YouTube is to protect some of the best examples of fair use on its platform by 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, YouTube intends to keep the videos live on YouTube in the US, feature them in the YouTube Copyright Center as strong examples of fair use, and cover the cost of any copyright lawsuits brought against them.
“While we can’t offer legal protection to every video creator—or even every video that has a strong fair use defence—we’ll continue to resist legally unsupported DMCA takedowns as part of our normal processes,” writes YouTube Copyright Legal Director Fred von Lohmann in a post. “We believe even the small number of videos we are able to protect will make a positive impact on the entire YouTube ecosystem, ensuring YouTube remains a place where creativity and expression can be rewarded.”
More than 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Some of those uploads make use of existing content, like music or TV clips, in new and transformative ways that have social value beyond the original (such as a parody or critique). In the US this activity is often protected by fair use.