YouTube will go to court to defend film-makers wrongly accused of copyright infringement, the site has announced.It will now offer legal support to “a handful of videos” which Google (YouTube’s parent company) believes represent “clear fair uses”. It will also feature them in a special section of the site dedicated to showcasing strong examples of fair use.The move will help defend against abuse of the US Digital Millennium Copyrigh腾龙时时彩电脑版 t Act (DMCA), which allows for putative copyright holders to demand a site take down user generated content or face expensive lawsuits. Although the law attempts to balance the needs of copyright holders, platform owners, and those uploading new works to sites such as YouTube, it is frequently abused to demand the takedown of works the copyright holder has no legal authority over.If a work that has a fair use defence is subject to a DMCA takedown order, the creator can appeal by filing a “counter notification order”. But doing so is complex and can open a creator up to further legal penalties, compared with simply acquiescing to the takedown.YouTube’s copyright legal director, Fred von Lohmann, says that the company is acting because “creators can be intimidated by the DMCA’s counter notification process, and the potential for litigation that comes with it”.By collating all the videos that it is defending in one place, YouTube also hopes to build a corpus of works with strong fair use defences. “In addition to protecting the individual creator, this programme could, over time, create a ‘demo reel’ that will help the YouTube community and copyright owners alike better understand what fair use looks like online and develop best practices as a community,” von Lohmann said.Among the videos flagged by the company are one by a UFO sceptic, who debunks films of alien visitations; one by a British gaming journalist critiquing two trailers for PC games; and one discussing footage of the Ohio state legislature, where members of congress asked “inappropriate questions” of two sixth-graders giving evidence.While the videos have been restored in the United States, however, they remain unavailable in other countries with different fair use laws.Despite the DMCA’s 17-year history, it is only relatively recently that large web firms have put their clout behind defending users against malicious or over-reaching takedown notices.In 2013, the British journalist Oliver Hotham was hit with a takedown notice after he interviewed homophobic protest group “Straight Pride UK”, which attempted to claim that it owned the copyright on the interview.Automattic, the company which hosted his blog, called the notice “censorship using the DMCA”, and went on to defend Hotham in court, eventually winning almost $25,000 from the group for its malicious takedown notice. However, neither Hotham nor Automattic ever saw a penny: just months after the takedown notice was sent, Straight Pride UK disappeared from the internet without a trace.