YouTube's copyright system isn't broken. The world's is. | Summary and Q&A

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March 23, 2020
by
Tom Scott
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YouTube's copyright system isn't broken. The world's is.

TL;DR

The current copyright system, while flawed, is not fundamentally broken, but requires updates to address issues of fair use, small claims court for copyright disputes, and the length of copyright terms.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What are the three areas that the current copyright system requires updates in?

The current copyright system requires updates in three areas: updating copyright laws, establishing a good small claims court for copyright disputes, and shortening the length of copyright terms.

Q: What is the argument for shortening the length of copyright terms?

Shortening the length of copyright terms would allow works to enter the public domain sooner, inspiring new creativity, while still allowing creators to profit from their work for a reasonable period of time.

Q: How does Content ID work on YouTube?

Content ID is an automated system that scans every video uploaded to YouTube and checks it against a database of copyrighted content. Copyright owners can choose to place ads or block videos matching their content, reducing the need for DMCA takedowns or lawsuits.

Q: Why is the current copyright system not considered broken?

While the current copyright system has flaws, it provides a reasonable patch to a system that is ill-suited for the modern world. Content ID on YouTube, for example, helps protect creators and avoids costly legal battles. However, updates to copyright laws, the establishment of a small claims court, and shorter copyright terms are necessary to fix the overall system.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The current copyright system is not perfect but is not fundamentally broken.

  • The system requires updates in three areas: updating copyright laws, establishing a good small claims court for copyright disputes, and shortening the length of copyright terms.

  • Updating copyright laws would require a conversation and consultation to determine what is fair in today's world, while ensuring a balance between creators and big companies.

  • A good small claims court for copyright disputes, similar to the UK's Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, would address the massive imbalance between the rights of individuals and big corporations.

  • Shortening the length of copyright terms to 50 years would strike a balance between allowing creators to profit from their work and ensuring that works enter the public domain to inspire new creativity.

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