Adaptations, Remixes, and Mashups Module Reflection

This particular module was very product-oriented, and as such my primary goal was to create some form of mashup.  I was able to successfully combine House of Cards with Donald Trump’s campaign (which can be found here).  My goal was essentially to parody the rise of Trump while also comparing him to a fictional individual who perhaps shouldn’t be in power.  The video was immediately flagged for copyright.  While still available, it was blocked in one country and on some platforms.  This is largely consistent with my previous experience with YouTube.  Usually some aspect of my videos will be flagged (often for music content).  The end result is that the company in question usually has the right to place ads on my video, and occasionally blocks my video in certain areas (such as Germany, which apparently has very strict copyright laws).

I researched some of the mechanics of this process by examining YouTube’s copyright policies (they provide some very detailed pages explaining this).  The “Content ID” alerts that I often receive are issued to YouTube by the company that owns the copyrighted material.  YouTube gives great freedom to the copyright holder, who gets to decide whether or not the material can be used by others.  Generally a nice win-win situation occurs, where the copyright holder opts to let the video remain live, but takes in some revenue from ads.  The copyright holder thus gets  financial compensation, and my creative product remains public.  But what particularly interested me was the process of disputing a claim.  If a claim is disputed without a “valid reason” the content owner can take down your video, and you receive a copyright strike against your account.  This seems like harsh retaliation, and an easy way to dissuade people from appealing a Content ID label that may be questionable.  Overall, I think YouTube tries to keep a good balance between encouraging creativity and honoring the rights of copyright holders.  But the harshness of disputing a claim concerns me, and seems unreasonably weighted in favor of the copyright holder.

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