Facebook Sending DMCA Takedown Notices to Users?

It looks like Facebook has entered a gray area when it comes to users’ personal videos. According to Techdirt Facebook is issuing DMCA takedown notices to users that have copyrighted music playing in the background of their videos. That Facebook has technology to automatically check for copyrighted material in videos is impressive in its own right but telling users that they can’t place music in their personal videos is ridiculous.

If a user makes a video public and begins actively promoting that video, they may end up crossing the line. There is definitely a line that ends up being crossed and something tells me that it may have to do with the number of users that have access to a given video. If these videos are private then the takedowns are absolutely absurd. It’s not like this automated filtering will prevent users from creating personal home videos.

Isn’t that what Facebook video is for … personal videos? I understand the concept of going to YouTube and posting a music video or a television show and that being illegal. If you were recording a Bar/Bat Mitzvah or any other party with music and wanted to keep and share the video for sentimental reasons, it would be insane to have someone come and tell you to take it down.

I would have to consult a lawyer at this point when it comes to the legality behind this but I could see this turning into a pretty serious debate. I’ll reach out to the digital media lawyers that I know to see what they have to say. What do you think about users receiving a DMCA notice? Is this crossing the line? Where is the line on this issue?

Update
One of the commenters has posted a copy of one of Facebook’s DMCA takedown notices. Here’s what it says:

Hello,

We have removed your video entitled “*******” uploaded at 11:37pm February 2nd, 2008. We did this because we learned that your video might include copyrighted material owned by a third party, such as a video clip or background audio.

If you are the copyright owner, or have permission from the rights holder to upload and distribute this material on Facebook, you may file a counter notice of alleged infringement by following the link below.

Please note that if you re-upload this video without filing a counter notice, or if you upload another video that infringes on the rights of a third party, our system will again remove the content. This could cause your access to the Facebook Video application to be disabled, or your Facebook account to be disabled.

To file a counter notice:
File a Counter Notification

For Facebook’s video removal policy:
View the Policy

The Facebook Team
copyright@facebook.com