Go read about a law school’s ridiculous battle over YouTube copyright strikes

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Copyright law is two things: a gnostically complex rubric for deciding who can reproduce a work of art, and one of the most powerful legal forces on the internet. But precisely how complex and how powerful? Well, enough that a major law school thought it might lose its YouTube channel in a copyright dispute over a video explaining copyright law.

Last year, the NYU School of Law held a conference on intellectual property, including a panel about music copyright. When musicians sue each other for stealing songs, their cases hinge on a fascinating and intricate analysis of rhythm, style, and uniqueness. The panelists illustrated this with seconds-long clips of several famous songs — sometimes unaltered, sometimes stripped down to individual…

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