Ethan and Hila Klein of h3h3 Productions have won a lawsuit brought against them by Matt Hosseinzadeh regarding copyright infringement on YouTube.
It all began in 2016 when the Kleins posted a reactionary video on their Youtube channel mocking Hosseinzadeh. They featured a clip from one of Hosseinzadeh’s videos and the fight began amongst the two YouTube channels. There was an action filed with Digital Millennium Copyright Act to remove the video followed by a rebuttal. This led to the lawsuit in New York Federal Court.
The New York judge ruled that use of the clip for a reaction video was legal and not copyright infringement. Judge Katherine B. Forrest was cautious, though, to state that this is not a blanket free pass on copyright infringement when it comes to YouTube reaction video content.
Judge Forrest also wrote that “It is clear that defendants’ comments regarding the lawsuit are either non-actionable opinions or substantially true as a matter of law.” This means that the defamation suit brought against the Kleins was ruled in their favor. You can read Judge Forrest’s full ruling from the New York Federal Court here.
Ethan Klein announced the court’s ruling on Twitter Wednesday and featured a section from the lawsuit he deemed to be the best line written by the Klein’s attorney.
Best line of the entire lawsuit written by our attorney. pic.twitter.com/76oPVsXrhm
— Ethan Klein (@h3h3productions) August 24, 2017
The Klein’s regularly kept their fan base updated with what was happening in the lawsuit through Tweets and YouTube videos on their channel.
Our attorneys fees for December. Good luck in the American justice system.😐🔫 pic.twitter.com/2B2iuKLAjf
— Ethan Klein (@h3h3productions) January 28, 2017
Money was raised to aid the Klein’s mounting legal fees through various crowd sourcing campaigns. Their initial GoFundMe campaign launched by fellow YouTuber, Philip DeFranco, not only raised the goal amount of $100,000 in 24 hours with an average donation amount of $24 but also surpassed it topping out at $170,740.00. Many tech pioneers such as Minecraft creator Markus Persson donated to the Klein’s cause.
This may change some of what has in the past been considered copyright infringement in regards to YouTube. While it may not be a victory for all YouTube users this was definitely a victory for h3h3 Productions and the Kleins.