Fair Use Question of the Month: My Video Disappeared from YouTube...Now What?
In this month's fair use question, an online video creator wants to know what he can do after his video is taken down from YouTube.
Dear Center for Social Media,
I made a video commentary on common cliches used by stand-up comedians, and it got a lot of traffic when I posted it on YouTube. Suddenly my video disappeared, but I think my unlicensed uses were entirely fair. What do I do?
You need to revisit your arguments for your fair use of this material. You can get help by consulting the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video. Then, if you are still confident that your uses were fair, you can find out what kind of removal it was. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has great online resources (for instance,
eff.org/issues/intellectual-property/guide-to-youtube-removals ) to help you figure it out. If you are confident that you have a good reason, depending on the kind of removal you can issue a dispute or a counter-notice. A dispute is a simple explanation to YouTube of your fair use reason for using the material, and it is usually resolved very quickly. In the case of a counter-notice, you will have to provide information and accept your local federal court as a jurisdiction, if the copyright holder were to sue you. There was no evidence of a single lawsuit of a copyright holder against a typical YouTube user, as of 2010. If the copyright holder does not contest your claim, the video goes back up (and it usually does go right back up!)
The Center for Social Media
Helping People Make Media That Matters
We investigate, showcase and set standards for socially engaged media-making. We organize conferences and convenings, publish research, create codes of best practices, and incubate media strategies. More...