YouTube content creators have always been a prime target for copyright holders, and while some of their lawsuits and takedown requests are understandable, many of them are just blatant attempts to steal ad revenue or censor content that are clearly fair use. While there have been a number of organized efforts to combat DMCA abuse in recent years, YouTube itself hasn’t been very helpful, but that’s about to change. This morning, the company announced that it plans to increase its efforts to protect its content creators from malicious copyright holders, and will even compensate some of them for the legal costs of fighting copyright holders.
YouTube announced this morning plans to up its efforts in protecting video creators from copyright takedown requests for videos that should otherwise be classified as “fair use.” The company says that, in select cases, it will compensate creators whose videos have been subject to these takedown notices for up to $1 million in legal costs in the event the takedown results in a lawsuit for copyright infringement. The videos will remain live on YouTube, during this process. The new initiative is part of a growing effort to fight back against DMCA abuse. The DMCA, or Digital Millennium Copyright Act, has long since been wielded by copyright holders who use the law to take down videos that should fall under the protections provided by “fair use.” Intended to crackdown on Internet piracy, the DMCA seems to be more often used these days to interfere with free expression, creativity, innovation, competition, and more. In addition, thanks to technology improvements over the years, the process for getting videos pulled down by way of DMCA takedown requests has been automated. The fallout has affected everything from political ads to things like a video of a baby bopping along to a Prince song – the latter which actually made it to the U.S. Court of Appeals as a result of a legal effort to fight back against these unjust takedowns.