Image for Top 5 craziest copyright notices
Avatar image of Soledad Vega

Top 5 craziest copyright notices

Is that really a copyright violation? You won’t believe these absurd copyright takedowns.

Have you ever found your favourite video, song, or music blog has disappeared overnight? It has probably fallen victim to censorship via notice-and takedown, copyright law’s most misused tool.

Nowadays, it’s very normal to hear about popular user-driven websites such as YouTube or Wordpress receiving copyright infringement notices about content published on their sites that they must take down or risk being sued. The problem is, these notices are being processed without much oversight; and anyone — even robots — can send them. As a result, we face an Internet where content rapidly disappears, and wide-scale censorship takes precedence over normally protected speech.

Today at OpenMedia we decided to collect what we think are the worst and the craziest copyright takedown notices.

5. Pechu Sandwich

This guy thought his chicken sandwich (with lettuce, tomato, garlic and mayo) was such a unique idea that he needed to secure the rights for it.



4. Meta copyright

A takedown of a lecture by a Harvard Law professor and copyright expert advocating for more fair copyright rules couldn’t be more ironic.


3. Monkey’s rights

A monkey took some amusing self-portraits with a camera left out by a photographer who was working for Caters News Agency. Caters claimed the rights of the photos and asked Techdirt to remove the pictures from one of their articles. Here’s a legal question, how did the monkey transfer the rights to the news agency?


2. Happy Birthday?

Warners was expecting to have "Happy Birthday" under copyright until 2030. But the fight over whether the English language’s most popular song belongs to the public domain or not is finally over. Sorry about that, Warners.

1. Prince and the dancing baby

After posting a 29-second Youtube video of her kids dancing in the kitchen to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy”, a woman received a takedown notice from Universal Music.  The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found it as ridiculous as we did.

The often crazy world of DMCA takedown notices makes the law look so outdated that it’s undeniable we need copyright reform. Bogus copyright complaints keep threatening all kinds of creative expression on the Internet; these are only a few examples.

And if you haven’t had enough, here are some more ridiculous cases that didn’t make the cut but are equally as bizarre:

Ink blotches

The Batmobile

Pope Francis’s portrait

The Socially Awkward Penguin

Katy Perry and the left shark photo


Take action now! Sign up to be in the loop Donate to support our work