reading list: parody takedowns on Google

Erickson, K. & Kretschmer, M. (2018) ‘This Video is
Unavailable’: Analyzing Copyright Takedown of User-Generated Content on
YouTube. Journal of Intellectual Property, Information Technology and ECommerce
Law (JIPITEC), 9(1).
From the abstract:
This research investigates factors
that motivate takedown of user-generated content by
copyright owners. We study
takedowns within an original dataset 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. … The variables analysed include commercial
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 behavior. Neither
does commercial popularity of the original music track trigger a systematic
response from rightholders. Instead, music genre and production values emerge
as significant factors.
In particular, lower production
values increase the risk of takedowns, contrary to the hypothesis that
substitution would be a more-feared risk for higher-production-value
parodies.  A clear intent either to
target the song itself or to use the parody to target some other entity both
decrease the risk of takedowns, showing again that the satire/parody
distinction is not a legally helpful one. 
From the conclusion: “The central finding is that rightholders appear to
make complex choices that are assisted by automatic detection mechanisms, with
little concern for the artistic integrity of the creative works they represent.
The significant difference between musical genres suggests that rightholders,
even in the same medium, behave quite differently from their peers.

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