In a bid to raise awareness about issues of ‘fair use,’ the site will provide legal aid to four users threatened with takedown notices.
When an online video creator receives a notice instructing them to take down a video because it contains copyrighted material — such as a snippet of a TV show or, until recently, even the song “Happy Birthday” — they often have few options but to comply.
Copyright battles can often prove expensive and drag on for years, presenting a challenge for video creators and for video sharing sites, which have often cracked down harshly in a bid to stop the spread of pirated material.
Now, YouTube is offering an alternative, announcing on Thursday that it will begin providing “legal support” to a handful of users so they can fight claims from copyright holders. If the copyright-holder sues, the tech giant will assist users by paying up to $1 million in legal fees.
The site, which is owned by Google, is offering aid to the creators of four videos that it says meet the standard of fair use, an exemption to US copyright law that allows new projects that make use of copyrighted material in a way that goes beyond the copyright holder’s original intent, for example by commenting, parodying, or satirizing it.
The company says the move is intended to correct some of the power balance that can be directed against content creators in the wake of the controversial 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which implemented digital rights management software often used to protect music or downloadable movies from online piracy.
Full Article – http://www.csmonitor.com/Technology/2015/1122/Why-YouTube-is-offering-legal-support-for-users-threatened-with-takedowns