In 1911, Thomas Edison held a practical monopoly on the technology needed to make movies. He was rampant about keeping the patents to himself and exploiting them to the best of his ability.

So filmmakers said “Screw that noise” and headed to California, founding Hollywood and creating their own world.

Years later, the tables have turned in the not-so-fair direction on creators, specifically internet creators.

Back in February of 2016, YouTuber Doug Walker, creator of the review show “Nostalgia Critic,” put out a video calling to action the problems surrounding fair use abuse.

When someone creates a video that shows a television show, movie, game, or even music, there is a good chance than an automatic copyright claim will appear on it, taking down the video and giving the creator a certain amount of time to change things in the video or file a counter notification. However, until then, the claimant can take the monetization from the video and receive all of the ad revenue that the creator had originally intended for themselves. And even if the counter notification goes through or the claim is false, the claimant still gets to keep the money.

Sometimes the video that is claimed doesn’t even have footage from the copyright item. One of the creators Doug talked with said that his videos of him and his friends talking about films were claimed even though he didn’t show any footage of the movies themselves.

This is a prime example of censorship and how it can be exploited. But Doug brings up a fantastic point, saying, “Some [YouTube] businesses have given attention to shows, movies and games that probably would’ve disappeared unless the internet had brought focus to it.”

Hollywood has no idea that they are shooting themselves in the foot by cracking down on these copyright claims. And it has YouTubers still wondering, “Where’s the Fair Use?”

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Delaney Heil

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