I've had two claims made by different companies on one of my Public Domain video, and both have been released by Youtube, as you can see from the attached file.
The text of my last challenge to Youtube is appended below for your reference:
I strongly belief that DigDis, a 7-year old, small independent electronic music distributor based in Germany, is making a false claim on this 54-year old American movie. And Youtube is aiding and abetting this unethical behavior by giving them unilateral right to stake a claim on the video without the need to substantiate their ownership.
Plan 9 From Outer Space, or rather, “Grave Robbers From Outer Space”, was originally published in the USA in 1959. The film was not immediately registered for copyright. It was registered by it's producer “Reynolds Pictures Inc.” in 1981 (PA0000102338).
The film's copyright was renewed in 1986 by Wade Williams 3 (RE0000279707). In 1981, Williams lodged a quitclaim from Kathy Wood (Edward D. Wood Jr.'s second wife [1956-his death] and heir. USCO doc. no. V1831P045) and separate quitclaims of interest from Norma McCarty (Edward D. Wood Jr.'s first wife - falsely listed on the filing as “Mrs. Edward D. Wood, Jr., successor of all rights to the Estate of Edward D. Wood, Jr.”, which she was not, as their marriage had been annulled) - and Reynolds Pictures, Inc.
This renewal was legally invalid for these reasons:
1) The registration and renewals were lodged providing the incorrect title on screen, date-in-notice and publication date for the original publication.
2) In order for a successor in interest to renew a copyright they have to demonstrate that they own the copyright through a valid transfer of rights from the party owning the copyright at or immediately before the renewal window. None of the parties Mr. Williams sought quitclaims from were valid owners of copyright immediately prior to the renewal window. Valid copyright successors for this film “James Flocker Enterprises Inc.”, “Gold Key Video”, "Vidtronics Inc.”, and “Medallion Pictures”, all companies who are successors in the chain of ownership post registration, are not present in Williams' quitclaims. Williams has, instead, provided the USCO with a series of meaningless assignments from parties which no longer held any copyright interest in the work in order to demonstrate “ownership” of the intellectual property in the film.
The screenplay was further registered as an unpublished work in 1989 (Pau001211635). This again is rendered legally invalid by the mere fact that large portions of the screenplay were previously published as part of the registered motion picture for which no valid copyright renewal exists.