In a blog posting on Thursday, November 19, Google’s Copyright Legal Director Fred von Lohmann wrote that YouTube will be taking action to protect several of those who have been the target of copyright takedowns through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). This legislation was passed in 1998 to help protect Intellectual Properties from piracy has been used on YouTube content creators as a means of silencing criticism or unfavorable coverage. The best known cases of this happening have been to YouTube creators Super Bunnyhop with Konami using a DMCA strike against his video on the relationship between Konami and Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima and critic Jim Sterling with the game developers Digital Homicide, Digpex games and Kobra Studios all issuing copyright claims against his Best of Steam Greenlight videos of their games. Both creators appealed these claims and only after the 30 day waiting period, where the copyright holders did not take action against, did their videos return to YouTube.
Lohmann on his blog post stated:
We are offering legal support to a handful of videos that we believe represent clear fair uses which have been subject to DMCA takedowns. With approval of the video creators, we’ll keep the videos live on YouTube in the U.S., feature them in the YouTube Copyright Center as strong examples of fair use, and cover the cost of any copyright lawsuits brought against them.
In addition to applying a strict review to content claims made against several channels, YouTube will also be offering up to $1 million in aid towards any legal defense that comes out of content creators having to defend themselves in court against copyright holders. It has yet to be seen yet if any copyright holder has tried to challenge these new guidelines.
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