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Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) Victory!
The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) has agreed to pay $25,000 to SHARK to settle a lawsuit over the improper removal of videos from YouTube that showed rodeo cruelty.
"As agreed, the money goes to The Electronic Frontier Foundation, not us," states SHARK founder Steve Hindi, "since we could never have won the lawsuit without them."
SHARK posted dozens of critical videos to YouTube throughout 2006 and 2007. When the PRCA falsely claimed that 13 of the videos infringed PRCA copyrights, YouTube disabled SHARK's entire account. SHARK sued the PRCA for misrepresentation, noting that, among other things, the videos could not have infringed any PRCA copyright because the rodeos themselves weren't copyrightable.
In a settlement announced February 12th, 2009, the PRCA will pay $25,000 for the improper removals. PRCA has also agreed that any future copyright claims will be first sent to SHARK's video contact and then reviewed by the PRCA's general counsel for legal merit before any legal notices are sent to YouTube or another video service. In addition, the PRCA has agreed not to enforce a "no videotaping" provision in its ticket "contracts" against SHARK unless it enforces the same provision against others, meaning the PRCA will no longer be able to selectively enforce the provision against its critics.
"We're very pleased with this settlement," said SHARK Senior Investigator Michael Kobliska. "We have a First Amendment right to question how animals are treated at rodeos and to publicize the inhumane treatment we witness. This agreement lets SHARK continue its work without unfair interference."
SHARK wishes to thank The Electronic Frontier Foundation or their very professional and passionate representation of SHARK in this matter.
For more information and to see footage of how animals are brutalized in rodeos, visit SHARK's site.
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