To put things into perspective, these YouTube takedowns are massively automated. Software scans all the uploaded media and flags any material where they detect copyrighted material. Large corporations such as Sony have enough traction with YouTube that they can then also automatically take down these media (smaller companies have to manually submit a DMCA takedown notice).
So is there still a problem? You bet there is – we’re lucky to have a huge and vocal community behind us, that spread this story over the web in a couple of hours. The story was featured on Cartoon Brew, Boing Boing, Slashdot and Reddit (which nuked the BlenderNation server for a few hours). This helped revert the takedown. If you’re a small publisher however, you will find it nearly impossible to talk to anyone and get your video back up. These automated takedowns can destroy your project and leave you powerless.
Boing Boing hits the nail on the head with their comment:
While it’s probably a mistake, because this is so brain-meltingly obviously wrong, it’s also a very stark example of how sloppy, over-broad, and consequence-free enforcement of copyright can damage culture.
I don’t think there was any intent behind this particular takedown – just an unfair, unaccountable system. I’m glad we got Sintel back.