28 June 2016

Create festival 2016: Parody videos and ‘React’ backlash

A panel of university researchers have assessed the way takedown requests and online intermediaries work during an industry event in London.

Speaking at the Create Festival, Lilian Edwards, deputy director of Create and professor at the University of Strathclyde Glasgow, led a panel including Briana Schofield, teaching fellow at Samuelson Law, Technology and Policy Clinic and Kristofer Erickson from the University of Glasgow.

Erickson began the session by talking about “music video pirartists” and their effect on rights owners. He outlined a 2012 study he took that focussed on YouTube.

He showed delegates statistics related to parody videos and said that in 2011 there were 8,299 examples of parody videos found.

Erickson went on to refer to the ‘React’ series of YouTube videos, produced by Fine Brothers Entertainment, which he said produced interesting findings.

Earlier this year, WIPR's sister publication  TBO reported that Fine Brothers Entertainment would be withdrawing a trademark application for the word ‘React’.

The application was in reference to the brothers’ YouTube channel that features videos of children and elderly people reacting to current affairs.

Erickson said the trademark application angered the YouTube community and said that users “rallied around fair use” as a defence for using the ‘React’ term.

Next to speak was Schofield who told attendees about a recent study he undertook that centred on notice and takedown requests and how the system is working the US.

The study, called ‘Notice and Takedown in Everyday Practice’, was published in March this year.

As part of the study, “a custom database” was built which revealed 108,331,663 cases of allegedly infringing links over a two-year period from 2011-2013.

Of those links, 99.4% came from a Google web search.

Accuracy was also studied and the study found that one in every 25 requests returned content that did not match the initial search term.

The Create Festival took place on Friday, June 25. Further information can be viewed here.

This was first published on  Trademarks and Brands Online.

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