Re:Create Recap – August 24, 2017

Another Fair Use Victory In Case Over Parody YouTube Video. A federal district court judge ruled in favor of two YouTube filmmakers who were sued for copyright infringement for a parody video, citing fair use protections. As reported by The Hill’s Ali Breland on August 23, another YouTube star sued Hila and Ethan Klein for satirizing one of his videos and including clips from it. “The case could have a far reaching impact on fair use law,” wrote Breland. “YouTube creators and artists in other fields could find protection from the Kleins’ case.”

Jailbreaking Your iPhone? Think Again. Fast Co. Design’s Katharine Schwab delved into the outdated and unintended consequences of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) Section 1201 in an August 16 article titled “Who Owns Your Stuff? It Might Not Be You.” In addition to explaining that consumers don’t actually have the right to repair or improve the software, Schwab also pointed to the burdensome costs of applying for exemptions which can be “prohibitively expensive” for groups like the American Foundation for the Blind. Schwab explained that Section 1201 “concentrates the power over a product’s life span into [the manufacturers’] hands, creating more revenue streams if customers are forced to come back to them for repairs.”

The MPAA’s Quest To Crack Down On Copyright. Following the Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) alleged involvement in a fake Twitter feud to promote strict copyright enforcement, The Daily Dot’s Gabriel Nicholas chronicled the entertainment industry’s decades-long campaign against technology, writing: “The battle for copyright is also a battle against technology.” From attacking the rise of the VCR to developing copyright-themed Boy Scout badges and a K-12 copyright curriculum, the article profiled the extreme lengths MPAA has gone to promote stringent copyright protections.

Old(ies) Copyright Battle Revisited. The American Library Association’s Carrie Russell examined the confusion surrounding a “quirk” in U.S. copyright law, where sound recordings were not awarded copyright protection until 1971 in a blog about the recently-introduced CLASSICS Act. The bill would protect all sound recordings produced before 1972 for 137 years — significantly longer than the current copyright term of 95 years from the date of publication. Russell noted the discrepancy between sound recordings and other copyrighted works, writing: “…one wonders what is the public policy justification for making sound recordings protected by copyright longer than any other protected work.”

YouTube’s Lyor Cohen: “Without Safe Harbor, We’d All Be Lost At Sea.” YouTube’s Global Head of Music Lyor Cohen defended safe harbor protections in an August 17 blog post reflecting on his first eight months with the company. Cohen credited safe harbors for helping “open platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Soundcloud and Instagram give a voice to millions of artists around the world, making the industry more competitive and vibrant.” Cohen also noted that YouTube has improved their process for quickly removing copyrighted works with its Content ID system that he said has “generated over $2 billion for content owners and goes far beyond what the safe harbor provision requires.”