YouTube copyright strike

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A copyright strike on YouTube YoutubeCopyrightStrike.png
A copyright strike on YouTube

A YouTube copyright strike is a copyright policing practice used by YouTube for the purpose of managing copyright infringement and complying with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. [1] The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is the basis for the design of the YouTube copyright strike system. [1] For YouTube to retain DMCA safe harbor protection, it must respond to copyright infringement claims with a notice and take down process. [1] YouTube's own practice is to issue a "YouTube copyright strike" on the user accused of copyright infringement. [1] When a YouTube user gets hit with a copyright strike, they will be required to watch a warning video about the rules of copyright and take trivia questions about the danger of copyright. [2] When a YouTube user has three copyright strikes, YouTube terminates that user's YouTube channel, removes all of their videos from that user's YouTube channel, and prohibits that user from creating another YouTube channel. [1] [3]


YouTube assigns strikes based on reports of copyright violations from bots. [4]

Some users have expressed concern that the strike process is unfair to users. [5] The complaint is that the system assumes guilt of YouTube users and takes the side of copyright holders even when no infringement has occurred. [5]

YouTube and Nintendo were criticised by Cory Doctorow, a writer for the blog Boing Boing , due to them reportedly treating video game reviewers unfairly by threatening them with strikes. [6]

Reasons for strikes

Disagreements about what constitutes fair use

Fair use is a legal rationale for reusing copyrighted content in a limited way, such as to discuss or criticize other media. Various YouTube creators have reported receiving copyright strikes for using media in the context of fair use. [7]

Suppression of criticism

Various YouTube creators have reported receiving copyright strikes on videos which are critical of corporate products. They claim that a claim of copyright violation is actually a strategy to suppress criticism. [8]

Strikes for posting own work

Copyright strikes have also been issued against creators themselves. [9] Miracle of Sound's channel was hit with multiple copyright strikes as a result of automated strikes by the distributor of their own music. [10]

Strikes for works in the public domain

In a similar incident to such strikes, though in another forum, Sony issued an automated copyright strike against James Rhodes for a video on Facebook of him playing part of a piece by Bach, on the grounds that they owned the copyright on a similar recording, and when the strike was challenged, asserted that they owned the rights to the work, before finally admitting that Bach's compositions are in the public domain. [11]

Strikes for unknown reasons

Some publishers on YouTube report not understanding why they have received strikes. [12]

Related Research Articles

Cory Doctorow Canadian-British blogger, journalist, and science fiction author

Cory Efram Doctorow is a Canadian-British blogger, journalist, and science fiction author who serves as co-editor of the blog Boing Boing. He is an activist in favour of liberalising copyright laws and a proponent of the Creative Commons organization, using some of their licences for his books. Some common themes of his work include digital rights management, file sharing, and post-scarcity economics.

Boing Boing is a website, first established as a zine in 1988, later becoming a group blog. Common topics and themes include technology, futurism, science fiction, gadgets, intellectual property, Disney, and left-wing politics. It twice won the Bloggies for Weblog of the Year, in 2004 and 2005. The editors are Mark Frauenfelder, Cory Doctorow, David Pescovitz, Xeni Jardin and Rob Beschizza, and the publisher is Jason Weisberger.

Open Library Online project for book data of the Internet Archive

Open Library is an online project intended to create "one web page for every book ever published". Created by Aaron Swartz, Brewster Kahle, Alexis Rossi, Anand Chitipothu, and Rebecca Malamud, Open Library is a project of the Internet Archive, a nonprofit organization. It has been funded in part by grants from the California State Library and the Kahle/Austin Foundation. Open Library provides online access to many public domain and out-of-print books.

YouTube Video-sharing service owned by Google

YouTube is an American video-sharing platform headquartered in San Bruno, California. Three former PayPal employees—Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim—created the service in February 2005. Google bought the site in November 2006 for US$1.65 billion; YouTube now operates as one of Google's subsidiaries.

Copyfraud False copyright claims to public domain content

A copyfraud is a false copyright claim by an individual or institution with respect to content that is in the public domain. Such claims are wrongful, at least under U.S. and Australian copyright law, because material that is not copyrighted is free for all to use, modify and reproduce. Copyfraud also includes overreaching claims by publishers, museums and others, as where a legitimate copyright owner knowingly, or with constructive knowledge, claims rights beyond what the law allows.

Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act part of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, a law in the United States, granting conditional safe harbor

The Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act (OCILLA) is United States federal law that creates a conditional safe harbor for online service providers (OSP) by shielding them for their own acts of direct copyright infringement as well as shielding them from potential secondary liability for the infringing acts of others. OCILLA was passed as a part of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and is sometimes referred to as the "Safe Harbor" provision or as "DMCA 512" because it added Section 512 to Title 17 of the United States Code. By exempting Internet intermediaries from copyright infringement liability provided they follow certain rules, OCILLA attempts to strike a balance between the competing interests of copyright owners and digital users.

Corey Vidal Canadian YouTuber

Corey Vidal is a Canadian YouTube content creator and entrepreneur. His YouTube videos have been seen over 100 million times and he has over 200,000 subscribers. In December 2007, Corey was one of the first Canadians to join the YouTube Partnership Program. In February 2013 he was named Niagara's Entrepreneur of the Year in Innovative Small Business for his video production company ApprenticeA Productions. He is the founder of Buffer Festival.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act copyright law in the United States of America

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a 1998 United States copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures that control access to copyrighted works. It also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet. Passed on October 12, 1998, by a unanimous vote in the United States Senate and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on October 28, 1998, the DMCA amended Title 17 of the United States Code to extend the reach of copyright, while limiting the liability of the providers of online services for copyright infringement by their users.

