Copyright ©

Copyright, the exclusive right to make copies, license, and otherwise exploit literary, musical, or artistic work’, was something that I was always aware of, but never really understood the complexity of the matter. At school we were/ are taught to always submit our own work, but I don’t think we realised how much content can be subjected to copyright and the repercussions that it entails.  

Some of these repercussions can be seen for gaming stars on YouTube. As of late, gaming channels have had to work harder than ever to avoid the issue of copyright. After YouTube made changes to its Content ID System, a large percentage of individuals were ‘awarded’ with copyright infringement notices. Why? Because by simply uploading their recorded game plays, the soundtracks and ambient noise (the radio in Grand Theft Auto) were triggering copyright laws. In response to this, the creators have had to turn the default game sounds off, and find another way to include background music into these particular videos.

YouTube star Michelle Phan has also been subjected to an abundance of problems after the changes made to the Content ID System. Phan was accused by Ultra Records of over 50 copyright infringement breaches. Despite crediting the artists and providing a link to where her 7.6 million subscribers could find the music used throughout her videos, the record label was still not satisfied, even though they had previously said the credit would be enough. YouTube reciprocated by removing 12 of Phan’s videos.

Copyright licensing has and will continue to drastically change and evolve over time. As new technologies are introduced, the way we go about content of the past will have to adapt to the new situations. This can be seen through the introduction of Creative Commons (CC) over the past 10 years. This new licence allows artists and creators to legally share, reuse and remix their material. This method allows these artists to present their work to larger audiences.


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