I can haz copyright?

The thorny legalities of all those cute cat videos…

Brett Farrell

pepperfire Melbourne IP Lawyer, Isobelle Fabian (@isobelleclare) watched a LOT of cat videos on the internet to make these points about copyright law in Australia. Isobelle writes:

They’re the archetypal internet time-wasting activity, starting out as deceptively simple entertainment and quickly developing into a full-blown addiction.

Yes, I’m talking about YouTube cat videos.


The internet and YouTube in particular seems to have an endless supply of cute cats doing cute things. Check out here and here and here and…well, you get the picture.

So it’s natural that when someone puts together an ad showing all the cool things you can do with your internet-connected TV/smartphone/microwave/whatever, they often want to put a cat video in there. But surprisingly enough, those adorable kitties hide a whole heap of thorny legal issues.

First off, let’s look at copyright. Videos are subject to copyright, which means that they can’t be reproduced without permission from…

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