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YouTube's Fair Use Policy

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Communications
Wordcount: 1196 words Published: 21st Jun 2018

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In this day and age, technology is constantly changing, thus the Internet is a prominent place of self-discovery, and unfortunately a place of digital intellectual property fraud. With YouTube being the top video website of this century, it has recognized intellectual property fraud and accurately taken action in implementing the appropriate laws and regulations to keep up with the changing digital copyright issues. In this essay, I will discuss the ways in which YouTube has created a fair and reasonable method of dealing with digital copyright within their company through fair use, content ID’s, and the affects and rewards given to those who take part in misuse.

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The United States constructs their copyright laws off the principle of “fair use”. This meaning, that under certain circumstances, copyright is acceptable within the use of teaching, scholarship, research, criticism, commentary ,and news reporting according to U.S. judges (YouTube, “What is Fair Use”). Four factors are taken into consideration when determining whether a use is fair, or unfair; YouTube follows this policy as well. These factors include: the purpose and character of the use, the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount and substantiality of the portion, and the effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of the copyrighted work (YouTube, “What is Fair Use”). The purpose and character of the use discusses whether it is of a profitable nature or for charitable informative purposes. Judges naturally clue in on whether the use is interchangeable, meaning, whether it incorporates fresh content, importance of the original, or if it is absolute duplicates from the original. The nature of the copyrighted work bases its evaluation of the content from mostly realistic works; they are more expected to be fair than the use of fictitious based works. The amount and substantiality of the portion is used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole. Borrowing small bits of material from an original work is more likely to be considered fair use than borrowing large portions, however, even a small amount borrowed may rule against fair use in some situations if it constitutes the message or “heart” of the work. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work considers the uses that are harming to the copyright owner’s ability to profit from his or her original work. These examples are more likely to be unfair uses. Parodies, or remixes have sometimes been an exception within courts (YouTube, “What is Fair Use”).

Copyright users use Content ID’s for the purpose of keeping track of their own personal online content, in the sense of intellectual property issues. When YouTube members input their videos onto the website, they are automatically scanned for content misconduct compared to all other posts. According to the users choice of policy for their video, if content ID detects intellectual property fraud, that specific policy will be put into action towards the work (YouTube, “How Content ID works”). Monetize, block, and track are the three copyright policies within YouTube that a user may choose from. The monetize policy focuses on advertising that the user did not give permission to, emerge before, or on top of the video, thus the owner may apply a monetary agreement. If the owner of the video has chosen the blocking policy, the video may result in having the audio detached, or the video may not be available for viewing on the site, they will also have control of what countries the fraud video will be allowed to be viewed within. This means that while you cannot hear nor watch your video, people in other locations may be able to (YouTube, “How Content ID works”). Tracking policy does not affect your video in any physical way, though all information including statistics will appear on the original owners account (YouTube, “How Content ID works”). YouTube does give users a chance to fight these policies, if they feel as though they were false (YouTube, “How Content ID works”).

YouTube gives out fair penalties when dealing with copyright offenders, for example, if one of your videos was to be taken down because of a copyright infringement, then your account would receive a single strike. According to the guidelines, if your account has three strikes it will be suspended right away. If the account contains tracked videos then your video will not be affected, but the owner of the video has the right to track viewership through statistics which can be accessed through their YouTube Analytics account. Any claims that you believe were made in error, can be argued against straight from that page (YouTube, “How copyright claims may affect your video”). If your YouTube channel has no Community Guideline strikes, copyright strikes and videos that have been blocked worldwide by Content ID, then your channel would be considered to be in good standing. If it is the case that your account is in good standing with no penalties then you are rewarded with access to certain features and programs that are not offered otherwise. Some of these rewarded features include: In Video Programming, Custom video thumbnails, and YouTube Live (Youtube, “Keep your YouTube account in good standing”). If ones YouTube account does not have a good record, receiving multiple strikes of any kind can have serious consequences for your channel beyond hurting your account standing. You have several options to regain good account standing, depending on the violation. A user who’s account with has a Community Guideline strike, will have the option of either appealing the strike or waiting for it to expire in the condition that you do no receive another strike for a six month period. In the case that you get a copyright strike, you have the options of: waiting six months until it expires, asking the person who has claimed your video to undo their claim, and finally you may submit a counter-notification (YouTube, “How copyright claims may affect your video”).

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With technology evolving and the World Wide Web growing, video based websites are gaining popularity along with substantial growth. As we identified, YouTube recognizes this and follows a very stern, yet fair copyright policy by using fair use, content ID’s, and the penalties and rewards in order to deal with digital intellectual property misconduct. The United States constructs their copyright dues off the principle of “fair use” and follows four factors to determine whether or not the situation is applicable; content ID’s allow YouTube members to track their original videos to see if there has been any activity on YouTube that involves them, and copyright; lastly YouTube applies penalties and rewards when dealing with copyright crime within their company. Technology will only continue to evolve, and YouTube will need to improve and alter their policies when dealing with this issue in the future, along with many others video based websites.


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