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YouTube Changing Policy to Prevent Mistaken Video Takedowns, but More Needs to Happen, says Critics

( [email protected] ) Mar 01, 2016 03:20 PM EST
Last month, we covered the recent problems that Internet video celebrities like Doug Walker were having with YouTube constantly taking their videos down.  In response, Doug has made several videos criticizing YouTube's policies, and other Internet critics have also taken the time to make videos devoted to putting YouTube's questionable takedowns in the spotlight.  It would appear that these critics are starting to get a response from the big video-sharing company, and this also includes some from many gamers who are upset that their Call of Duty clips have been taken down.  Is YouTube finally giving these protesters the response that they want?
YouTube, are you responding to your many critics? Getty Images

Last month, we covered the recent problems that Internet video celebrities like Doug Walker were having with YouTube constantly taking their videos down.  In response, Doug has made several videos criticizing YouTube's policies, and other Internet critics have also taken the time to make videos devoted to putting YouTube's questionable takedowns in the spotlight.  It would appear that these critics are starting to get a response from the big video-sharing company, and this also includes some from many gamers who are upset that their Call of Duty clips have been taken down.  Is YouTube finally giving these protesters the response that they want?

These content creators believe that the clips that they use are protected by Fair Use, which is a brief exception where copyrighted videos can be shown verbatim briefly, in such uses like criticism, news reporting, teaching, without the need to obtain formal permission from the copyright holder. Unfortunately, YouTube's automation will often take down videos that they believe are in violation of copyrighted content, which has led to the taking down of many videos which shouldn't be taken down.  To make matters worse, these content creators have received no human contact from YouTube for their complaints. 

Engadget reports that in response to the mounting complaints, YouTube has revealed that it has created a team focused on "minimizing mistakes" that take videos down without a legitimate cause.  There are also promising transparency when it strips videos of revenue, which was a big factor with Doug Walker's case, as he was not able to monetize his videos for three weeks. 

YouTube has also promised that it will "strengthen communications" between YouTube support and video makers, but nothing more detailed than that.  As it stands, YouTube is now in a situation where it needs to do something about the number of content creators who claim that the Google-owned company is pulling legitimate videos.  If YouTube keeps doing this practice with an overly automated system, then many of its YouTube stars will completely jump ship. 

After all, a lot of video gaming videos could just go to Twitch, and there are other video places besides YouTube.  Some of the biggest YouTube stars could just go to the alternatives, which would take away business from YouTube.  YouTube is going to need to change their policies to prevent that from happening. 

At this present time, there is a huge flaw in the contested video system.  For example, if you are a critic who has put a review of a movie on your YouTube channel and used fair use to show footage of that movie, then the owners of that film might contest that video, and YouTube is prone to believe the word of the contester.  

There is no system enabled on YouTube that allows the contestee to contest the contester.  In other words, if you have your video taken from you at any given time, and not have a way to fight against it. This is probably the biggest flaw in YouTube's automation, and really needs to be fixed.