Fair use is dead – at least on YouTube
As I sat down to check my email today, I was confused to find a Copyright Infringement notification in my inbox from YouTube. The letter is available in full below.
The video in question (now available without sound, courtesy of YouTube) is a 90 second long trailer that I mashed up from some homemade footage before one of the LAN-parties we had at my old school, Tullinge Gymnasium. It was a small, local production that had attracted a little over 500 views, and compared to some other videos using the same song, I’d say mine was one of the clearest fair use cases. Frankly, my first reaction was how someone from an american recording label was even looking at one of my videos. YouTube did not have option to claim fair usage, but instead only to either remove the sound, change the audio track or contact them regarding a false copyright claim. This is definitely not good practice and I’m sure my case isn’t the first of its kind. For now there really isn’t anything to do, but hopefully the staff over at YouTube is working on improving their service.