Lawsuit Alleges Stefan Molyneux Abused DMCA to Censor Critic
EspañolThe woman behind the Tru Shibes YouTube channel has filed a lawsuit against Stefan Molyneux, host of the libertarian-leaning podcast Freedomain Radio, alleging abuse of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
On Friday, October 24, J. Raven, founder of Tru Shibes, filed a complaint before a California judge accusing Molyneux of “materially misrepresenting” DMCA copyright claims to silence her criticism. Although Raven used clips from Molyneux’s show to create YouTube videos aimed at criticizing the self-described philosopher, Molyneux has publicly stated the DMCA filings had “nothing to do with copyright.”
“The case arises from Defendants’ improper assertion of copyright infringement against Plaintiff. The infringement allegations were based on Plaintiff’s use of excerpts of Defendant’s Internet content in the production of videos posted on her ‘Tru Shibes’ YouTube channel critical of Defendant Stefan Molyneux and his methods of promoting his radical psychological and social theories, which he calls ‘philosophy.’ As a result of Defendants’ assertion of infringement, YouTube disabled public access to the Tru Shibes videos and ultimately shut down the whole Tru Shibes channel,” reads the complaint.
Molyneux and his director of operations, Michael DeMarco, have stated they used DMCA notices to take down videos that harassed and doxed their supporters. “We had a number of listeners who called in and said, ‘listen, this guy is doing some pretty creepy stuff with my personal info here, I’m not comfortable with this,'” said Molyneux.
As a self-described anarcho-capitalist who is opposed to state violence, Molyneux has argued against intellectual property law, but says the use of DMCA was justified in this case. “So we used that mechanism to take that down. It’s got nothing to do with copyright or anything like that, I just felt that listeners were being acted against in a negative way.”
DeMarco, also named in the pending lawsuit, said their motive was to protect their audience. “If you attack listeners, you don’t get to use any of our material.”
“On information and belief, Defendants knew that the critique videos did not infringe their copyright when they sent YouTube the takedown notices. Defendants acted in bad faith when they sent the takedown notices, knowingly and materially misrepresenting that they had concluded the critique videos were infringing,” alleges the complaint.