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The Verge retracts copyright claims against YouTubers, says videos were still not Fair Use

Yesterday, Vox Media and The Verge were found to be sending out copyright strikes against two specific channels for reacting to a PC build guide video from several months ago. At the time, the two channels affected disputed the claims and were able to get them retracted fairly swiftly. At the time, neither Vox Media nor The Verge had said anything publicly about the situation, although that changed today.

In a post addressing the copyright strike situation, The Verge’s Nilay Patel explained their side of the story. According to Patel, Vox’s legal team singled two reaction videos out in particular and decided that they did not fall under fair use due to the amount of footage used from The Verge’s original (now deleted) video.

According to The Verge, only two videos were issued takedown notices, while other critical videos remained up and unaffected. We mentioned the two channels in question yesterday, with the first being Bitwit and the other being ReviewTechUSA.

Kyle from Bitwit tweeted the response he received from YouTube, in which YouTube took a stance and said that Kyle’s video fell under fair use- the strike on his channel was then removed. A little later on, ReviewTechUSA also had the strike on his channel removed.

According to Patel, he actually sent emails to have the two strikes retracted himself and posted proof of a brief email sent through to YouTube’s copyright team. It seems that at least in the case of Bitwit, YouTube was set on taking action before the email was sent.

The Verge is sticking to its stance that the two videos on question were in violation of Fair Use but it looks like the site isn’t interested in taking the situation any further, particularly after the backlash these strikes caused online.

KitGuru Says: There is a legal precedent protecting reaction videos on YouTube, in large part thanks to the lengthy lawsuit that H3H3 went through and won. With that in mind, I don’t necessarily think that Vox Media would have won a court case had this gone any further. Still, the legal system is a tricky beast, so it could have gone either way. Thankfully, it looks like both sides are dropping this entirely and looking to move on. 

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