The reasons for copyright takedown on YouTube, and what they tell us about copyright exceptions

Erickson, K. , Varini, A., Kretschmer, M. and Hassani, H. (2014) The reasons for copyright takedown on YouTube, and what they tell us about copyright exceptions. In: EUROCPR Conference, Brussels, 24-25 Mar 2014,

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Publisher's URL:


What motivates copyright owners to seek the removal of unauthorised derivative works such as parody and remix? In January 2012, the researchers constructed an independent dataset of 1845 potentially infringing music video parodies on YouTube referencing 343 top-100 charting commercial music tracks in the UK. At a 12-months interval, in January 2013, the dataset was re-examined to identify parody videos taken down at the request of rightsholders over the preceding year. The researchers determine the overall frequency of YouTube takedowns for this sample (15.5%) and hypothesize factors that predict the likelihood of a takedown notice. Songs originating in the EU were subject to a higher rate of takedown than those originating in the USA, suggesting that the “fair use” concept does have an impact on takedown. Apart from (1) territory, we find that the only significant predictors of takedowns are (2) the presence of a copied sound recording in the parody video (presumably by an automated identification process), and (3) the level of skill apparent in the production of the parody, with low-skill parodies taken down more frequently. Other concerns expressed by rightsholders, such as negative reputational effects caused by inappropriate use (potential moral rights infringements), do not appear to predict takedowns. Popularity (viewing figures) or content (the critical stance of the parodist toward the original work) do not trigger a systematic response from rights holders.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Keywords:Copyright, DMCA, takedown, YouTube, Parody
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kretschmer, Professor Martin and Erickson, Dr Kristofer
Authors: Erickson, K., Varini, A., Kretschmer, M., and Hassani, H.
Subjects:K Law > K Law (General)
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Authors
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the publisher

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record