Posted tagged ‘User-Generated Content’

YouTube under fire!

June 1, 2010

I’m a huge YouTube fan!

YouTube has revolutionized the Internet. The fact that you can watch (almost) whatever you want whenever you want is something that was intangible just a few years ago. It is commonly said that the Internet has made the world a smaller place, this could not be more there for YouTube. We are able to watch videos from any part of the world from decades ago. It’s an amazing thing!

But, time and time again YouTube has found itself in court over copyright infringements. YouTube hosts user-generated content, which means that people who post videos and share their stuff on YouTube are content creators. Some believe that if you look at YouTube simply as the platform, it’s no longer YouTube’s responsibility to monitor its content and impossible to know which stuff is unauthorized and which is not. Moreover, content creators are breaking the copyright law leaving YouTube to clean up the mess.

On the other hand, some say YouTube has built its business on an empire of unauthorized copyrighted contents. If you were to think of all the videos that you’ve watched on YouTube, how many of them do you think were originals? On YouTube upload page, you’ll see this disclaimer:

Do not upload any TV shows, music videos, music concert, or commercial without permission unless they consist entirely of content you created yourself. Pleas refer to our copyright tips page for some guidelines and links to help you determine whether your video infringes someone elses copyright.

In regards to their rules, the existence of YouTube is under question!

Now, what becomes of the contents on YouTube, the ones that are copyrighted stay on YouTube until their copyright owner notices them and complains. Then, they are removed.

   Anytime YouTube becomes aware that a video or any part of a video on our site infringes the copyrights of a third-party, we will take it down from the site as required by law. If you believe that a video on the site infringes your copyright, please send us a copyright notice and we’ll take it down. If you believe we’ve removed a video that you uploaded in error and that you are the copyright owner or have permission, you can file a counter notice and let us know. Accounts determined to be repeat infringers may be subject to termination. Users with suspended or terminated accounts are prohibited from creating new accounts or accessing YouTube’s community features.  

But nowadays, instead of automatically removing the video from YouTube, they give users the option if modifying the video by removing the music subject to the copyright claim and post the new version. This is more or less what the YouTube spokesperson said.

With everything that has been said, I think that if YouTube were to reach a certain agreement with the TV cables and music companies maybe it wouldn’t have to remove or mute video clips. What’s your take on it?