Unauthorized: The Copyright Conundrum in Participatory Video

Pat Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi

Suppose you’re running an online video platform, and people start uploading video that uses other people’s work. How should unauthorized use of other people’s work be treated in this new environment?
Last month, the Center for Media & Social Impact (formerly the Center for Social Media) and American University’s law school brought together executives from online video platforms in both commercial and noncommercial media with lawyers and scholars, to discuss how to manage unauthorized use. The group found alarming recent moves to create automated “bot” services to hunt down and eliminate copyrighted material; after all, many unauthorized uses are entirely legal and fair. Stamping out all uses of copyrighted material is also stamping out new creativity. The group endorsed more education of users around fair use and their ability to challenge takedowns, and recommended developing best-practices standards for online services that act as gatekeepers for the Youtube generation of media makers.

To download and read the rapporteur’s report from the meeting, click here.