Fighting is Magic will still be appearing at EVO in the indie section, so the only thing lost is a big, main stage presentation.
Plenty of people should still get the opportunity to play it and all this attention that it has received should boost interest, even if it doesn’t win overall.
Win-win as far as I’m concerned.
@Friendship is Witchcraft
So yeah, from the sounds of it, these videos were taken down because they were close enough matches to the actual episodes that YouTube’s auto-detection software flagged them.
Makes sense since they use so much of the actual show, really.
Now they are trying to get them restored under the concept of Fair Use.
Silly legal stuff ahead!
“Fair Use” has always been a very nebulous legal concept.
It basically allows for the legal use of unlicensed copyrighted material, but only in certain somewhat-vague circumstances.
Using a 15 second clip from a TV show in order to provide context for your own critical review of the show? Go right ahead.
That’s the exact type of thing the law as designed to protect.
Copying an entire episode directly to YouTube with no changes? Clearly violating the law.
Lots and lots of videos fall somewhere on the continuum between these two points and drawing any kind of hard line is essentially impossible.
In my mind, though, I really don’t think that Friendship is Witchcraft (and other similar videos) qualify as “Fair Use” to be honest.
Yes, they use their own voices and soundtracks, but the video is 99% taken directly from the show (minus a few shopped-in effects on occasion).
Using that much copyrighted content in a semi-edited way like that doesn’t really seem to fall under the spirit of “Fair Use” which was designed for things like context, explanation, education, etc.
I think the primary argument for FiW is that it should qualify as a parody, which are somewhat protected by Fair Use, but it is definitely skirting the borderline ratio of copyrighted-to-fanmade content in that regard.
For an extreme example, assume that someone decided to re-dub the original Star Wars movie with their own silly voices and post it on YouTube.
I think most people would agree that copyright concerns about that would be pretty valid.
In essence, that’s what a lot of these abridged series are doing.
As much as I like the content, I can’t bring myself to say that it qualifies for legal protection simply on those grounds.
Just to note, videos like the Rainbow Dash Presents series should fall under Fair Use for a parody since, while they do use the names and likenesses of copyrighted characters, everything else (the art, music, voices, stories…) is all original.
Its ratio falls far more to the side of ‘original content.’
Now, after going through all of that, a whole lot of those arguments are pretty moot in actual practice.
In the end, money talks and for small cases like these, YouTube is probably going to end up siding with whoever seems like the bigger legal threat.
Fair Use lawsuits are very context-based and so they can be very unpredictable.
Large corporations are far more likely to have the resources and drive to sue for copyright infringement than individual YouTubers will for Fair Use suits.
Does anyone expect any of these people to actually sue if their videos are taken down? Not really.
Statistically, siding with the money has a lower chance of biting YouTube in the ass unless there is a very clear case for the opposing side.
Most of the time, it just comes down to placating whichever side seems more likely to pursue legal action.
A bit cynical, but true.
To hedge my bets a little, I will say that I obviously have no legal training or experience and this is all culled up from various explanations that I’ve heard about how Fair Use should and does work (since how something should work and how it does work are not necessarily the same).
Maybe FiW does meet the criteria for parody in the eyes of the law in some very clear, demonstrable way.
If so, great!
I’m just saying that, from what I have seen of the law, I don’t believe that it does.
Wow, that was too much text and not enough pony.