Since its founding in 2005 YouTube has been a groundbreaking platform where anyone can upload content.  It became extremely popular with many people as it was the first time they had an input into their entertainment.

Today, YouTube is one of the most well known and most popular entertainment platforms.  However YouTube is having some massive issues with copyright on their platform and it has been for sometime.  YouTube uses a policy of Fair use which states that some uses of copyright without permission from the creator/owner will be protected.  However many companies have started abusing these copyright laws.

The way the system works on YouTube is that if a company thinks a video contains copyrighted material that is not protected under fair use they can copyright strike that video and they then get any and all revenue from that video. Many companies have automatic detection for this but it can also be done manually.  If the creator of the video disagrees they can dispute/appeal the claim. However the company that originally claimed the video as infringing on their copyright then gets to decide whether the video is fair use or not. This is clearly a massive conflict of interests as the company are most likely to decide it’s not fair use in order to profit from the video.

The big issue here is that there are no checks in place to ensure that companies are not abusing the system or if there are, they’re not being implemented.  While for the Youtubers who’s videos get claimed there are consequences to getting copyright strikes. If a YouTubed gets 3 copyright strikes their channel is subject to termination.  Whereas there is no limit to the amount of copyright strikes a company can make and no consequences if the strike is found to be false.

The most likely effect of this (that we’re already starting to see) is that most Youtubers will just stop using any music altogether because it’s just not worth the risk of getting their channel taken down and losing their revenue.  You have to remember that many people rely on YouTube as a source of income and they need the revenue they make from it to support themselves. YouTube is a major source of publicity for artists and if less people share the music less people discover the artist.  Somehow artists fail to see that people talking about and sharing their work is good for them. Many Youtubers have begun to become frustrated by the lack of respect these companies have for the trust they are given to be fair to people using their content in accordance with the law.  Many are also worried that after Article 13 is passed that this copyright problem will only get worse.

However there is hope, many YouTubers have spoken out about the issues they’ve experienced and they’ve been urging YouTube to try and fix these issues.  One of the key advantages of a platform like YouTube is that everyone has a voice and they cannot be ignored.