Copyright Fair Use and Let's Plays/Walkthroughs on YouTube
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October 15th, 2010 (9:28 AM).
Join Date: Sep 2004
The reason people seem to get alot of videos removed is because not everyone knows that they can file a counter claim. Often, these copyright claims are false, but youtube takes the videos down anyway. An example is a user/company called SanomaNL. Who are these guys? Well, try uploading an LP of Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time, and see how fast your videos get removed because this third party reviewing site claims ownership of some of the material. Obviously, they aren't the rightful owners. Insomniac Games is, and they've actually come out and said that SanomaNL has been filing false claims, right on their official site. Reviewing or even Let's Playing video games falls under the 'posting videos with commentary' category, which is indeed protected by the Fair Use Act.
So why does youtube still take down the videos whenever this user files a claim, even though it's publicly known that they don't own the material? Why don't they verify it instead? Well, because they don't have to. All they have to do is check to see if the person filing the claim is actually who they say they are. They don't check to see if the video really is violating a copyright. They don't check to see if the user in question uploaded the video first on that account or any other alternate account they have. It would take them years to do that with all the claims they get each day. They just take it down.
So what do you do? Well, if something like this happens to any of you, the best thing to do is file a counter claim. Youtube has to answer all counter claims (in fact, I think they have to do it by law), and as long as it isn't the actual company in question filing the DMCA claim, you should be able to get your videos back on the site in a couple weeks once youtube realizes there's commentary in them. And once you file the claim, that user is flagged on your profile and youtube usually won't remove any more of your videos because of them.
Furthermore, they file these claims under penalty of perjury (as stated on the claim form). So when you file the counter claim, mention it, because perjury is a federal crime and there might be legal action against these guys because of it. They file these claims often times just to spite someone on youtube, and most of the time, they get away with it, because people just don't realize that there are things they can do about it.
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