News: One of my students showed me this nifty website founded by some bright kids at MIT. The group is called MIT Free Culture — I take it inspired by Larry Lessig — and it tracks 230,348 videos on YouTube to see how many are removed for alleged copyright violations. So far, 4,948 such videos removed from YouTube, presumably based on DMCA notices.
Analysis: These are interesting numbers. Of course, we don’t know how many of these copyright claims were legitimate. And we don’t know how MIT Free Culture chose its sample. So, putting aside all those variables, the number of DMCA notices seem rather low — by my math, a little over 2% of the total videos in the sample. So that suggests that a lot of the content on YouTube is not infringing or copyright holders don’t mind.