Intellectual Property disputes are often characterised by an inequality of resources and funds which allows established businesses to triumph by virtue of an arms race rather than solely on the strength of their legal position.
YouTube is reliant on both large enterprises and small creators to upload huge amounts of content each day. This is in part why they have created this fund so that some selected small content users do not have to worry about the legal costs liabilities they may incur in trying to justify their use of the creative content of others on the basis of the US ‘fair use’ defence.
It is important to note that these funds are only made available in relation to a few very specific cases and so far, have not been made available to any UK creator.
In the UK, the government has been trying to adopt methods which allow for resolution of intellectual property issues without the need for the expense of litigation.
This includes use of the small claims track of the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court where a very limited costs recovery regime applies, but also of the alternative dispute resolution services used by Nominet (in relation to domain names) and the Intellectual Property Office (in respect of trademarks).
YouTube owner Google says it will help fund up to $1m (£650,000) in legal fees for some content creators who have received copyright takedown notices.