<i>Lenz v. Universal Music Corp.</i>

Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., 801 F.3d 1126, is a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, affirming the ruling in 2008 of the US District Court for the Northern District of California, holding that copyright holders must consider fair use in good faith before issuing a takedown notice for content posted on the Internet.

<i>Viacom International Inc. v. YouTube, Inc.</i> U.S. District Court case

Viacom International, Inc. v. YouTube, Inc., No. 07 Civ. 2103, is a U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York case in which Viacom sued YouTube, a video-sharing site owned by Google, alleging that YouTube had engaged in "brazen" and "massive" copyright infringement by allowing users to upload and view hundreds of thousands of videos owned by Viacom without permission. A motion for summary judgment seeking dismissal was filed by Google and was granted in 2010 on the grounds that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's "safe harbor" provisions shielded Google from Viacom's copyright infringement claims. In 2012, on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, it was overturned in part. On April 18, 2013, District Judge Stanton again granted summary judgment in favor of defendant YouTube. An appeal was begun, but the parties settled in March 2014.

<i>Capitol Records, Inc. v. MP3Tunes, LLC</i> US legal case

Capitol Records, Inc. v. MP3tunes, LLC is a 2011 case from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York concerning copyright infringement and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). In the case, EMI Music Group and fourteen other record companies claimed copyright infringement against MP3tunes, which provides online music storage lockers, and MP3tunes's founder, Michael Robertson. In a decision that has ramifications for the future of online locker services, the court held that MP3tunes qualifies for safe harbor protection under the DMCA. However, the court found MP3tunes to still be liable for contributory copyright infringement in this case due to its failure to remove infringing songs after receiving takedown notices. The court also held that Robertson is liable for songs he personally copied from unauthorized websites.

<i>Ouellette v. Viacom International Inc.</i>

Ouellette v. Viacom, No. 9:10-cv-00133; 2011 WL 1882780, found the safe harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) did not create liability for service providers that take down non-infringing works. This case limited the claims that can be filed against service providers by establishing immunity for service providers' takedown of fair use material, at least from grounds under the DMCA. The court left open whether another "independent basis of liability" could serve as legal grounds for an inappropriate takedown. Thus, service providers can rest easier knowing that they do not have to do a fair use analysis of content suspected of infringing copyright.

Lets Play Walkthrough of a video game

A Let's Play (LP) is a video documenting the playthrough of a video game, usually including commentary or a camera view of the gamer's face. A Let's Play differs from a video game walkthrough or strategy guide by focusing on an individual's subjective experience with the game, often with humorous, irreverent, or critical commentary from the gamer, rather than being an objective source of information on how to progress through the game. While Let's Plays and live streaming of game playthroughs are related, Let's Plays tend to be curated experiences that include editing and scripted narration, while streaming is an unedited experience performed on the fly.

Rumblefish Inc. is a music licensing company specializing in all forms of synchronization licensing with a focus on 'micro-licensing' and online network monetization such as with YouTube's Content ID. It covers over 1.8 million pieces of music and it licenses over 20,000 soundtracks on more than nine million social videos.

Copyright law of South Korea is regulated by the Copyright Act of 1957. It has been amended several times, with a recent 2009 revision introducing a three strikes policy for online copyright infringement.

Critical Commons organization

Critical Commons is an online repository of user-generated media. The archive is a project of the Media Arts and Practice division of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. The project supports the fair use of copyrighted media by educators.

Warner/Chappell Music Inc. et al. v. Fullscreen Inc. et al. (13-cv-05472) was a case against multi-channel network Fullscreen (company), filed by the National Music Publishers Association on behalf of Warner/Chappell Music and 15 other music publishers, which alleged that Fullscreen illegally reaped the profits of unlicensed cover videos on YouTube without paying any royalties to the rightful publishers and songwriters.

YouTube has various copyright protection methods, such as copyright strikes, Content ID and Copyright Verification Program. However over the years these have been criticized for favoring corporations and unfair claims on videos.

Video game live streaming Internet broadcasting of video game play

People who live stream their video game play, either by hobby or profession, are known as streamers. The practice became popular in the mid-2010s on sites such as Twitch and later, YouTube, Facebook and other services. By 2014, Twitch streams had more traffic than HBO's online service. Professional streamers often combine high-level play and entertaining commentary, and earn income from sponsors, subscriptions, and donations.

Content ID is a digital fingerprinting system developed by Google which is used to easily identify and manage copyrighted content on YouTube. Videos uploaded to YouTube are compared against audio and video files registered with Content ID by content owners, looking for any matches. Content owners have the choice to have matching content taken down or to monetize it. The system began to be implemented around 2007. By 2016, it had cost $60 million to develop and led to around $2 billion in payments to copyright holders. By 2018, Google had invested at least $100 million into the system.


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  5. 1 2 staff (21 May 2010). "Is YouTube's three-strike rule fair to users?". BBC News . Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  6. Cory Doctorow (Mar 27, 2015). "Youtube and Nintendo conspire to steal from game superfans". Boing Boing . Retrieved 13 July 2016.
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  8. Eordogh, Fruzsina (1 September 2018). "TikTok's Owners Falsely Copyright Strike Criticism Of App". Forbes.
  9. Weiss, Geoff (6 July 2018). "YouTube Guitarist Claims He Got A Copyright Strike For Infringing Upon His Own Song - Tubefilter". Tubefilter.
  10. Doctorow, Cory (5 September 2018). "The future is here today: you can't play Bach on Facebook because Sony says they own his compositions". BoingBoing.
  11. Klepek, Patrick (27 October 2015). "Atlus Keeps Hitting Tiny YouTube Channels With Copyright Strikes". Kotaku Australia.