Friday, April 23, 2010

Good news regarding YouTube and copyright trolls

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Having just bemoaned how copyright trolls constantly get perfectly legit videos yanked from YouTube by filing bogus copyright infringement claims, @cyrilthefish in the comments points out what seems to be a bit of very good news:

Google has improved highlighted its ContentID copyright enforcement system for YouTube, a "fair use" button for people who've had their videos taken offline (like all those people who created Hitler/Downfall parodies). The way the new system works: after your video is taken down by a copyright complaint, you have the option to contest the complaint, either because you dispute the copyright claim itself, or because you believe you have a fair use defense. Click the button, and your video goes straight back up (and the people who sent the original takedown have to go to court to get it taken offline again).

If this is true – that restoring an unfairly yanked video is as easy as a mere click of a button (literally) – then this is a splendid move on Google’s part. Of course, an even better approach to the copyright trolls problem would be to require anyone who submits a copyright infringement claim to present hard evidence that their target video truly is infringing on their (or someone else’s) “intellectual property” – AND that it isn’t, in fact, protected by the Fair Use doctrine. Still, though, this is a brilliant feature that everyone ought to know about, particularly those who are frequent victims of bogus copyright infringement claims against their legit videos.