The government has virtually no data on this mostly unregulated, $250 billion global industry, says Drew Harwell of The Washington Post.
"It's quite a tasteless pursuit, but it seems as though it's a pursuit driven by desperation, like they are casting around looking for ways to make money online," WIRED reporter Kate Knibbs said of the YouTube obituary pirates.
The case centers on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields tech platforms from legal liability over third-party content.
Content ID determines when content is copyrighted and can divert payments to the rights holder. But few artists have access to the tool.
The bans follow Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Social media platforms have often resisted calls to restrict controversial content.
Making Youtube videos or streaming on twitch can be a full-time job (for some).
YouTube generated $5 billion dollars in the last three months and $15 billion over the year, around 10% of Alphabet’s total revenue.
Platforms like Netflix, HBO and Amazon are competing with each other for celebrity life stories, at about $25 million a pop.
Critics say the $170 million penalty will do little to change the video platform's behavior.
Dozens of popular videos advise kids and teens who are eager to fit in. And those young influencers can make thousands of dollars.