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RIAA is well known for abusing the legal system by sending out cease-and-desist letters and filing lawsuits indiscriminately against innocent people.

However, Viacom is going one step farther - their attempt to keep copyright infringement off of YouTube snagged an original animator people on my friends list might know.

This isn't a gray area of the law, like making derivative works from established properties. This is original animation made by a truly talented person - someone who already was commissioned to do the title sequence for a BBC-3 TV show.

Ms. Davidovich's connections to the British market makes an interesting angle for counter-attack - Viacom falsely declaring her a copyright infringer can give her a cause of action for defamation in a British court, where the defamation laws put the burden of proof on the *defendant* to prove the allegations are true or justified.

What's likely to come out is that Viacom either manually or automatically scans for animation on YouTube, and Ms. Davidovich's work automatically popped a red flag without a human examining it to make sure it was a Viacom property. That's a logical explanation - the conspiracy theory explanation is that Viacom doesn't care if its allegations are true or not, since the Internet is killing the market for expensive cable channels, through both piracy and original content.

Let's face it - it's embarrassing for your expensive cable channels to be shunned in favor of two guys causing pop bottles to turn into fountains or someone's meowing cat, let alone an original animator's work.

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varropdx

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