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Can someone sue me for posting a video on youtube, Facebook, or any other internet social site?

West Sacramento, CA |

I posted a video featuring a group of dancers dancing in a rented studio. We were preparing for a performance at a theater, the studio owner was a sponsor and agreed to allow us to practice in her studio. This happened after hours, the owner was no there. Later the video tape of us all dancing was spotted by the owner who has informed us she will sue if not taken down immediately. She claims the way we danced was hurtful, degrading to people of color and we were trying to damage her studio and equipment. None of this is true, only her warped opinion. I complied and took down the video, tried to reason with her that our intention was not to hurt her or harm her business. The next day she sent a threatening letter claiming legal action if any video from her studio is posted.

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

This is America and you can be sued anytime by anyone for anything. The real question is if they will win. The other big issue to consider is if you want to spend what it will cost to defend yourself (10's of thousands of dollars.)

If you took the video, you own the copyright. Unless you agreed in writing not to use video in her studio, or she has signs posted that video cannot be shot, I do not see that she has a cause of action.

While I don't think you did anything wrong, my advice to a client who came to me with these facts would be to just take down the video and move on. Fighting is not worth the expense.

This post is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice specific to you. This general information is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney in your jurisdiction. The attorney client relationship is not established by this post.



Thank you! My thoughts exactly. This is not worth the time, money or stress. All the dancers in the video are professionals, teach and have deep connections in the art community. We took down the video(s) and sadly we'll never include her studio in any future productions which she could in turn use to benefit her studio. On a positive, we raised thousands of dollars for the charity event we were practicing for.

Andrew Mark Jaffe

Andrew Mark Jaffe


Good for you for raising that money! I am a big believer that individuals can create change in their own communities through individual effort.


Yes, if you break any laws or infringe any IP rights.

This is not a legal advice or solicitation, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Consult with an attorney. I work for Cardinal Risk Mangement and Cardinal Intellectual Property, IP service companies, but not law firms. I also am the president of Vepachedu Educational Foundation Inc., which is a non profit educational foundation. I also write cultural and scientific compliations for the foundation. I also teach at Northwestern university as a guest lecturer. I also provide some pro-bono guidance on immigration and other issues through Indian American Bar Association. I also have a contract with Cardinal Law Group, a law firm, for IP projects. All this information is on my profile at Avvo and also at Linkedin. Any views/opinions expressed in any context are my personal views in individual capacity only, and do not represent the views and opinions of any firm, client, or anyone else, and is not sponsored or endorsed by them in any way.


Yes many such causes of action exist to protect persons.