Where’s The Fair Use?

No more staying silent. The time has come to start some dialogue about Fair Use and how it’s constantly being trampled on via the YouTube claim and take down system. To clear something up before people mention it. Yes a Strike is placed on an account after a DMCA take down is placed, and the studios technically aren’t ‘giving’ the strike as it’s YouTube’s rules. The thing is, the studios at this point know that a DMCA take down = Strike with YouTube system in place, so they are giving you a strike. There’s more we want to add, but that will have to be for another video.

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I Hate Everything
Brad Jones

About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.


  1. This is why I feel the best possible course is to actually make a new video hosting site rather than just waiting for Youtube, with its virtual monopoly on internet video content. As long as they stay at the top, they have no reason to fix this as they keep making money. Perhaps just one creator might not have enough to make a new site, but if Channel Awesome were able to team up with several other creators, they could potentially afford to create their own site, advertise it to high heaven, and bring more viewers over and bring in advertisers to make a competitor that would better treat the content creators while protecting Fair Use.

  2. Was anyone else getting the feels when it showed all the Critics and Doug said we need to stick together?

  3. Oh Look IHE Is here! Hes a good buddy of mine, Fight the good fight man

  4. I would think that the only way to fix this is going to be class action lawsuits. Sure the lawyers will get most of the money but the more costly it’ll become for the companies abusing this system the less likely they will be to do it. It’d be nice if Youtube thought about how they were screwing over the creators but it appears that they’re ignoring the problem out of either fear of getting abusive lawsuits or because they just don’t care.

  5. Wow, that part about not having clips makes sense to me. Now I know one of the main reasons why you do it. Also, yeah, I’ll never forget the one video that I posted about a year or two. It was a dance video and at that time, I thought that giving credit to the record label and artist was enough but of course, it wasn’t. I couldn’t even imagine how I would feel if that affected my income in any way. I’m so sorry. D:

    I won’t be checking out Horror Guru since it’s not my thing.

  6. Wow!!!!! Nostalgia Critic/ Doug Walker I have been watching you for a quite a few years now and I never knew the hardships you go through just because you are following your passion hope that you get the outcome you want and so deserve your fans are always behind you cheering you on!!!! Thank you for just being you, you truly are amazing and have brought smiles to people just by being yourself keep up the good work and know that you will always have your fans support.

    Love Always Danielle

  7. Have you thought about reviewing older films? Films that are in the public domain just to thumb your nose at YouTube.

  8. There should be a betting pool in these comments about how many companies are gonna try and slam Doug with a claim over something in this video.

    • Forgot to mention, you really needed to mention during the SOPA section that TPPA is currently being voted on in the US and it’s far, FAR more destructive than SOPA would have been.

  9. This was a magnificent editorial. I can relate to you and the other channels that were impacted by YouTube. I review nostalgic media myself for my YouTube channel and I don’t even profit off of this. I do this in my spare time because I enjoy reviewing movies and TV shows for the people to relive their childhood. I two received a strike from YouTube back in December 2014 when I reviewed Christmas with the Joker. I took the penalty like a man and continued to make videos for my YouTube channel. Where’s the Fair Use? I will stand by with you and support you as always. You are the inspiration and reason why I make my videos. I hope you subscribe to my YouTube channel, Mizzoulord 13, and we critics will stand together in unison to fight for what is right. #WTFU

  10. Doug, you realize that your entire career basically spits in the face of Fair Use, right? How many times have you used footage or music or other assets from something you don’t own?

    Fair Use grants you the right to use clips from, say, the Garbage Pail Kids in your review OF the Garbage Pail Kids, but it doesn’t grant you the right to use the Back to the Future theme song every time you want to make an offhand joke about time travel. That’s the kind of shit you’ve got to pay for. How about the rights to Hayden Christensen’s image? Did you get the rights to his image before you randomly stuck him To Boldly Flee? Did you clear that with his agent? Because I really don’t think you did.

    YouTube’s system is horrifically broken; that much is true. But for the better part of a decade, now, you’ve built your career by flouting copyright laws at every single fucking turn.

    As much as you might like to be, you will never be the poster boy for the right to Fair Use.

