Jun 08, 2017

Publisher Sued for Posting YouTube Video to Facebook

Rudkowski v. Capitol Hill Publishing Corp., 17-cv-03992 (S.D.N.Y.)
By Fabiana Lauf

Lukasz Rudkowski is a photojournalist and videojournalist who licenses photos and videos to online, print, and television stations for a fee. On April 15, 2017, Rudkowski recorded Antifa and pro free speech activists facing off against each other in Berkeley, California, and uploaded the following video of the event to his YouTube account WeAreChange.

The video was also registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. On May 26, 2017, Rudkowski filed a complaint against Capitol Hill Publishing, which publishes The Hill, based on its alleged unauthorized reproduction and public display of his copyrighted video.

Specifically, Rudkowski asserts that on or about April 15, 2017, Capitol Hill Publishing recorded his video from YouTube, cropped out his logo, and then included the altered video in a Facebook post entitled Fights erupt at Berkeley rally, WATCH: Pro and anti-Trump supporters clash at Berkeley rally. The complaint alleges that the publisher committed copyright infringement by reproducing and publicly displaying the video without Rudkowski’s authorization. The complaint further alleges that the publisher intentionally removed copyright management information by cropping out the logo.

Capitol Hill Publishing’s Facebook post has received over 1 million views. Rudkowski is seeking actual damages and the publisher’s profits or, alternatively, statutory damages of $150,000 per copyrighted work infringed and $25,000 per instance of removal of copyright management information.