EFF asked a federal court to protect the free speech rights of an animal welfare group after its video critiques of animal treatment at rodeos were removed from YouTube due to sham copyright claims.
The group Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) is a non-profit organization that videotapes and photographs rodeos in order to expose animal abuse, injuries, and deaths. SHARK posted more than two dozen videos to YouTube to publicize this animal mistreatment. But the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) filed takedown demands for 13 of the videos under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), claiming the videos infringed their copyrights. YouTube consequently removed the videos and canceled SHARK's entire YouTube account, even though the PRCA has no copyright claim in live rodeo events.
The case was settled in February of 2009, protecting the advocates' right to publicize their critiques and creating a new model for handling takedown notices.