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'Judge Judy' Producers Sue Over YouTube Takedown Request

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By Aditi Mukherji, JD on October 22, 2013 9:17 AM

The production company behind "Judge Judy" is filing a lawsuit against a YouTube user for allegedly posting unauthorized videos of the reality court show.

No, Judge Judy will not be hearing the case, so put your gavel-shaped popcorn away.

Since Oprah's departure, Judge Judy has been the reigning queen of daytime television, boasting an estimated 9 million viewers a day. So it's no surprise that the show's creators want to keep a tight grip on the show's material.

YouTube Takedown Policy

YouTube doesn't determine a video's copyright ownership, but it has procedures that let copyright owners make complaints against violators.

The video-streaming site currently has an automated copyright detection service called ContentID that allows copyright owners to monetize, do nothing, or remove content from third-party channels. YouTube also offers copyright owners access to its Content Verification Program to initiate multiple removal requests.

Likewise, channel owners have a right to make counter-claims for unlawful takedowns. That means if your online content is removed because of a takedown notice you think is without merit, you can fight back with a counter-notice asking that the material be put back up.

When YouTube receives a valid counter-notification, it forwards it to the person who requested the removal. After this, it's up to the parties involved to resolve the issue in court. That being said, those who repeatedly violate copyright rules on YouTube can be permanently banned from the video-streaming site.

Takedown Lawsuits

In this case, Big Ticket Television, the company that produces "Judge Judy," opted to sue YouTube user Ignacio De Los Angeles for posting a 2006 episode of the show on the video-streaming site. Big Ticket reportedly sent Ignacio a takedown notice, but Ignacio ignored it, reports Examiner.com.

It's not uncommon for copyright owners to pursue lawsuits to protect their interests in particularly lucrative copyrighted material such as "Judge Judy." In the vast majority of cases, infringers may receive hefty fines but won't face criminal penalties.

Considering a simple YouTube search reveals countless full episodes of "Judge Judy," it wouldn't be surprising if we soon see other Judge Judy YouTube Superfans haled into court.

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