Posted by: pcordell | November 5, 2012

YouTube allows ‘private censoring’ of posts.

A stop at, broadened my understanding of the timely and practical aspects of copyright and fair use laws covered in this week’s readings.

An article I found on this watchdog website decried the poor performance of when it comes to protecting the fair use rights of YouTube users.  Reporter Jonathan Bailey contends:

everyday,(sic) dozens, if not hundreds, of such (fair-use-legal) clips get taken down by copyright holders. Part of the problem is rightsholders (sic) not showing much concern for fair use. (Bailey, 9-4-07,

He says the structure of YouTube is a big part of the problem, but another part is that YouTube doesn’t do anything proactive to protect its users’ rights.

Bailey describes a cycle:  A clip protected by fair use is uploaded. YouTube’s Content ID function returns a false match for “hashers” (people trained to look for clients’ copyrighted material), and two days later the video stops working.  A DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998) notice has been filed by the copyright holder and the clip has been removed.  The user could file a counter-notice, but after the 10 to 14 business days it takes to restore the clip, the post is no longer relevant.

YouTube has admitted to problems with false matches via its Content ID program, but has not yet commented on fair use protections.  (Bailey, 10-4-12,

Shouldn’t YouTube be held responsible (by embargo) for de facto infringement upon the rights (private censoring) of smaller businesses due to the “chilling effects” it places upon their commercial interests?

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