When my colleagues and I shaped the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video, we knew it was a solid and reliable document, and also a useful one. Legal superstars such as my co-coordinator Peter Jaszi, and committee members Michael Donaldson, Anthony Falzone, Michael Madison, Pamela Samuelson, Rebecca Tushnet and Jennifer Urban, had worked on it. So had shining lights in the field of cultural studies, who had lived with, analyzed and understood the cutting-edge practices of participatory video—scholars such as Lewis Hyde, Mimi Ito, Henry Jenkins.
But would it get put to use?
Even before it launched, we had eager early adopters, including Miro, Blip TV, Rocketboom, Remix America, and WITNESS, all of which are telling their users about it. Public TV organizations that are dabbling in user-generated content such as Independent Television Service, the documentary series P.O.V., and the minority consortia also seized upon it.
And now, one day after release, YouTube--through which runs the vast majority of all online video--says that it will link to the Code on its Copyright Notices page. YouTube executives also tell us that they will include it in information that goes to users who are alerted to the fact that computers have found a "match" with copyrighted material in their uploaded work, and to users who are given a notice that their work is being taken down.