Two videos mocking Rahul Gandhi were taken down from a pro-Modi YouTube channel after the Congress served it with copyright violation notice, reported Times of India. The channel, “I Support Narendra Modi,” had posted two short clips which made fun of Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s public interaction at a Singapore university. These clips had added commentary in overlaid text making fun of the Congress president.
According to the Congress, the original videos were shot by the Singapore University and they were uploaded under “Standard YouTube License”. As per the terms and conditions of the licence, channels reposting or reusing the video on YouTube is counted as copyright infringement. On the other hand, videos marked with YouTube’s “Creative Commons Attribution license” can be re-shared and re-used on other YouTube channels (while the copyright rests with the original uploader).
Is this a legally tenable argument?
According to Standard YouTube License, “Content is provided to you AS IS. You may access Content for your information and personal use solely as intended through the provided functionality of the Service and as permitted under these Terms of Service. You shall not download any Content unless you see a “download” or similar link displayed by YouTube on the Service for that Content. You shall not copy, reproduce, make available online or electronically transmit, publish, adapt, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, or otherwise exploit any Content for any other purposes without the prior written consent of YouTube or the respective licensors of the Content. YouTube and its licensors reserve all rights not expressly granted in and to the Service and the Content.”
Copyright is a bundle of rights. It includes the right to make any adaption of the “work”. Going by this interpretation, nobody can adapt the video uploaded in YouTube under Standard Terms and Conditions without the prior consent of Youtube or the respective licensors of the Content.
But cant this deleted video be treated as a “review” or “criticism” of the original video? If so, is it not a case of “fair dealing” under Section 52 and therefore, not a case of copyright infringement? As far as wording in Section 52 of Copyright Act goes, it is a mandatory provision (“The following acts shall not constitute an infrignment of copyright, namely: – ….”) and therefore, it is non-derogable. If this is the case, the Congress’ argument fails.