Monday, May 29, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Fight Over YouTube Takedown Sent West

(CN) - A California judge will decide whether YouTube must broadcast a video it took down for violating its terms of service after, a District of Columbia federal judge ruled.

Washington, D.C.-based Song fi sued YouTube and Google in July for taking down a video it had posted in February and replacing it with a message saying the video violated YouTube's Terms of Service.

Google said it suspected Song fi of artificially inflating the video's view count.

According to Song fi's complaint, the video, "Luv Ya Luv Ya Luv Ya," is about "two six year-olds with a mutual crush who go to lunch together on Valentine's Day."

The group Rasta Rock, Song fi president Joseph Brotherton and his 6-year-old son were featured in it. The video amassed 23,000 views in eight weeks, which grabbed the attention of Google's fraud-prevention department.

YouTube opposed Song fi's motion for a temporary restraining order, claiming it should have been brought in Santa Clara County, Calif., under the Terms of Service's forum selection clause.

But U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer disagreed on Wednesday: "With respect to the forum selection clause, it is not improper for YouTube to require that claims against it be brought in the non-arbitrary forum where it resides," the District of Columbia judge wrote.

She added: "Allowing plaintiffs to proceed in this District, when their claims all relate to conduct based on YouTube's Terms of Service, would undermine the very purpose of forum selection clauses.

Collyer was not persuade by Song fi's claim that YouTube's clause requiring litigation in Santa Clara is unconscionable."Having taken advantage of YouTube's free services, plaintiffs cannot complain that the terms allowing them to do so are unenforceable," she wrote.

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.