YouTube is offering to protect some creators by paying up to $1 million in legal costs due to questionable Digital Mellennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices. The U.S. copyright law DMCA is used for protecting copyrighted works that include online videos and because of the content on YouTube and the ease that copyrighted material can be edited and then used in videos the social media video site is hit with more than its fair share of DMCA takedown notices. In some cases these notices are for full length movies uploaded to the website in their entirety.
The problem in some cases is that the copyright holder do not consider “fair use” which is a part of what must be considered with the DMCA. Fair use permits people to repurpose copyrighted content such as news broadcasts or television clips in a way that creates a new program, parody or compilation. Youtube is offering to support some creators because of the copyright holder ignoring the “fair use” part of the copyright laws. In a statement by copyright legal director at Google Fred von Lohmann in a blog post they state they believe there are videos that are not violating the copyright laws that have been subject to DMCA takedown notices.
Von Lohmann goes on to state they will keep the videos live on YouTube in the United States with the approval of the creators saying they will cover any of the copyright lawsuits brought against them. He says they will be featured in the YouTube Copyright Center. Generally when a creator is given a DMCA takedown notice it will request the person remove the video or that YouTube remove it. As long as this is done it is the end of any legal issues, but if it is not met it can result in a court case. Going to court when served a DMCA takedown is expensive for the average person loading a video so it might be unwise to fight. The difference now that YouTube, owned by Google is offering to protect some of these videos and their creators could make a difference in the amount of DMCA takedown notices issued by copyright holders.
The effort being made by Google/ YouTube is not for every creators legal fees, instead they have chosen a number of videos they feel show “fair use” best and asked the creators to join them in protecting creators from the takedown requests due to copyrights. The offer is made though few creators have been asked to join with YouTube backing them up to make an example of false claims of copyright infringements and to discourage attorneys from legally threatening video creators.
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