Many YouTube videos include short clips of copyrighted material for the purposes of commentary or parody, uses that are protected by copyright law. However, most users would be intimidated by legal threats and so back down when faced by a takedown notice.
Google has today said that it will be fighting to protect the fair use principle by offering “legal support” to a handful of videos that it believes represent good examples of legitimate use. For these videos, Google will refuse takedown notices, keeping the videos live on the service, and will meet all the legal costs of defending any court action …
While we can’t offer legal protection to every video creator—or even every video that has a strong fair use defense—we’ll continue to resist legally unsupported DMCA takedowns as part of our normal processes. We believe even the small number of videos we are able to protect will make a positive impact on the entire YouTube ecosystem, ensuring YouTube remains a place where creativity and expression can be rewarded.
The NY Times reports that one of the channels Google has offered to protect is UFO Theater, which is dedicated to debunking UFO reports.
Constantine Guiliotis, who goes by Dean, […] has received three takedown notices from copyright holders of videos that he has found online and posted channel […]
The site reposted the videos after its review and told Mr. Guiliotis it would defend him against any future legal action.
We’d imagine relatively few companies are likely to pursue claims that would be defended by Google’s deep pockets.
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