This Video is Unavailable': Analyzing Copyright Takedof User-Generated Content on YouTube

Author:Kristofer Erickson - Martin Kretschmer
Pages:75-89
SUMMARY

What factors lead a copyright owner to request removal of potentially infringing user-generated content? So-called "notice-and-takedown" measures are provided in the United States under Section 512 of the U.S. Copyright Act (as amended by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998) and enabled in the European Union under the Directive on Electronic Commerce (2000/31/EC). While the combination of... (see full summary)

 
FREE EXCERPT
“This Video is Unavailable”
2018
75
1
“This Video is Unavailable”
Analyzing Copyright Takedown of User-Generated Content on
YouTube
by Kristofer Erickson and Martin Kretschmer*
© 2018 Kristofer Erickson an d Martin Kretschmer
Everybody may disseminate this ar ticle by electronic m eans and make it available for downloa d under the terms and
conditions of the Digital P eer Publishing Licence (DPPL). A copy of the license text may be obtain ed at http://nbn-resolving.
de/urn:nbn:de:0009-dppl-v3-en8.
Recommended citation: Kris tofer Erickson and Martin Kr etschmer, “This Video is Unavailable”: Analy zing Copyright Takedown
of User-Generated Content on YouTube, 9 (2018) JIPITEC 75 para 1.
Keywords: Copyright; parody; notice-and-takedown; fair use; YouTube; music industry
portional hazards model to investigate propositions
from rightholder groups about the factors that moti-
vate takedowns: these include concerns about com-
mercial substitution; artistic/moral concerns; cultural
differences between firms; and YouTube uploader
practices. The main finding is that policy concerns
frequently raised by rightholders are not associated
with statistically significant patterns of action. For
example, the potential for reputational harm from
parodic use does not appear to predict takedown be-
havior. Nor does commercial popularity of the original
music track trigger a systematic response from right-
holders. Instead, music genre and production values
emerge as significant factors. We suggest that evolv-
ing policy on intermediary liability - for example with
respect to imposing filtering systems (automatically
ensuring “stay-down” of potentially infringing con-
tent) - should be carefully evaluated against evidence
of actual behavior, which this study shows may differ
materially from stated policy positions.
Abstract: What factors lead a copyright owner
to request removal of potentially infringing user-gen-
erated content? So-called “notice-and-takedown”
measures are provided in the United States under
Section 512 of the U.S. Copyright Act (as amended by
the Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998) and en-
abled in the European Union under the Directive on
Electronic Commerce (2000/31/EC). While the com-
bination of limiting liability (“safe harbor”) and notice-
and-takedown procedures was originally conceived
as a means of balancing innovation with the inter-
ests of rightholders, there has been limited empiri-
cal study regarding their effects. This research inves-
tigates, for the first time, the factors that motivate
takedown of user-generated content by copyright
owners. We study takedowns within an original data-
set of 1,839 YouTube music video parodies observed
between January 2012 and December 2016. We find
an overall rate of takedowns within the sample of
32.9% across the 4-year period. We use a Cox pro-

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