Do You Use Other People's Content In Your Own Videos?

If you're a content creator, you'll often source clips from the internet to re-enforce the messages in your videos. But have you ever thought about the usage rights of those clips? Youtube has a particularly tricky to understand set of terms and conditions of use ...

Youtube is the second biggest search engine in the world behind Google itself. It's popularity skyrocketed when Google bought them from the original developers. As the company was used to dealing with copyright infringements via its Image Search functionality, they imposed a stringent set of usage rights on the clips uploaded by its contributors.

"Creators should only upload videos that they have made or that they're authorised to use!"

That is the first sentence of YouTube's own copyright page. You must have made the video yourself using completely original content, or you should be authorised to use whatever you're uploading. It doesn't matter whether it's video clips or the music that sits behind them, if you infringe someone's copyright, your hard work will be muted at the very least or even deleted completely from the platform.

Apart from the copyright page we mentioned above, the actual terms of use go further. Youa re not allowed to

- Access, reproduce, download, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, alter, modify or otherwise use any part of the Service or any Content except: (a) as specifically permitted by the Service; (b) with prior written permission from YouTube and, if applicable, the respective rights holders - Use the Service to view or listen to Content other than for personal, non-commercial use (for example, you may not publicly screen videos or stream music from the Service)

YouTube scans any upload automatically, and issues strikes when it's algorithms believe a copyright infringement occurs. You must respond to any claims immediately, justifying the usage of whatever audio or video clip has been flagged and proving you have a license for it.

We recently came across a company who had embedded a YouTube video from a well-known motivational speaker onto their website. This, of course, is against YouTube's terms of use and leaves the business open to a copyright claim from the rights holder.

"This could potentially run into many thousands of pounds!"

People often cite the 'fair usage' policy on YouTube, but that only applies in the US and is judged on a case-by-case basis. You cannot make the assumption of fair usage simply because you're only using a couple of seconds of a video clip, or are using a background track that includes a 50-year old piece of music. And once again, if you are using it for business purposes, fair usage will not apply in 99% of cases.

To be safe, creators must license the content they wish to display. Whether it is for your own website, for social media, even for YouTube, a proper license must be in place, and Display Rights is the company that can provide you with the usage rights at a very competitive price.

Wherever you are in the world, we can help you.