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When you post a video to YouTube, we own the copyright to that video. That means you have the right to decide who can watch it, how it’s used, and whether or not people can make money off it.
You can give others some or all of those rights through a copyright license. For example, you could give someone the right to monetize your video on YouTube. Or you could give someone the right to use your video in their creative work.
Copyright licenses are a great way to control how other people use your video. But before you give someone a copyright license, you should keep a few things in mind. We’ll review some best practices for giving out copyright licenses on YouTube.
What is Copyright?
Copyright is a legal protection that gives creators the exclusive right to control how their work is used and distributed. Only the copyright holder can decide where and how their work is shared. People who use your copyrighted material without your permission infringe on your rights.
Certain types of content cannot be copyrighted, such as ideas, titles, and names. However, almost all other types of content are eligible for copyright protection as soon as they are created and fixed in a tangible form (like a video or audio recording). This includes things like scripts, dialogue, music, and footage.
It’s essential to note that we don’t have to register your work with the government to receive copyright protection. Your job is automatically protected as soon as it is created. However, writing your work does have some benefits.
For example, it allows you to file a lawsuit if someone infringes on your rights. Additionally, registering your work will enable you to collect statutory damages if you win your case (more on later).
What is fair use?
One common misconception about copyright law is that it only applies to large corporations or significant businesses. This isn’t true! Copyright law applies to everyone, including individuals and small businesses.
However, an exception to this rule is called “fair use.” It is a legal doctrine that allows people to use copyrighted material without permission under certain circumstances. It’s important to note that fair use is decided on a case-by-case basis, so there’s no hard-and-fast rule about what does or does not constitute fair use.
Courts will typically consider four factors when determining whether or not something is fair use:
- The purpose and character of the use
- The nature of the copyrighted work
- The amount of copyrighted work used
- The effect on the use of the market for the copyrighted work
No single factor determines whether or not something is of fair use; instead, courts will look at all four factors together to make a decision.
YouTube Copyright basics
The first thing to understand about YouTube and copyright is that YouTube is not responsible for the copyright infringement of its users. That responsibility lies with the user who uploaded the infringing material. However, if a user repeatedly uploads infringing material, YouTube may take action against that user, including terminating their account.
To help prevent infringement, YouTube provides a tool called Content ID. Content ID allows copyright holders to submit their copyrighted material to YouTube so that it can be scanned for matches against other user-uploaded content.
If a game is found, the copyright holder can choose to have the video taken down, monetized through ads, or left alone.
How to avoid Cpyright Infringement on YouTube
To avoid infringing on someone else’s copyright, you can either get permission from the copyright holder or make sure that your video qualifies as fair use. It is a legal doctrine that allows limited use of copyrighted material without getting permission from the rights holder.
Factors that are considered when determining whether or not something is fair use include:
- The purpose and character of the service.
- The nature of the copyrighted work.
- The amount and substantiality of the portion used about the copyrighted work.
- The effect of the use on the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
Types of materials You can Copyright
Four types of materials can be copyrighted: literary works, musical works, dramatic works, pantomimes, and choreographic works.
A literary work is any work that is written, such as a book, article, or blog post.
A musical work is any work set to music, such as a song or piece of instrumental music.
A dramatic work is any work intended to be performed before an audience, such as a play or script.
Pantomimes and choreographic works
A mime is a performance that involves gesture and body movement but no spoken dialogue. A choreographic work is a series of dance steps or activities combined to form a cohesive whole.
Types of Copyrights
You need to be aware of two types of copyrights when creating YouTube videos: performance rights and reproduction rights. Performance rights cover a copyrighted work’s life or recorded performance, including musical concerts, plays, and dance recitals.
Reproduction rights cover the copying and distribution of copyrighted work. This includes things like books, movies, and television shows.
When uploading a video to YouTube, you must have both performance and reproduction rights for any copyrighted material in your video. Otherwise, your video could be subject to removal.
Getting permission to use Copyrighted material
If you want to utilize copyright material in a YouTube video, you will need permission from the copyright holder. The best way is to send a request for permission in writing. Please include what material you want and how you plan to use it. Remember that the copyright holder may charge a fee for permitting you to use their material.
You can also try contacting the copyright holder directly. They will often be happy to permit you if you give them credit in your video description or end credits.
When using copyrighted material on YouTube, it’s essential to consider both the laws of copyright and YouTube’s policies. Copyright law generally gives the creator of a work the exclusive right to control how that work is used, reproduced, and distributed.
You may infringe on their rights if you use someone else’s copyrighted material without their permission. Additionally, YouTube has its guidelines regarding copyright and other legal issues. You can find more information about YouTube’s policies here.
One way to avoid copyright infringement is to use only royalty-free or Creative Commons-licensed materials in your videos. Royalty-free materials can be used without paying royalties or licensing fees, while Creative Commons-licensed materials are those that the copyright holder has released under a specific set of license terms.
You can find more information about finding royalty-free and Creative Commons-licensed material here.
Another way to avoid copyright infringement is to obtain permission from the copyright holder to use their material in your video. It is usually done through a process called “licensing.” Licensing agreements vary depending on the type of copyrighted material you want to use.
