William & Mary Business Law Review


In the early days of the Internet, copyright owners concentrated on eliminating infringement threats posed by the new technology. Today, many copyright owners are partnering with major user-generated content platforms in order to participate in and receive compensation for some third-party infringement occurring on the Internet. YouTube pioneered such partnership arrangements in 2006 with a new kind of copyright license now referred to as a “second level agreement.” In 2008, YouTube unveiled Content ID, which streamlined the process for entering into second level agreements with the site. This Note analyzes Content ID and the second level agreements underlying it to determine how the average YouTube uploader is legally affected, and how the agreements square with federal copyright law when Content ID does not adequately safeguard against false ownership claims.