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Google announces new YouTube fair use protection program, will help defend gaming channels

Google launches their new Youtube fair use protection program to stop false copyright claims from taking down content.

Google stated today that they are stepping up to defend fair use for YouTube, and even will go so far as to defend some of the best examples in court, if it comes to it.

We've all felt the effects of YouTube's copyright takedowns, whether it was a critical review you wanted to watch, or just some footage you recorded of yourself playing a game. It's gotten to the point where developers will abuse the system and make false copyright claims to take down videos they don't want to see the light of day.

It was pretty easy to "claim" copyright and have Youtube automatically flag a video for removal. 

In fact, it's gotten so bad that in the past, SEGA was able to go and flag any video with Shining Force game footage and have them removed, fair use or not.

For YouTubers and content creators, this can be a pretty intimidating aspect. What is the little guy supposed to do against a big company like SEGA, even if their copyright claims are false?

It is important then, and much welcomed that Youtube is publicly stepping up to the plate to defend fair use. No longer will a developer be able to claim copyright on a review video just because it gave a bad score.

That's why YouTube's new fair use protection program is a welcome breath of fresh air.

"We’re doing this because we recognize that creators can be intimidated by the DMCA’s counter notification process, and the potential for litigation that comes with it (for more background on the DMCA and copyright law see check out this Copyright Basics video)," said Fred von Lohmann, Google's copyright legal director.

"In addition to protecting the individual creator, this program could, over time, create a “demo reel” that will help the YouTube community and copyright owners alike better understand what fair use looks like online and develop best practices as a community."

Jim Sterling also highlights why this is a victory for fair use, but how we still haven't won the war just yet: 

All in all this is pretty good news. What do you guys think? Is Google championing fair rights a win/win?

Published Nov. 19th 2015

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