If you care about fair use and online videos …

… then read this thoughtful essay by Matt Zoller Seitz, responding to YouTube’s recent decision to delete all of Kevin B. Lee‘s critical video essays (for alleged “copyright” violations, natch).

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  • Roger Ebert’s response to that blog post just shows how absolutely ridiculous YouTube (and the movie studios/record companies) are with regards to (so-called) copyright violations on their website.

    My favourite personal “are you kidding me?” moment came last week when I finally exported a proper HD version of a video I made for a friend’s wedding. The short film included some acting/dialog, some voiceover animation, and then our own goofy lip-synced video of Madonna’s “Lucky Star”. The original SD version I posted was JUST the music video, and had about 2500 views. I decided to post the FULL video in HD (with the introduction/wedding-related story), and within seconds of the upload completing, the audio was tagged as in violation of copyright and removed.

    The SD version remains on YouTube, ON THE SAME ACCOUNT, without any notices.

    I would’ve argued “fair use” as a parody, but even though I’ve successfully disputed a removal on my personal YouTube account, this one was posted on my website’s account, and I didn’t want to risk the account being removed (and along with it, several interviews I’ve done).

    The point is, their whole “checking” system is messed up.