Dear Ms. Hallie,
I hope you forgive my much delayed response to your email to me last November. At that time, having just received four DMCA takedown notices from Viacom and having just filed my counternotices, I was unsure about going further until the process had played itself out. Last month, however, I was grateful to learn that Viacom withdrew those four takedown notices filed against my videos last November. This change in posture leaves me feeling able to initiate the dialogue you offered me last November.
That dialogue is necessary because, when Viacom issued its 100,000 takedown notices to YouTube in February, those notices included an additional thirteen of my videos. It is my hope that, by contacting you directly this time, we might be able to work things out in a way that will relieve us of the need to keep resorting to the DMCA process. Because the videos in question are of the same genre as the four recently reinstated videos, I am hoping you might be willing to withdraw these thirteen takedown notices as well. I am particularly hopeful because I know these latest takedown notices were part of a very large group of notices sent to YouTube that were not meant to target videos like mine that include short Viacom clips within an original video usually intended as political commentary.
Even if you are unwilling to withdraw these latest thirteen takedown notices immediately, I'm hoping, through dialogue, we can come to some agreement that respects both Viacom's property rights and my right to include fair use material in my original commentaries. In furtherance of that goal, I would be happy to send you copies of the thirteen videos in question.
One additional positive outcome from such a dialogue would be some guidance from you as to Viacom’s standards in making its fair use determinations. I would be happy to pass that information along to others in the YouTube community. I have actually developed significant relationships with some of the top amateur content providers on YouTube and it may surprise you to learn that many of them, as content creators, feel just as strongly as Viacom does about the protection of intellectual property. I don't think many of the amateur content providers on YouTube really recognize this confluence of interests, however. If I could bring that message to the YouTube community along with news of a reasonable resolution of my copyright issues with Viacom, it would not only make the message more credible, it would make that message more likely to spread through the YouTube "viral" network.
In any case, I see Viacom's withdrawal of the takedown notices against my videos from last November as a positive sign. I am heartened that Viacom was willing to give my videos both individual attention and a fair evaluation that led to the withdrawal of the takedown notices. I am a big fan of many Viacom products and I certainly have respect for intellectual property rights and the right of its creators, producers, and distributors to be compensated. I look forward to hearing back from you at your earliest convenience.
a message dated
Dear Mr. Asch:
I write on behalf of Comedy Central, owner of rights in "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" ("the Series"). I understand you have filed various counternotices to takedown notices we filed with youtube upon detection of copyrighted material from the Series on your uploads. I am in the process of investigating the matter, but in the interim request that you transmit to me copies of the uploads at issue for my personal review. Rest assured that Comedy Central takes the copyright laws including the fair use defense very seriously, and will review this matter carefully. In the meantime, all correspondence should be directed to me.
Senior Vice President
Deputy General Counsel, Intellectual Property