from the fair-abuse dept
Angry Joe, real name Jose Antonio Vargas, has appeared on our pages several times in the past. In addition to being a famed YouTube creator with a huge following, Angry Joe also regularly rages against the DMCA machine. Whether he’s criticizing Twitch’s takedown policies, swearing off Nintendo for being bullies, or battling CBS over television show reviews that were taken down, he tends to fight the good fight.
And speaking of his fighting with CBS, he’s been at it again recently over the Halo TV show. Angry Joe was given screeners of upcoming episodes and has been reviewing them on YouTube, as per his usual gig. CBS, it seems, keeps claiming the monetization for those videos via copyright claims. Notably, these appear to be manual copyright claims, so can’t be blamed on overaggressive algorithms. Angry Joe then edits the videos down to limit the amount of footage from the show he’s using, but the claims keep coming. There’s even a Reddit megathread tracking all of this stupid drama.
CBS has issued copyright claims on certain bits of the footage from the Halo TV show on multiple occasions, which means the ad revenue is then transferred to the copyright creator rather than Joe himself. He demonstrates how difficult it’s proving for him to get around this, and states that CBS is “completely ignoring and abusing” the fair use policy, which is “a US law that allows the reuse of copyright-protected material under certain circumstances without getting permission from the copyright owner.”
And he’s right about that. Using clips of a show the content producer invited him to watch in order to review the product lands the footage use squarely in fair use territory. Especially given all the efforts he’s undergone to limit the amount of footage he’s using. He’s had to go through this editing exercise five times thus far. The latest version of the review appears to be holding, though, either because the folks at CBS have decided this version is okay… or perhaps because Angry Joe opens the video with a direct threat to take this all to court, where he would almost certainly win.
CBS, meanwhile, gets to look like a bullying jerk that either doesn’t know how fair use works, or simply doesn’t like the content in some of Angry Joe’s reviews, which are fairly negative when it comes to the quality of the show. As he’s noted in some of his videos, this didn’t seem to happen when he was being positive in his reviews, suggesting that it’s not purely about the “copyright” issue.
Either way, this is all clearly fair use. Given how intently at least one person at CBS watches these videos, the opening monologue has now ensured that CBS, too, should know it’s fair use. But, that doesn’t mean it won’t keep claiming the videos.
I’m not going to pretend, though, that part of me wouldn’t love to cover such a court case….