YouTube Copyright Explained

What is Copyright?

Copyright is a very important topic on YouTube and one that is continually shrouded in mystery.

Once someone creates an original piece of work in a fixed medium, he or she automatically owns the copyright to that piece of work. Owning a piece of copyright gives the owner exclusive rights to use the work in certain and specific ways. There are many types of work that are eligible for copyright protection.

It is possible to use someones work without infringing copyright, but this can only be done in very specific ways and is known as Fair Use.

Some creators also make their work readily available as long as certain requirements are met, this is known as the Creative Commons licence.

Copyright, Trademarks and Patents

Copyright is just one form of protection for intellectual property and is quite different from Trademarks. Trademarks are put in place to protect brand names, mottos, logos etc. and is also very different to Patents which are designed to protect inventions. YouTube offers separate removal processes for videos which violate trademark, trade secret and other laws.

Copyright and Privacy

Just because you appear in a video, image or audio recording does not mean that you own the copyright to it. For example, if you appeared in a video that was filmed by a friend of yours, your friend would own the copyright to this, and the words that were spoken during this video are not subject to copyright unless they were fixed in advance.

If someone uploaded a video or recording of you without your permission then this could be dealt with by filing a privacy complaint.

YouTube and Copyright Ownership

YouTube is not able to mediate during ownership disputes. Once a completed takedown notice is issued, the infringing content is removed from YouTube. When they receive a valid counter notification this is then passed on to the individual that requested the removal of content. From there, it is down to the two parties involved to come to an agreement themselves.

We hope that this has shed some light on the different copyright laws. For some of the finer points of Copyright and YouTube we’ll leave that to Glove and Boots to explain