Internet Freedom Foundation claims Youtube content strikes misuse copyright laws

By Legal Wires 2 Minutes Read

Indian digital liberties organization Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) made a representation to Google India asserting that recent content takedowns and blocking of Youtube channels belonging to independent news outlets, citizen journalists and satirists result from incorrectly applied copyright rules.

IFF in its letter noted that these copyright strikes — most notably, the freeze on Newslaundry’s channel since September 29 — are based on complaints from large media houses and constitute “weaponization” of the law. The letter refers to section 52(1)(a)(iii) of India’s Copyright Act, 1957, which protects “a fair dealing with any work for….the reporting of current events” from copyright infringement charges.

Fair use is also protected by the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. Transformative work, where the original is given “new expression, meaning, or message,” and critiques of reportage by mainstream media accompanied by properly attributed clips are covered by these laws and YouTube’s policies.

IFF said that such measures used by youtube infringe the fundamental right to free speech and expression and to carry on their profession under Article 19 of the Constitution of India. These measures also allegedly infringe upon their audience’s right to access information.

Legal Wires

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