I love Copyright law. It’s a weird thing to say and/or admit but I find it fun. Sure it proves annoying and cumbersome in its use and application. However it is an example of law that takes shape in our daily lives and being aware of it allows us to interact with it, in either useful or limiting manners. The latest news on copyright infringement is the ever so popular “Hitler” parodies that have taken hold on YouTube faster than the Millenium Falcon on the Kessel Run.
It’s pretty clear that these parodies are just that and have the fair use button in their corner. However, YouTube is allowed to restrict works and will ultimately function as a business, avoiding costly litigation, bad press, loss revenue, etc. This doesn’t mean that a parody video can’t be posted on one’s own website, yet be prepared for the web host/domain to remove it if contacted by copyright holders. It seems to me that online businesses may be too quick to buckle and give in to pressure. They have a legitimate legal defense on their side but the cost and time of exercising these defenses may not be worth the trouble. Perhaps a University could host these videos and demonstrate the power of Copyright Law and fight for proper fair use. Or perhaps, and more realistically, these are just the pipe dreams of a librarian with an interest in Copyright and its proper application.