    You’re not the poster boy for Fair Use. You’re the poster boy

    • I'mVeryAngryIt'sNotButter

      Here’s the thing. The movie themes that he uses in gags are from popular franchises that his audience will recognize. He always credits use of the theme in the end credits, despite the fact that no-one is under the delusion that these themes are original compositions of Doug and co. He never plays the songs in full (or even in half), and what he does play, he talks over. It’s not at all a satisfactory substitute for hearing the music in the original source, and if anything, it rekindles interest in the source material.

      If the music he used were lifted without permission from some lesser-known artist that was struggling to gather an audience, that would be another story entirely.

      • It doesn’t matter when you are essentially making money off of using other people’s works. He’s crediting the works yes, but that doesn’t mean anything. I can steal from the bank and tell everyone that the money I’m paying them with is actually the banks money, but I’m still using the banks money to buy stuff. You know? Something that I don’t own.

        You’re talking about imaginary benefits that may or may not pan out the way you say they do. Especially since there are people that will watch a 30 minute review of a movie good or bad and decide that they don’t need to watch it since they essentially already did. The actual known fact is that people on this website are entirely dependent on showing other people’s works, using other people’s works, and using other people’s jokes and clips to substitute their own. They do basically steal shit, repackage it, and sell it again. These guys are funny, but their luck has run out. Just don’t use YouTube anymore if you want to keep taking shit and passing it off as your own. Or do original shit. When you’re poking the bear with a sharp stick you shouldn’t fucking whine when it pokes back.

  11. Taking a social topic and giving it some surprising emotional poignancy. Gold Star, Mr. Walker.

  12. I recently started live-streaming video games from my PS4 onto YouTube. I would say that at least half of the live streams get flagged erroneously (usually claiming 30 seconds of copyright infringement on LP videos as long as several hours).

    What’s worse, is I am not even trying to monetize these. I just wanted to use the built in YouTube streaming service in my PS4. And strange companies are blocking these. The claims are not even close. One of them is claiming a 30 second clip of audio which is just background ambient noise as my character quietly hides in the shadows waiting for an opportunity to progress.

    The current system is so broken and flawed.

  13. It’s time for the next “youtube”. YouTube have been corrupted by big money and is continuously abused by anyone that wants to….apparently. The only good way to fight it is to migrate to the competition and stop using Google products and services. You hit ’em where their wallet is and you can get things done.
    I understand this is impractical at the moment but it’s still true. Until there is an alternative to YouTube this mess is just going to keep happening and it’ll be slow-going to get anything changed.

    In the meantime, I wish you all the best with your efforts.

  14. Wow…I’m sudenly glad I only watch stuff…

  15. I mean… saying you don’t own the thing you are showing large chunks of (if not the whole thing) and spoiling it doesn’t mean you have the right to make money off of other people’s works. I’m gonna be in the minority on this website, but I think you guys have been super lucky to have made a living at this. I feel like creator’s on this website switch between saying they’re reviewers who try to review or that they’re entertainers trying to entertain depending on who they need to appeal to or make excuses for.

    While I think the creators of the original content can be cool about it it isn’t they’re responsibility to make you money. Know what I mean? There are certainly harassment issues. Especially from people that don’t own the content but claim ownership anyway. I mean having a video where you review a Batman movie for example and there’s 20 minutes of film footage in it. How can you blame a studio for putting a strike against you?

  16. I’m with you, Critic.
    This is very important, and I’ll stand beside you.

    Where’s The Fair Use?

  17. Actually, I think I know why Fair Use has practically become a Fair Suggestion more than a doctrine. It’s the fear of the unknown. Now this technically was addressed in this very video, but there’s a bit more to it than what they said. See, as most people would tell you, the computer has practically become the next television. With various ways to see television and film content from Netflix to Hulu, there simply isn’t much reason to keep the TV with the internet on the rise.

    Granted, this isn’t the complete answer, as video games (those on Steam and other online game stores notwithstanding) and the burgeoning Roku both require a TV to function. But that’s a small percentage compared to how much TV was used in the home since the late 90’s to early 2000’s. And since the majority of the networks of the world are ran by old Baby Boomers usually raised on narrow-minded philosophies regarding their revenue and the internet, they naturally fear that their main source of revenue will become obsolete. Hence why they attack us so fervently with no regard for free speech.

