YouTube’s Copyright Robots Help Sony Shake Down Bluegrass Educators
A series of bluegrass history lectures has become the latest victim of the bullying that is enabled by content filtering systems like YouTube’s Content ID.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s safe harbors protect websites like YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, and many others against runaway copyright lawsuits. They also protect people’s fair use rights when they post their own creations online, by ensuring that online platforms don’t have to assume the risk of a user’s fair use case going the wrong way. But automated filtering and takedown systems on platforms like YouTube—systems that the DMCA doesn’t require—flag obvious fair uses as potential infringement, including educational work around the history of music itself. That’s why it’s alarming that major entertainment companies want Congress to scrap the DMCA’s safe harbor and make automatic filtering the law.