Honors Theses

Title

Fair Use and Copyright Conflicts on YouTube, a.k.a. : The 2020 Version of Why YouTube’s Copyright System Is Terrible

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Publication Date

Spring 3-24-2020

Abstract

Fair Use and Copyright Conflicts on YouTube, a.k.a. : The 2020 Version of Why YouTube’s Copyright System Is Terrible

Daniel Updegraff

Faculty Advisor: Robin Foster

In a time where media and content creation are more free and accessible than ever before, the concepts of Copyright and Fair Use have become more complicated and elusive. Using YouTube as a case study for how free information has led to the erosion of certain constitutionally-protected rights, this video essay acts as both a work studying YouTube’s role in evolving the perception on copyright and Fair Use, and as a work of YouTube’s culture and conventions. This video utilizes original interviews, news reels, photos, articles, and even memes to depict and describe the obstacles YouTube creators go through in order to use other works as Fair Use on the platform.

Due to an abundance of fear for digital piracy, a reliance on automation, and a lack of manpower for comprehensive human analysis, videos on YouTube are often removed by the website for copyright infringement, even if the material used is utilized under Fair Use protections. This video explores this history of copyright law in the digital era with a focus on YouTube’s role, the copyright strike system YouTube has devised, the alternative routes to monetization creators have opted for in response, and potential solutions to the current copyright crises.

So yeah, this is a YouTube video about YouTube. Please like, subscribe, and donate to my Patreon.

Faculty Advisor

Robin Foster

Document Type

Honors Thesis

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