Still, they typically involve paying a fee to the copyright holder in exchange for their permission to use their work. You can find more information about obtaining licenses for copyrighted material here.
- Only use copyrighted material that you have the rights to use. This means that you own the copyright yourself or have obtained permission from the copyright holder to use the material.
- Don’t use more of the copyrighted work than is necessary. For example, if you’re using a song in your video, only use a small portion of the music rather than the entire thing.
- Make sure that your use of the copyrighted material is considered fair use under U.S. copyright law. Fair use is a defense to copyright infringement that allows for the limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder. Whether or not to use is considered fair depends on several factors, including the purpose and character of the use, the nature of the copyrighted work, and the amount and substantiality of the portion used.
YouTube copyrights best practices
As the owner of a copyright work, you have the exclusive right to control how that work is used. You can give others some or all of those rights through a copyright license.
For example, you could give someone the right to monetize your video on YouTube. Or you could give someone the right to use your video in their creative work. Copyright licenses are a great way to control how other people use your video.
But before you give someone a copyright license, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Make sure you understand what rights you’re licensing
- Choose who you want to license your rights to carefully
- Consider using a standard form of contract
- Keep track of who has licensed your rights and what they’ve licensed
- Make sure you comply with any terms of the license agreement
- Read YouTube’s copyright policy.
- Understand what content is protected by copyright.
- Get permission from the copyright holder before using copyrighted material.
- Use only a small amount of copyrighted material.
- Use only material that is not subject to copyright protection.
- Do not upload videos containing copyrighted material without the copyright holder’s permission.
- If you are unsure whether something is copyrighted, do not use it.
- Do not falsely claim that you are the copyright holder of someone else’s work.
- Do not use misleading or false information in the video’s description, tags, or title to avoid copyright infringement claims.
- Respond promptly and appropriately if you receive a copyright infringement notification.
- Do not submit a counter-notification unless you are confident that your video does not infringe on someone else’s copyright.
- If you receive a copyright strike, take it seriously and take steps to avoid receiving another one.
- Three strikes will result in your account being permanently suspended from YouTube
- Only use the content you have created yourself or in the public domain.
- If you want to use someone else’s content, make sure you have their permission.
- If you’re unsure whether the content is copyrighted or not, err on the side of caution and don’t use it.
- When in doubt, consult a lawyer.
- You can’t copyright an idea, only an expression of that idea.
- Copyright protection starts as soon as the work is created, even if it’s not published.
- You don’t need to register your work with the copyright office to get copyright protection.
- Copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years.
- After the copyright expires, the work enters the public domain and can be used by anyone without permission from the copyright holder.
- Just because something is public domain, that doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want with it – there may still be other restrictions on how it can be used.
- Know the basics of copyright law
- Understand YouTube’s copyright policy
- Use only original content or content with permission.
- Give credit to the source.
- Do not use copyrighted music.
- Do not use copyrighted images.
- Do not use copyrighted videos.
- Do not use copyrighted software.
- Do not use copyrighted fonts.
- Do not use copyrighted logos.
- Do not use copyrighted characters.
- Do not use copyrighted art.
- Do not use copyrighted trademarks.
- Do not use copyrighted names.
- Do not use copyrighted symbols.
- Do not use copyrighted designs.
- Do not use copyrighted materials.
- Know the basics of copyright law
- Understand what content is protected by copyright
- Get permission before using copyrighted material.
- Use only a small amount of copyrighted material.
- Transform the copyrighted material into something new
- Use only lawfully acquired copyrighted material.
- Don’t falsely claim that you created the work.
- Give credit to the copyright holder.
- Don’t use someone else’s work to make money.
- Keep good records
- Know when you don’t need permission
- Use Creative Commons-licensed works.
- Use public domain works.
- Understand YouTube’s policies on copyright
- Don’t upload copyrighted material to YouTube.
- If you receive a copyright strike, take it seriously.
- If your video is taken down for copyright infringement, appeal the decision if you believe it was made in error.
- When in doubt, err on the side of caution
- Seek professional help if you’re unsure about something
- Respect the intellectual property of others
- YouTube offers a variety of content that is protected by copyright. This includes music, movies, TV shows, video games, and more.
YouTube users are responsible for ensuring that they do not upload any copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder. YouTube provides a tool that allows users to search for copyrighted material. This tool can be found in the “Copyright” section of YouTube’s help center.
If a user uploads a video that contains copyrighted material, they may receive a copyright strike from YouTube. A copyright strike will result in the user’s account being suspended.
If a user receives three copyright strikes, their account will be permanently suspended. Users can avoid receiving copyright strikes by only uploading videos they have created themselves or obtaining permission from the copyright holder to upload.
If a user receives a copyright strike, they can appeal the decision by following the instructions in YouTube’s help center. YouTube has a policy of terminating accounts that receive multiple copyright strikes.
YouTube is a powerful marketing tool, but it’s essential to ensure you use it in compliance with copyright laws. Our team will guide you to develop a content strategy that works for your brand and keeps you in compliance with all the latest copyright regulations.
Have questions about how to use YouTube for your business? Contact us for more information or a consultation on how we can help get your videos seen by the right people- and not taken down because of a copyright issue.