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Fair use and copyright on YouTube

YouTube is a website where people from all over the world can upload and share videos. It was created in 2005 to let users publish and share films with others. It is regarded as the largest website in the industry and has accumulated a sizable user base over the years. Currently, a large number of individuals are employed by YouTube, both as employees of the firm and as creators based there.

People can publish music, video, artwork, commentary, reviews, video game playthroughs, and a variety of other sorts of content that is widely accessible for both public and ad-equated financial gain. The technique of monetization, along with the many alliances and agreements that enable people to make money from uploading videos to YouTube, was gradually included in the system.

Due to a large number of businesses, institutions, and independent artists using the platform, as well as the possibility to monetize, issues with fair use and copyright have also started to appear. Since the video-sharing service is free, some users try to make money off of the work of others by stealing, reposting, or passing off existing footage as their own in order to acquire popularity.

Another serious issue is the way that malicious entities have unfairly removed films they do not like using YouTube's Copyright system in various instances. Both of these problems are the result of intentional misuse or misinterpretation of the ideas of fair use and copyright.

Relation To Youtube And Copyright Is Fair Use

Copyright is a law and a type of intellectual property that is used to give credit to the authors of non-physical works. The original expression of an idea can be safeguarded via copyright against theft, modification, and other types of infringement that could be detrimental to the author. In the digital age, when there is a greater prevalence of online work sharing and a greater need to properly acknowledge authors and protect their rights, copyright has gained ground.

Creators can share their work on the YouTube platform while still maintaining their ownership of the original content. The vastness of the site and the ease with which anyone may publish recordings, however, make it fairly challenging to actually enforce the law. Without permission, content is frequently stolen, reposted, and repurposed. This is especially more obvious when it comes to the intellectual property of large enterprises, businesses, or authors who are not part of the platform.

On YouTube, their works are frequently promoted and replicated without their express consent or even against the law. As a platform where content may be freely shared with the public, YouTube is closely related to online piracy. The reporting mechanism was created to address this issue, although it is not perfect.

Due to the platform's vastness, demands copyright infringement are processed by algorithms rather than by real people, who are unable to fully comprehend their use of copyrighted material or the veracity of the claims made. This makes the process of appealing for copyright infringement unregulated and unreliable. Smaller creators are frequently forced to wait months for manual examinations of their claims by YouTube staff even unable to communicate with others, leaving their problems unaddressed.

Another crucial idea to comprehend in relation to YouTube and copyright is fair use. The term refers to the legitimate use of content that complies with existing copyright laws. As it stands, content producers and website users are permitted to utilize a piece of another person's content as long as it is done in a way that does not diminish or take away from the original's purpose.

Reviews and commentaries, which are based on reflection and reaction, are therefore permitted to use a portion of the original copyrighted content without violating the law if their content adds value to the original or sufficiently alters it. Fair Use was created to encourage people to be more creative and to change the works they have created for the website and other areas of the internet.

The issue then comes from those who either don't understand how fair use is used or intentionally interpret the law incorrectly to advance their own goals. Many times, content owners and businesses demand that their material be deleted from films that have utilized it lawfully, disregarding the fundamentals of fair use in the process.

This hinders producers' efforts and stunts the platform's growth. The situation is made worse by the automation of the copyright infringement reviews that were previously stated. Considering that there is frequently no central authority to which persons can resort in order to dispute the accusations brought against them.

Any copyright infringement claims that are met by complaints go straight to the person who made the claim, making the procedure for removing copyright strikes biased and unfair to lawful content publishers.

Case Laws
  • Shree Krishna International Film Productions v Google India and YouTube LLC, 2019 Suneel Darshan, a well-known film producer and owner of Shree Krishna International (the Plaintiff), filed a lawsuit against Google Inc., Google India Pvt. Ltd., and YouTube LLC (the Defendants) in the District Court of Gurgaon, Delhi NCR, alleging copyright violations of his sound recordings, cinematograph films, and audio-visual works. The plaintiff claimed that YouTube's popular "YouTube Downloader" feature was unauthorized to upload the content.

    The plaintiff denied granting the defendants authorization to keep, broadcast, or otherwise publish the works. The unlicensed downloader and the defendants shared the advertising money or other gains from the illicit exploitation of the plaintiff's copyrighted works, causing the plaintiff considerable financial losses. The court held that the defendants breached the plaintiff's copyright for the songs and substance of her Hindi movies and caused her financial loss. The court granted the plaintiff INR 50,000 and restrained the defendants and others from repeating the violation.
  • Patanjali Ayurveda Limited & another v Google LLC & others, 2019 CS (OS) 104/2019 & I.A. 2577/2019 In response to a lawsuit brought by Patanjali Ayurveda Limited and Baba Ramdev, the Delhi High Court ordered YouTube to remove a video that purportedly disparaged Patanjali products.

    Since the video allegedly made various threats, insulting, and defamatory claims about Patanjali Products, Patanjali and Baba Ramdev requested a permanent injunction against it. Additionally, they requested a court order to force Google, YouTube, and Facebook to remove the video and all links to it from both Indian and foreign domains. The court ordered Facebook to make sure that connections to the video are removed from its platform in addition to ordering YouTube to remove the video.

    The court further noted that the video had broken both the self-imposed rules of these platforms as well as the law because of its explicit and disparaging language. This is in response to a previous court ruling mandating the removal of the video from these platforms' Indian domains. To help Patanjali take further action, the court also ordered YouTube to give any information it has about the person who uploaded the video.
  • Viacom Int'l, Inc. v YouTube 940 F. Supp. 2d 110 (S.D.N.Y. 2013) Viacom, a large international media firm, filed a lawsuit against YouTube for numerous instances of copyright infringement on its platform. Viacom International, Inc: The corporation claims that the site violates copyright by allowing users to republish and distribute videos that explicitly contain Viacom content. The district court's decision to grant summary judgment to YouTube should be overturned.

According to the appellate court, even though the district court correctly determined that 17 U.S.C. 512(c)(1)(A) requires knowledge or awareness of facts or circumstances that indicate specific and recognizable instances of infringement. The appeal court held that a reasonable jury may determine that YouTube had knowledge or understanding under 512(c)(1)(A) with regard to at least a few particular clips. Additionally, the appellate court ruled that it was incorrect to read the "right and power to restrict infringing activities" to mean that item-specific knowledge was necessary.

YouTube is a solid platform for content creators and people all around the world since it gives them the freedom to publish videos and attract viewers. The systems in place for defending the rights of authors and larger organizations have flaws. Requests cannot be manually examined, which results in numerous instances of misuse and improper treatment.

Smaller producers suffer the most because they lack the voice, influence, or authority to effectively voice their grievances, and as a result, their issues frequently get buried in a sea of information. Before they are completely effective, the current copyright infringement and fair use restrictions used on the web must undergo significant adjustments.

  • Fair use on YouTube -YouTube Help.
  • How YouTube Prevents Content Piracy - How YouTube Works.
Written By: Khushboo Agarwal, BBA LLB 4th Year - Mody University of Science and Technology, Laxmangarh, Rajasthan

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