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YouTube announced via its Public Policy blog it will offer legal protection for a small number of fair use content done by video creators. While an average of more than 400 hours get uploaded into YouTube each and every minute, some videos include content that may be copyrighted, but include social value such as critique or parody that is protected for fair use in the U.S. Yet, many complaints by various companies using the automated ContentID tool have brought down many videos for the wrong reasons.
“We are offering legal support to a handful of videos that we believe represent clear fair uses which have been subject to DMCA takedowns,” says the post written by Fred von Lohmann, Copyright Legal Director at YouTube. “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.”
Perhaps the most direct statement from Google is this one: “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.”
Though it sounds like a positive start from Google, the post does not indicate if any of this will help content creators who depend on monetization of their work. In many occasions, content creators have lost their earnings to people or companies who have made false claims, damaging the creators’ business. The post also does not say anything about Let’s Play videos.
[Source]: Google Public Policy: A Step Toward Protecting Fair Use on YouTube.