YouTube explains copyright-related deletions

YouTube contacts video game channel owners to clarify copyright policies

When I was a young video game player, when I got stuck on a level, I would have to powwow with my friends at the lunch table. We’d discuss possible strategies and tips, and eventually we’d work our way through a level together. These days, though, gamers that get stuck in a tricky spot can turn to the Internet, seeking out helpful videos that walk players through every level and secret of a game. That is, unless those videos violate copyright.

That is an issue that has come up recently, as YouTube recently cracked down on copyright violations on its site. In mid-December, many YouTube channels that feature video game walkthroughs received automated notices of copyright violation from site management. This has been problematic, to say the least, especially since many of these channels claimed that they received explicit permission to use copyrighted footage from the game publishers themselves.

Now, though, YouTube has sent out an email intended to clarify its policy. The message explained that YouTube had instituted a new system to scan its channels, which resulted in more automated copyright messages.

One of the core issues that makes this matter so complicated is that these videos often span a range of copyrighted material. The game publisher may hold certain rights, but there may be a separate rights holder for the featured music. A large number of the recent claims have, indeed, focused on music.

The email from YouTube suggested steps that channels could take in order to address copyright-related issues but was mute on the issue of false and baseless claims. 

"If you're creating videos with content from other people, remember that rights ownership can be complicated and different owners have different policies," the email stated. Clearly, YouTube is looking to address the sticky issue of copyright on the Internet, but a lack of planning, precision and logic seems to have led the site to lose a life.


For more copyright news, check out the following:

IP: Thinking ahead about 3D printing

AIPLA taps Lex Machina for legal analytics

File trading website must pay $80 million for copyright violations

Senior Editor and Community Manager

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Rich Steeves

Richard P. Steeves is Senior Editor and Community Manager of InsideCounsel magazine, where he covers the intellectual property and compliance beats. Rich earned a B.A....

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