Bad Bunny Sues Concertgoer Who Fought to Keep ‘Bootleg’ Footage On YouTube

Attorneys for Bad Bunny have filed a lawsuit against a fan who posted videos from a recent concert to YouTube, arguing the Puerto Rican rapper was essentially forced to sue after the alleged bootlegger demanded that YouTube keep the clips online.

In a complaint filed Friday in federal court, attorneys for Bad Bunny (Benito Martínez Ocasio) claimed Eric Guillermo Madroñal Garrone posted videos covering ten songs from a February concert in Salt Lake City to his YouTube channel “MADforliveMUSIC,” infringing copyrights and “luring” viewers to his page.

Worse yet, the lawsuit claims, when Bad Bunny submitted a takedown request to YouTube, Garrone responded with a formal counter-notice defending his right to post the clips. That move would legally require YouTube to repost them – unless, that is, Bad Bunny went to court to stop them.


“Defendants have objected to the removal of the unauthorized bootlegs from YouTube, refused to agree not to re-post the unauthorized bootlegs, and requested that YouTube reinstate the unauthorized bootlegs,” Bad Bunny’s attorneys wrote. “Unless enjoined by this court, defendants will continue to infringe Ocasio’s rights.”

Such disputes over online content happen all the time, but they’re usually handled without a lawsuit. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, artists like Bad Bunny can file a takedown request to online platforms like YouTube, requiring the site to pull down the allegedly infringing material. That’s typically the end of the story, especially in cases of extensive footage of full songs.

But the DMCA also empowers internet users to object to such requests if they believe that they’ve made a “fair use” of the materials in question – like, say, a news clip of a Bad Bunny concert that incidentally featured some of his music, or a parody video that mocked him by riffing on one of his songs.

In the case of Garrone’s footage, Bad Bunny’s representatives filed a takedown notice for all ten of the clips from the Salt Lake City concert, arguing that they featured unauthorized recordings of huge hits like “Yo Perreo Sola,” “Me Porto Bonito,” “Dakiti” and others. That notice initially succeeded in getting the clips pulled down.


But according to the lawsuit, Garrone then filed a DMCA counter-notice, requesting “reinstatement of the videos as soon as possible.” In a copy of the notice that was included in Bad Bunny’s lawsuit, Garrone argued that he had made “legitimate use of the content” and that the takedown notice “constitutes a serious detriment to my informative and outreach activities.”

“The removed videos also cover the start of the worldwide tour of Puerto Rican reggaeton artist Bad Bunny, with this being his first date out of the 47 planned across North America, constituting in itself a newsworthy event of high public interest and significant informative scope,” Garrone wrote. “In my opinion, the artist also benefits from the dissemination of the content in his own promotion, as his show is carefully captured, conveying the reality of the moment without alterations or post-production in the content.”

Under the DMCA, that move would require YouTube to repost Garrone’s footage unless Bad Bunny filed a copyright infringement lawsuit within ten days. In an email included in the lawsuit, YouTube warned Bad Bunny’s reps that “if we don’t get a response from you, the content at issue may be reinstated.”

“Your response must include evidence that you’ve taken legal action against the uploader to keep the content from being reinstated to YouTube,” the video site told Bad Bunny’s reps. “Usually, evidence would include a lawsuit against the producer which names the YouTube URLs at issue and seeks a court order to restrain the alleged infringement.”


On Friday, Bad Bunny’s lawyers did exactly that. They argued that Garrone’s videos “do not qualify as fair use” that would entitle them to reinstatement, and that they instead violated his rights.

“Each of the unauthorized bootlegs, both individually and collectively, negatively impacts the market for authorized uses of the Bad Bunny works by, among other things, luring YouTube viewers and associated advertising revenue away from authorized videos of the Bad Bunny Works,” the rapper’s attorneys wrote.

The lawsuit also accused Garrone of violating federal trademark laws by using Bad Bunny’s name in promoting the clips, and of violating a federal law specifically aimed at bootlegging.

Reps for Bad Bunny did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Garrone could not immediately be located for comment, because his YouTube page has been disabled.

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