Will YouTube's new rules violate copyright law?

The modern online world offers people multiple ways to make money. Many content creators produce online videos, with things like tutorials or opinion pieces, or using them as a way to market their own artistic creations. One of the biggest distributors for this content is YouTube. There are people who have found great success putting their content on YouTube, but up until recently, some of the rules regarding the usage of music prevented some creators from sharing their videos. YouTube has changed their rules going forward, and many are hopeful that it will help content creators, though some are concerned that it could harm other artists and violate copyright law.

Previously, if someone uploaded a video to YouTube that contained part of a song, it could get flagged for removal by the company that owns the song. Though this was a helpful way to protect artists, some content creators argued that their videos could get flagged for something as simple as music coming from a passing car. Flagging prevents a video from being shared or it may stop the video creator from receiving any profit. Content creators either fought back against the claim, or took down the video. In some cases, larger companies received the profits that the content creator would have gotten.

However, YouTube decided to change its policy in an effort to help content creators. Going forward, if a video contains less than 10 seconds of a copyrighted song, or if it contains unintentional audio of a copyrighted song, the owners of the song cannot make a copyright claim. It is still possible to prevent a video clip from being monetized, but it gives content creators more ability to stop certain claims.

Though this is welcome news for people who make their living on YouTube, it does raise potential problems for artists who are concerned about their music being used without permission. Copyright law is intended to protect artists and their artistic creations. Those who are unsure of their rights or who want to protect their works may want to consult with an attorney with extensive experience in copyright law here in New York.

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