THE BLOG
07/31/2015 10:25 am ET Updated Jul 30, 2016

Internet and Censorship

The Internet has been, and still very clearly is, dealing with an issue that effects content creators, and therefore viewers. Any website that promotes the creation of content deals with the ever-looming shadow known as copyright infringement. The websites themselves aren't at fault for the copyright, but the user of their product needs to be responsible for what is posted and whether or not it does take footage or credit from material that wasn't theirs to take. Unfortunately, the method that these companies are given to deal with the copyright infringement themselves has been used for purposes other than protecting their intellectual property.

Back in October of 2013, a Youtuber who goes by "TotalBiscuit, The Cynical Brit," posted a video focused on bashing a game called Day One: Garry's Incident. This game is what he considered to be possibly the worst video game he's ever seen released. Being a frequent uploader of critiques on Youtube, he's well acquainted with the rules of posting footage from a show, movie, or game. He followed all the rules, and yet he was still issued a manual takedown notice for copyright infringement by the studio that created Day One: Garry's Incident, WildGamesStudio. After making an argument against takedown of his, and a few others, videos, claiming it had only been taken down due to the negative remarks towards the game's quality, WildGamesStudios apologized and removed the copyright strike from TotalBiscuit's account. Unfortunately, this is only one instance.

More recently, another Yoube critic who has an account called "YourMovieSucksDOTorg" posted a video dealing with what appears to be around five different videos that have takedown notices or have the monetization of the video go straight to the company affected. He is also all too familiar with the rules of copyright and fair use due to past experience, and even still he received a manually detected takedown notice on a recent review. He posted a whole video talking about what he could do, but is worried that if he files three appeals at the same time and all three get rejected, his account will be automatically shut down and can't be reactivated until he goes through a few weeks of emails between the studios and Youtube.

There are plenty of other instances of copyright infringement and takedown notices throughout the Internet, and the vast majority of them take place on Youtube. During his 7-minute semi-rant, the creator of YourMovieSucksDOTorg said something that came from his heart. This comment was meant to be both cynical and brutally honest, but when the question came up of if Youtube has fixed the current system of appeals and takedown/copyright notices, he responded "it's negatively impacting users and not corporations, so why would they?" Content creators live in a constant fear that something they post may, for some random reason, be flagged for copyright and then find themselves in the middle of a legal mess. Youtubers should be told what part of their video is being flagged and for what reason, but this system of corporations having full control on what they deem is copyrighted material regardless of the creators precautions isn't fair and won't last for long hopefully.