As Youtube gets bigger, Google has been working out deals with major companies to make more money. Some of these deals involve how Google interprets “Fair Use” on Youtube.
The most important thing people need to understand about Youtube is that it is a privately held corporation and they are free to decide what content they will and won’t monetize!
By contrast, “fair use” is a legal doctrine intended as a defense against a lawsuit.
If no one is suing you, “fair use” is simply not applicable!
And despite what you may have heard, inserting something like, “This video is a review and is protected by the fair-use policy and was made for educational purposes” provides you absolutely zero protection from your video being disabled!
The reason is thus: because it is not cost effective to sue millions of people who upload copyrighted material, major corporations are working out agreements with Youtube to ensure they don’t have to file lawsuits to have copyright infringement removed from Youtube. This means it becomes very important to comply with Youtube’s policies concerning the use of material you don’t own in your videos,
If you are interested in making a cover song or song parody it would behoove you to obtain a license for the song to show Youtube when a Content ID claim is undoubtedly placed on your video, or your monetization request is declined by a member of Youtube’s copyright team.
Obtaining a license is not always as expensive as you may think, because the entertainment industry is very complex. Although one corporation may own the rights to a song, many companies have licensing agreements to large libraries of songs and they are able to sell “sub-licenses” to others.
This company tends to charge $15 to issue a license for making a cover song (which includes parody). You will also need to pay royalties of your song earnings, but this is better than the $0 you would be making without a license.