As many have found out, posting a video on YouTube can be perilous if it contains material that you do not own copyright to. Currently Google (Youtube’s owners) will remove videos if they receive what is known as a ‘takedown notice’ from the entity claiming to be the copyright owner. In a case I blogged about several years ago, a video that NASA uploaded was automatically taken down because a news website had pointed to it.
Now Google has decided to provide some defense for those who are engaging in ‘fair use’ of copyrighted material. Fair use permits material to be posted if it is parodied, transformed or used for educational purposes (the exact details are rather more complicated and can be found on a WSU library website).
Google has announced it will legally intervene on behalf of these users, keep the videos up online, and even cover the costs of defending against copyright claims. You can read the juicy (and somewhat political) details in this article.
It will be interesting to see whether Google takes any flak on this.