Posted by: Julia Ketchum
YouTube has become a huge internet success. Today, YouTube has over a billion users and everyday people across the globe watch hundreds of millions of hours of YouTube content. However, when YouTube was first created, it was unclear it would last. In 2007, Viacom sued YouTube since so much of its content was infringing copyrighted materials and Viacom argued YouTube did not do enough to monitor its own site. In response, unsure if the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) would protect YouTube from liability, YouTube began working on Content ID in 2007. Content ID allowed YouTube to begin noticing copyrighted material on YouTube prior to getting notification from the copyright holder. It also could show to the court that YouTube was playing a more active role in monitoring its own site. Viacom Intern. v. YouTube ended with YouTube being protected by the DMCA Act, protecting YouTube from liability so long as YouTube followed the process outlined in 17 U.S. Code § 512 of the DMCA. Despite YouTube being protected with DMCA, YouTube still implements its Content ID today. In this post, we will examine how copyright holders typically use bots to generate their copyright claims under 17 U.S.C. § 512 and the shortfalls with that. Then we will move to an analysis of YouTube’s Content ID and how it faces the same shortfalls the copyright holder bots face. Then we will conclude how both systems have failed to use a Fair Use analysis and solutions for the future.