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Licensing YouTube Videos

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Graeme Smith
Licensing YouTube Videos
on Jun 14, 2011 at 8:06:24 pm

I'm gathering YouTube videos for a Tosh.o type segment on a new Cable TV show, and I'm not sure how to begin the process of licensing the videos. For popular news broadcasts (e.g. Antoine Dodson) I'm planning to reach out to the respective News Channels, but where do I go to license the home video-type stuff?

Thanks to anyone who has experience with this process or has a contact that I can reach out to with one of the popular viral-broadcast shows (Tosh.o, The Soup, etc.)


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Chuck Pullen
Re: Licensing YouTube Videos
on Jun 15, 2011 at 2:26:10 pm

It’s been my understanding, that once you post a video on YouTube, Face book, Etc… It becomes THEIR VIDEO! That being the case, whenever you see YouTube video on the news, the usually courtesy YouTube, unless the poster is some well known entity. Now that is for news programming, this may be different for an entertainment program, but as far as just grabbing random clips that were shot by individuals, you should be able to use it without their permission, although I wouldn’t suggest that with large corporations.

Chuck


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Andrew Rendell
Re: Licensing YouTube Videos
on Jun 16, 2011 at 1:25:08 pm

Accorsding to the standard terms on my youtube account:

7.2 You retain all of your ownership rights in your Content, but you are required to grant limited licence rights to YouTube

I used some youtube clips in a tv programme last year and we got permission from the originators, not youtube. There are situations where using youtube clips might legally come under "fair use" and most news coverage would come into that category (so they technically don't need to clear it at all, they'd just be getting permission from youtube to include their logo). Entertainment programmes probably wouldn't, documentaries might depending on how the material was used.

Copyright law, although simple enough in concept, can be quite complicated in practice. Don't rely on what someone says on the internet unless you know they've got some legal credibility... (especially me)


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Chuck Pullen
Re: Licensing YouTube Videos
on Jun 16, 2011 at 2:17:18 pm

[Andrew Rendell] "7.2 You retain all of your ownership rights in your Content, but you are required to grant limited licence rights to YouTube"

How would you define "limited license rights"? This has been discussed at length in the business & marketing forum MANY times over the past few years from the perspective of the content creator. Yes you retain the rights to your video, but once it's posted on YouTube, you have to assume that everyone in the world is going to see and/or possibly reuse your video and their isn't much you can do about it.

I know a photog who shot some fairly famous video of a news incident in the Midwest several years ago. A third party that bought the rights just to air the footage, also posted it online and shared it for free to other news outlets that legally should have paid to air that footage. He has spend almost $100,000 just to file all of the paperwork and prepare a case, and he hasn't even gone to court yet!

Bottom-line, if you post video/photos online people are going to see, use, and probably not pay you for it if they can get for free. Again from my news background, we regularly use YouTube clips and just give the courtesy without really bothering to obtain permission.

I would say an entertainment program MAY get away with that, but there you are also exposing yourself to a potential lawsuit from the original rights holder.

Chuck


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Andrew Rendell
Re: Licensing YouTube Videos
on Jun 17, 2011 at 6:53:58 am

Basically, what the small print effectively says is that YouTube can do pretty much anything they want to do with your stuff. As a user I know that when I put stuff up on youtube to show to friends anyone can see it (unless I make it private, which rather defeats the point) so it's "out there" and I have no control over what happens to it.

As a tv professional I'm aware of copyright law and "fair use" (which very roughly means that you don't have to get permission if you're using stuff for the purpose of commentary, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship) but unless I'm absolutely sure that whatever I want to use some material for does come under fair use, I wouldn't put myself in a position where someone could tie me up in a legal case (whether justified or not).


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Chuck Pullen
Re: Licensing YouTube Videos
on Jun 17, 2011 at 4:24:14 pm

So the follow up question to your point would be “If someone gives YouTube limited license rights, can YouTube in turn receive compensation or give permission to a third party to use of said video?” Can someone like Graeme ask YouTube for blanket permission to use any video that they would like from their site in return for compensation/publicity, or does he need to contact each original rights holder individually?

Chuck


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Andrew Rendell
Re: Licensing YouTube Videos
on Jun 17, 2011 at 4:46:33 pm

I don't want to answer that question as I think it is one that you should take legal advice on.

On the production that I used youtube clips in, we had a researcher contact the originators and get permission, offering a small fee IIRC (and also with the intention of getting hold of better quality files than youtube downloads, which were dropped into the programme after I was done editing). We regarded it as the safe thing for an entertainment show to do.

Maybe getting permission from youtube would be enough, but we took the view that if someone decided to make an issue of it, we didn't want to be the ones standing in a court room finding out.


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Chuck Pullen
Re: Licensing YouTube Videos
on Jun 17, 2011 at 4:51:56 pm

Well that is kind of the point, that worked for you in your production as it was a one time thing and you had time to acquire rights.

This guy, or a show like Tosh.0/The Soup is doing a nightly or weekly show and the only way they could really make that work, would be to get some sort of blanket permission from YouTube.

Realistically they can’t pick clips, ask for permission, negotiate individually, and still produce timely programming.

Chuck


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Graeme Smith
Re: Licensing YouTube Videos
on Jun 17, 2011 at 5:10:07 pm

Really appreciate all the thought going into this guys. Just want you to know I am still here and following this discussion closely.

This show will actually not be produced on a week-to-week. We'll be featuring 8 viral videos as part of one segment on one show in a ten-part series, so we would actually have time to negotiate with the individual parties, if it came to that.


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David Sharp
Re: Licensing YouTube Videos
on Jul 6, 2011 at 12:18:02 pm

Hello I am new here and would like to ask about an offer I had from an organisation requesting licence to use one of my Youtube videos on a Japanese TV program with 5 million viewers. The person making the request is an agent I guess and has offered $500 for a licence to show the clip of TV.
How can I find what a reasonable price to accept might be. Maybe any price is good !! Any advice from you professions would be appreciated

David Sharp


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