YouTube’s copyright strikes have become a tool for extortion

"“But that’s not the world we live in in 2019,” says Annemarie Bridy, a University of Idaho law professor specializing in copyright. “It’s a statute from a more innocent, optimistic era in the history of the Internet.”

As Bridy put it, the problem is incentives: YouTube has a lot more to lose from angry copyright-holders than angry users. Movie reviewers on the platform who have found their channels bombarded with copyright strikes from Universal Pictures, for example, after including clips or stills from a particular Universal film in their reviews. Even after claiming that these clips were protected as fair use, some found that YouTube ultimately sided with the company rather than the creators.

“It’s the little folks who get lost in the shuffle,” says Bridy. “That’s a shame, because it’s actually the accumulated little folks who make YouTube worthwhile.”"