is yet another demonstration of the massive problems with YouTube, and Google in general, not to mention the indecency of megacorporations like Google and Fox, on a whole.


As stated above, the video clip has been reinstated, with Fox making a statement of “The video in question was removed as a result of Fox’s routine efforts to protect its television show Family Guy from piracy. As soon as we became aware of the circumstances, the content was restored.” This indicates to me that clip was indeed targeted by the automated systems at YouTube.

Of interesting note, another clip of another game, in this case Tecmo Bowl, was also used in a similar fashion, and that video as well was taken down by Fox but reinstated.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the automated systems doing this, since as far as they are concerned, the footage is identical to the show, and thus, must, according to it’s programming, be taken from the show. The problem is the fact simply that it isn’t, and that the footage was stolen from YouTube content creators for their own program, and then the content creators are punished for no reason. It’s insane.

Interestingly, it seems the people behind Family Guy were more sympathetic to the issue, but that doesn’t change the fact that it actually happened.

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