YouTube creators and their legions of fans will be pleased to know that YouTube has announced plans to defend the right of creators to use copyrighted material under the “fair use” exception.

What’s fair use? It’s an exception to the copyright law that enables people to use portions of copyrighted material for the purpose of “criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research,” as stated in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). If you’ve ever seen the sad red face on a video you wanted to watch, the DMCA may be involved. Even though YouTube itself falls under the “safe harbor” provision, content creators generally don’t. And some copyright holders can get very pushy against individuals.

youtube copyright fair use

A notice published on the Google Public Policy Blog says, “We’re doing this because we recognize that creators can be intimidated by the DMCA’s counter notification process, and the potential for litigation that comes with it. In addition to protecting the individual creator, this program could, over time, create a ‘demo reel’ that will help the YouTube community and copyright owners alike better understand what fair use looks like online and develop best practices as a community.”

You can see some examples of fair use videos in YouTube’s Copyright Center. For more details you can watch this video:


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Linda learned to play video games as a way to connect with her teenaged kids, and then she learned to love video games for their own sake. At Pixelkin she wrangles the business & management side of things, writes posts as often as she can, reaches out on the social media, and does the occasional panel or talk. She lives in Seattle, where she writes, studies, plays video games, spends time with her family, consumes vast quantities of science fiction, and looks after her small cockapoo. She loves to hear from people out there. You can read more about her at her website, Linda or her family foundation's website,