NTV and copyright infringement

This blogger previously reported on copyright and how leading national television network, NTV’s YouTube channel closed on May 12th on the basis of violated copyright infringement.

Following up on this closure, a notice on their YouTube channel reads the following:

“NTV Kenya has been terminated because we received multiple third-party claims of copyright infringement regarding material the user posted.”

Richard Njau, a YouTube Enabler, gave an elaboration for the closure:

“YouTube has a feature called Content ID, think of it as a fingerprint. Every piece of content uploaded has a unique fingerprint. Now NTV was uploading other people’s content onto their channel and thus the multiple copyright infringement claims against them,”

NTV’s YouTube account has over 50,000 uploaded videos, 200 million videos and 280,000 subscribers that accumulated in the 10 year span since the account was created.

The action is based on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that allows users to interact while ensuring protection from copyright infringement.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation notes that DMCA takedowns of a YouTube channel must meet certain requirements like identifying the infringing material clearly and specifically.

The closing of the account comes after three written warnings (which YouTube is legally bound to issue). These warnings come from the copyright owners who are expected to send formal infringement notice to YouTube.

Njau went on to explain that:

“Receiving a copyright strike will put your account in bad standing and you will lose access to certain YouTube features. If you receive three copyright strikes, your account will be terminated. ”

NTV has built one of the biggest YouTube accounts in the continent with over 50,000 uploaded videos, 200 million videos and 280,000 subscribers accumulated over 10 years since the account was created.

In the event that a user does want to dispute YouTube’s decision to pull down a video or even an account it becomes a legal issue.

In NTV’s case a lawyer specializing in intellectual property stated that:

“One can argue that the content used falls under fair use category but they have to prove only a small portion of the material was used and it was in the public interest,”

The station has suffered major setbacks as a result of the channel closing such as losing audience and even revenue from the ads on their YouTube videos.

The concept of copyright infringement is a complex one and it seems that NTV may not be able to find a loophole in this copyright infringement.


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