Google says that it will protect few content creators who have not broken video copyrights. The company believes that its stand against such lawsuits, even if limited, will help the YouTube community as well as original content creators identify and follow Fair Use policy.
The move by Google brings respite to YouTube content makers, both big and small. Currently, the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) lets video owners demand that a site take down its content. This law makes it almost impossible for YouTube users to copy existing music or TV clips in their videos, especially those reviewing TV shows or movies. Users can still fight the takedown by using the “counter notification order”. The process, however, is both expensive and tedious.
“We are offering legal support to a handful of videos that we believe represent clear fair uses which have been subject to DMCA takedowns. With approval of the video creators, we’ll keep the videos live on YouTube in the U.S., feature them in the YouTube Copyright Center as strong examples of fair use, and cover the cost of any copyright lawsuits brought against them,” Fred von Lohmann, Copyright Legal Director, said in a blog.
Google believes that its stand against the takedowns will help create a positive impact on the entire YouTube ecosystem.
Jacob Rich, a 20-year-old YouTube user told Mashable that Google’s move to offer legal aid to content creators is a “step in the right direction.” According to Rich, most of his videos are flagged for containing clips from other sources. About half of his videos have had ad revenue claimed automatically by other content creators.
DMCA takedowns, lawsuits and ad revenue claims aren’t the only problems faced by YouTube content creators. Users also have to deal with content piracy, which has increased after Facebook started supporting videos on its platform. Nonetheless, despite YouTube’s restrictive Fair Use policy, it prevents videos theft, ensuring that the original creators are recognized.