Google will help fund up to $1 million in legal fees for some content creators on YouTube who have received copyright takedown notices. It will step in if it feels their material is considered to be fair use.
However the Web giant admitted that only a handful of people have been chosen to benefit from this support.
Copyright holders are able to make requests to Google – or other sites – to take down content under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
“We are offering legal support to a handful of videos that we believe represent clear fair uses which have been subject to DMCA takedowns,” wrote Fred von Lohmann, Google’s copyright legal director, in a blog post. The firm will keep these videos online in the US and cover the cost of any lawsuits, he added. “We’re doing this because we recognise that creators can be intimidated by the DMCA’s counter-notification process and the potential for litigation that comes with it. While we can’t offer legal protection to every video creator – or even every video that has a strong fair use defence – we’ll continue to resist legally unsupported DMCA takedowns as part of our normal processes.”