A couple of weeks back, we discussed the story of Caterpillar Inc., famous manufacturers of tractor equipment, deciding to bully Cat & Cloud Coffee, makers of you’ll-never-guess-what, all because the former had long ago trademarked “CAT” as a truncated brand. At issue specifically is Cat & Cloud’s use of the word “cat” on clothing and merchandise it sells, with Caterpillar claiming there is the potential for public confusion with its own clothing and merch lines. This is, of course, plainly ridiculous. There is no overlap in the branding and nobody is going to confuse the tractor folks with the coffee folks.Others pointed out that there are tons of other companies out there that sell apparel and/or merch while holding trademarks that incorporate the word “cat.” If those other companies are allowed to exist, why not Cat & Cloud? Caterpillar Inc. heard you dear friends, but its response is probably not the one you were hoping for.
Week in and week out automated bots detect and report millions of alleged copyright infringements, which are then processed by the receiving site without a human ever looking at them.
Unfortunately this process is far from flawless, resulting in many false and inaccurate DMCA claims.
For regular Internet users YouTube’s takedown process is particularly problematic. We’ve highlighted this issue before, but an example that reached us this week attacks one of the Internet’s darlings, a cat.
Last March, YouTube user Digihaven uploaded one hour of video loops featuring his cat Phantom, purring, as cats do. The video didn’t go viral but appealed to a niche public, and more recently also two major music publishers.
Nearly a year after the video was posted Digihaven was informed by YouTube that Phantom is “pirate” purring. Apparently, part of the 12 second loop belongs to EMI Music Publishing and PRS.
In the copyright notice YouTube states that the cat purring is flagged by the Content-ID system as an infringing copy of the musical composition “Focus.”