Digital copyright law in a YouTube world

O'Brien, Damien S. & Fitzgerald, Brian F. (2006) Digital copyright law in a YouTube world. Internet Law Bulletin, 9(6 & 7), pp. 71-74.

PDF (73kB)


A 12 year old girl uploads a video of herself lip syncing the latest Shakira pop song onto YouTube and is served with a copyright infringement notice. Has she breached copyright law? Has she infringed moral rights or performers' rights? Is she entitled to rely upon the defence of fair dealing? Can YouTube be held liable for authorising copyright infringement? And on what terms may her video be reused? The popularity of online video sharing websites has grown enormously over the past year, with the most famous of these YouTube now ranked as the 10th most popular website on the internet with over a 100 million videos viewed every day. However, the copyright and other related issues surrounding these video sharing websites - in particular the content which is uploaded to them - remain less clear. This article will provide an overview of key copyright law issues facing online video sharing websites, such as YouTube from an Australian perspective.

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

7,060 since deposited on 09 May 2007
257 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 7505
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: copyright, copyright law, YouTube, Google, Viacom, copyright authorisation, authorisation, authorisation liability, indirect liability, intermediary liability, secondary liability, safe harbour, safe harbour, content production, copyright infringement, fair dealing, fair use, licensing issues, moral rights, performers rights
ISSN: 1329-9735
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Intellectual Property Law (180115)
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Past > Institutes > Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Damien O'Brien and Brian Ftizgerald
Deposited On: 09 May 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:40

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page