    So unless we get the message across that this shall not stand, they will continue to resist progress and act in such a desperate manner with every fiber of their being.

  18. Doug, please give a moment of consideration to source software such as Firefox, Android and WordPress. These programs success lies largely in the paid, professional authors encouraging users to behave as if copyright law doesn’t exist. Further look at how most of the worlds most celebrated art was created in a time long before these laws existed. Is copyright law actually worth it?

    As an open source dev and blogger I don’t think so. If somebody else makes money off what I write I only have blame my self for not figuring out how to do it first. It’s not as if copying ones and zeros takes away from what I already have.

  19. I thought #WTFU was What The Fuck Utube? at first. Both fit, really.

  20. #WTFU I can’t believe Brad Jones got a claim for a Midnight Screening review. It’s literally 2 people sitting in a car and talking. This is surreal!
    Anyway, great video! Keep up the good work, and I hope things will eventually get better for Youtube creator, that you will be more secure in your work, and that the studios will grow up and be less off a dick.

  21. To this day I’m still stumped such as system can exist. It has been made to help the big companies get more money with little effort. I find this outrageous as many of my favorite YouTubers have been hit by this even though they did nothing wrong at the time. But simply because somebody can now say ‘hey that’s mine’ you loose all your income from that video while they get paid for doing nothing.

    But then again we all know that the modern world is being ruled by money and the greed to have even more money.

    I’m with you and all the other YouTubers out there Doug. We just need to unify and get a new law in place that won’t fuck over the content creators in so many ways #WTFU

  22. I don’t even know why NC is trying to help IHE out, such a disgusting channel full of hate and nothing informative. I don’t think what’s happening to NC is fair, but IHE deserves everything that’s happening to him.

  23. This is really getting out of hand. Why have a system that can protect only one side of the argument ? Because they have the money and Youtube prefers to wrongly accuse the minority that doesn’t have too much power and can’t harm them, rather fight back a “giant” like Hollywood that has big loyers and can severly hurt them. This automated system is build in order to give the upper hand on those who have the money and can sue Youtube itself. Why they don’t have a stuff to review those filled cases ? Because people work based on common sense and could easily see the wrong doing on the claimer side rather than keep the wall on the accused. That would mean that the Hollywood would sue Youtube again that the system isn’t efficiend and let the “bad guys” get away with their money, so they build a soulless, cold and ruthless system that just follows very specific guidlines that are at best vague. Why the monetization money get to the claimer rather than return to the accused ? So that Youtube can rub the burn on the claimer side and be on good terms with them and be like “Look you got something out of it, so don’t sue us please ….”.

  24. It’s kind of amazing what shady creatures can file a claim on you. Recently three of my videos were monetized by some guys named “Billion Dollar boy” or something on behalf on some pile of letters I couldn’t even google. I found them on the Internet and was wondering if there could be a cheaper way to make money than to formally exist in a tiny never opening office in the depths of London. They refused to remove the claim by any means, so I’ve just locked the videos to be not viewable. And those a*holes deleted them 🙂

  25. Funny how all your ire is misdirected at hollywood,when the real guilty party,the one enabling them to do whatever,is youtube.Youtube is allowed to have a monopoly on the market,and so of course its bad.Instead of trying to “teach hollywood to play nice”,why not do the actually sensible thing:Class action lawsuit against youtube.

    You dont even need to force it to change much,just one simple thing,thats even required by dmca:They need to have a human to respond to all the dmca takedown notices.Thats it.If they have employees that will watch the flagged videos,theyll pretty quickly see if the complaint is valid or not.A machine cannot do that,but a human can.

    Frankly its mind boggling how youtube is allowed to break the law in such manner,and by the same people that are responsible for it being profitable no less.

  26. Bitch and moan, bitch and moan. Goes for so long, it can actualy become…. nostalgic.

  27. I co-host a review show called Carlos and Dave Anime Rave. I’m cynical this video will change anything… but I thank you for it, regardless. We’re *plagued* by claims and strikes near constantly.

  28. when I hear about this kind of thing it just reaffirms my choice to download movies for free and avoid giving them any of my money.

  29. Great video! It is so hard to believe there are rules of fair use and many people get blamed for it when they are doing it harmlessly. I hope for a huge change to come.

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