Victory for free speech: RiffTrax is back on YouTube

Good morning, folks. I’ve been a little busy this week, but I want to take a moment to bring you some terrific news. In response to an appeal, YouTube on Wednesday reinstated the RiffTrax account after suspending it earlier this month for potential copyright infringement.

This means that once again YouTube visitors will be able to enjoy short preview samples of Mike Nelson’s audio riffs played on top of featured movies. As always, you can download the full-length audio-only files over at RiffTrax.com for reasonable fees.

YouTube is an important venue for companies like RiffTrax to attract new customers, so the victory is not without significance. As I mentioned last time, it is also an important test of “fair use” on YouTube. Compared to those who illegally upload copyrighted material, RiffTrax presents a different case because Nelson and company are essentially making editorial comments about the movie clips.

When announcing the reinstatement, RiffTrax’s torgosPizza noted, “It’s nothing big, but in my opinion it’s an achievement for free speech, fair use and copyright law.”

So, what are they riffing on now over at RiffTrax? They recently added Next, a Nicholas Cage/Jessica Biel movie you have probably never heard of. Though it’s fun to finally hear Star Trek, Star Wars, and other high profile riffs, I personally tend to like riffs of these kinds of lesser-known movies better, as it harkens back to the old MST3K days. Joining Nelson on the riffing duties this time out is his wife, Bridgett. Be sure to check out the entire catalog over at RiffTrax.