YouTube suspends RiffTrax account for copyright infringement

YouTube has suspended the RiffTrax account for potential copyright infringement. The RiffTrax section contained two-minute preview samples of Mike Nelson’s audio riffs played on top of each featured movie.

While the RiffTrax site itself avoids copyright issues by only making their audio commentaries available (i.e., not the actual film video and audio), the difference on YouTube is that the clips contain the movie segments as well. Is it “fair use“? Possibly, but will RiffTrax have the legal resources to combat any challenges by big movie companies?

Ironically, RiffTrax coverage likely results in a slight spike in DVD sales for every movie title they take on.

What should we as fans do?

Right now, nothing. I checked over at the RiffTrax site where they posted the following statements:

“Before anyone posts or sends support email, yes – we are aware that our YouTube account has been suspended. We’ve been cited for copyright infringement. We’re investigating solutions and responses to this. We’ll try to keep everyone updated.”
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“It was probably just some MPAA intern working for some company searching all of YouTube with videos containing the keyword ‘Eragon.’ Anything meeting that criteria got linked and a DMCA copyright notice sent to YouTube.”

One way we can always support them, though, is by continuing to purchase RiffTrax over on the official RiffTrax site. So be sure to check them out. They just added Spider-Man this week.