The company has announced new policy aimed at assisting creators facing copyright litigation.
On 18 November, YouTube’s Legal Director announced the site will financially and legally support a handful of content creators whose work exemplifies fair use content.
Fair use, as defined in YouTube’s Tools for Content Owners, is outlined as “a legal doctrine that says you can reuse copyright-protected material under certain circumstances without getting permission from the copyright owner.” This often includes parodies, commentaries, news videos, and remixes.
The current rules of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act require YouTube to remove any video that has infringement claims brought against it. Creators are able to file appeals, but this process can be tedious and lengthy. Additionally, during an appeal creators are denied any revenue the videos would have otherwise earned if they remained live.
Pairing with American content creators Jim Sterling, UFOTheater, ProChoiceOh and KevOnStage, who produce a variety of fair use work and have each faced numerous takedown notices for their videos, YouTube has agreed to keep these videos live and pledged up to $1m (£650,000) in each case to legally and financially support the content.
In the announcement, Fred von Lohmann explained, “We’re doing this because we recognize that creators can be intimidated by the DMCA’s counter notification process, and the potential for litigation that comes with it.”
YouTube intends to use these creators as exemplars of what fair use on the site can look like.
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