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The Legal Issues of removing videos from Youtube, Facebook and Twitter

The legal issues of removing video content from Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and other social media

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Josiah Hincks’ Intellectual Property Solicitors in Leicester, were recently instructed on an urgent basis to seek the removal of a video from Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media sites. We successfully had the offending video removed within 24 hours. This short blog explains what a company might be able to stop a “viral video” from causing damage to their brand and their business.

Our client is a high profile local business with a worldwide presence. The offending video not only infringed its trademarks and intellectual property, and that of its trading partners, but showed physical damage being caused to our client’s property as well. It was important that the video was removed, so not to encourage copycat actions and also to property our client’s intellectual property.

Acting quickly, we notified Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other sites of the legal position, with reference to our client’s registered trademarks. As the video infringed upon our client’s registered and unregistered trademarks, we wrote to the relevant companies advising them that if they did not remove the video we would take urgent High Court injunction proceedings.

We also identified the vlogger and could quickly email and write to him, setting out the legal basis of our client’s position and require him to remove the video and agree not to infringe our client’s trademarks again in the future. Fortunately on this occasion, the youtuber agreed to remove the video and our objective was accomplished.

As specialist Intellectual Property Solicitors in Leicester, we are frequently instructed with claims of trademark infringement. Section 14 Trademark Act makes a claim clear: use of a registered trademark without permission is infringement. However, the registered trademark can be infringed by it being used for a different classification, or a different but similar way. We also have the benefit and strength of passing off claims,  that is where the marks are unregistered but that it might appear as though it originated from the company.

We have also been involved in removing videos from Youtube and other online sites, where the video was defamatory. Defamation is a specialist area of law and requires quick and practical analysis and application of defamation laws. For urgent matters, we are typically instructed and writing letters within hours and succeeding in their removal within 24 hours.

We are frequently involved in Internet Law disputes, and our solicitors have specialist experience in dealing with the crossover between traditional Intellectual Property disputes and the Internet.

If you’re looking for advice on how to remove a video from youtube, or you are a vlogger and have received a “cease and desist” type letter (that’s typically what more American law firms call the letters before action) then do get in touch.