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YouTube and Fair Use: When Viewing Is Allowed

By law, people have to respect each other’s intellectual property and use it fairly. However, with the creation of digital media, copyright issues have become more difficult to understand. At present, YouTube is a video platform that hosts a huge number of videos (Aufderheide and Jaszi, p. 139). According to the YouTube policies in the U.S., fair use means “commentary, criticism, research, teaching or news reporting” (“Fair Use Guidelines”). Therefore, as long as people use YouTube to view videos or use them in a transformative way, their usage of YouTube falls under the category of fair use.

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Personal vs. Professional Use

The process of watching a video as a possible source of ethical concerns is the easiest to address from the standpoint of U.S. copyright law. According to the current standards of fair use of digital media, viewing it is legal (Freund, 1358). Even if the videos that one watches have been pirated, the viewer will not face any legal consequences (Burgess and Green, p. 115). Therefore, the notion of fair use extends to watching any video using YouTube.

Schools and Charities

The same principles of fair use should apply to the idea of viewing videos for personal pleasure. Since YouTube was created for people to watch digital content, it should naturally be legal to view videos for personal pleasure. The YouTube rules state that “the data is intended for real-time viewing and not intended to be downloaded” (“Fair Use Guidelines”). Therefore, watching videos for personal reasons is allowed on YouTube both by the company and by American law. Professional use of YouTube videos, however, should not be since it will help companies to increase their profit. Thus, the organizations that will not benefit from YouTube videos, such as schools and charities, should be allowed to use YouTube.

Works Cited

  1. Aufderheide, Patricia, and Peter Jaszi. Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright. University of Chicago Press, 2018.
  2. Burgess, Jean, and Joshua Green. YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture. John Wiley & Sons, 2018.
  3. Fair Use Guidelines.” YouTube, 2019. Web.
  4. Freund, Katharina. “’Fair Use Is Legal Use’: Copyright Negotiations and Strategies in the Fan-Vidding Community.” New Media & Society, vol. 18, no. 7, 2016, pp. 1347-1363.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 27). YouTube and Fair Use: When Viewing Is Allowed. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/youtube-and-fair-use-when-viewing-is-allowed/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 27). YouTube and Fair Use: When Viewing Is Allowed. https://studycorgi.com/youtube-and-fair-use-when-viewing-is-allowed/

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"YouTube and Fair Use: When Viewing Is Allowed." StudyCorgi, 27 Dec. 2021, studycorgi.com/youtube-and-fair-use-when-viewing-is-allowed/.

1. StudyCorgi. "YouTube and Fair Use: When Viewing Is Allowed." December 27, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/youtube-and-fair-use-when-viewing-is-allowed/.


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StudyCorgi. "YouTube and Fair Use: When Viewing Is Allowed." December 27, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/youtube-and-fair-use-when-viewing-is-allowed/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "YouTube and Fair Use: When Viewing Is Allowed." December 27, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/youtube-and-fair-use-when-viewing-is-allowed/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'YouTube and Fair Use: When Viewing Is Allowed'. 27 December.

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