Google will offer legal support for YouTube DMCA takedowns

The company said it will provide legal aid for users it believes have not broken copyright law

Google has announced it will provide free legal support for some YouTube users whose videos have been subject to Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedowns.

Many of the videos have been removed because they may include a song a record company thinks was used without permission, snippets of TV shows added to the video sharing website as part of another video or other claims.

YouTube said some of these videos have been used "new and transformative ways that have social value beyond the original (such as a parody or critique)." Although in the US some content is protected by fair use, they have been taken down by the original content owners, which Google believes is unfair.

Fred von Lohmann, Google's copyright legal director, wrote on the Google blog: "With approval of the video creators, we'll keep the videos live on YouTube in the US, feature them in the YouTube Copyright Center as strong examples of fair use, and cover the cost of any copyright lawsuits brought against them."

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Google will provide other support too, helping the YouTube video creators navigate through the often complicated DMCA notification and litigation process.

The company has released a playlist of the videos it has agreed to defend in court to help other users and original content owners understand what should be deemed as 'fair use' and what may not be covered. YouTube will also develop best practice guidelines, enabling the entire YouTube community to benefit from free and open content.

"While we can't offer legal protection to every video creatoror even every video that has a strong fair use defensewe'll continue to resist legally unsupported DMCA takedowns as part of our normal processes," Von Lohmann continued. "We believe even the small number of videos we are able to protect will make a positive impact on the entire YouTube ecosystem, ensuring YouTube remains a place where creativity and expression can be rewarded."

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