fbpx
Categories
TIPS & TRICKS

Do YouTubers Need a Business License?

Many YouTubers find themselves caught off-guard by the realities of their success. It is one thing to get millions of views on a viral video and achieve a brief moment of Internet fame, but it is quite another to start making good money as a result of that success.

As much as people in certain parts of the political spectrum may be unhappy about it, we each live in a society that requires certain things of us, namely contributions to that society in the form of taxes. In an ideal world, we would all voluntarily contribute, but the reality of human nature means that governments have to take steps to make sure we all do our part, and business licenses are part of that system.

What is a Business License?

Before we get into this, we should point out that business licences are primarily a United States thing, with India also using them. We will do our best to explain the purpose of a business licence, and for those of you living in countries or regions that don’t use them, you should be able to identify the equivalent systems where you are.

Business licences are required for any… well… business. The precise nature of these licences will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, as well as depending on what the business actually does. Businesses are required to pay business taxes, and licences—which are essentially permits—are part of establishing what taxes that business should pay.

Do YouTubers Need a Business License?

There are three answers to this question; yes, no, and yes with an asterisk. Let’s start with the easiest one of these to answer.

If your YouTube channel does not make any money, you are not required to have a business licence for it. There may be some uncommon situations where this is not the case, however.

For example, if your YouTube channel involves owning or renting premises, or any kind of disruption to the local area, you will almost certainly need a business licence regardless of whether you make any money.

The chances of any of that being the case for a YouTube channel that is not already established and profitable, however, are very slim. For most people if, their channel is not making money, they won’t need a licence.

Now, onto the definite yes.

If your channel is making a lot of money, you almost certainly will need a business licence if you are in a part of the world where business licences apply.

But what about that yes with an asterisk?

Now, let’s be absolutely clear; this is not a business advice blog.

You should absolutely check the laws in your locality before making any decisions about things like business licences. That being said, it is worth noting that there has to be a reason for a government agency to come after you. If you make enough without paying taxes, they will notice. If you cause disruptions for your neighbours, and they report you to the authorities, you may bring attention to your YouTube shenanigans. In most laws, if you have a venture that makes any money at all, you should be getting a business licence for it, but the reality is that it is unlikely you will get in trouble if you are only making pennies.

But just to reiterate, the law typically doesn’t deal in likelihoods. If you get caught making pennies that the authorities don’t know about, you will still get in trouble.

Other Systems

There are, of course, many different systems in place across the world—the United States alone has different rules from state to state—so naturally, we can’t cover them all. One particularly relevant example for an English-speaking YouTube audience is the United Kingdom. Here there are no business licences, but you would be expected to declare yourself as a sole trader if you are making money, and become VAT registered if you are making a lot of money.

Do YouTubers Get Paid for Views?

What Counts as Making Money on YouTube?

This may seem like a bit of a silly section to include, but it is worth pointing that government organisations do not let you off if you play dumb or claim that you have only committed a minor crime.

All of the money you make is, legally speaking, supposed to be declared to your government. It doesn’t matter to them whether that money came as result of the YouTube Partner Programme, Super Chats, merchandise, Patreon, or anything else.

In other words, if you get a business licence for your YouTube channel, you can’t just declare the earnings that come directly from YouTube and hope to play ignorant if the government finds out about your Patreon.

Should I Apply For a Business Licence Straight Away

If you are not making money or doing anything that would warrant being classified as a business, there is no sense in rushing to getting a business licence. They are not prohibitively expensive, but they do cost money. And the process of getting one is rarely long or complicated. After all, business licences are essentially a means for taxing you, and governments aren’t in the habit of making it harder for them to get your money.

How Do I Make Money on YouTube?

All of the above may feel a little like getting ahead of yourself if you’re not sure how to make money on YouTube in the first place. Broadly speaking, it is a case of more views equals more money, but there are a few steps along the way to making that happen.

YouTube Partner Programme

Unless you have a compelling reason not to, your first goal should be to become part of the YouTube Partner Programme. There some requirements for doing this, but one of the advantages is that qualifying for the Partner Programme means you have reached certain milestones that show you are on the right path. Those requirements are;

  • Adhere to YouTube monetisation policies
  • Be in a region where the Partner Programme is available
  • Have at least 4,000 hours of valid public watch time over the last year
  • Have at least 1,000 subscribers
  • Have a linked AdSense account

Once you meet that criteria, you will be able to apply to the Partner Programme and, in the vast majority of cases, you will be accepted. From then on, YouTube will begin showing ads on eligible videos, and splitting the revenue generated from those ads with you.

Memberships

If and when you manage to build up a loyal audience, you can start to look at memberships as an option. If you are eligible, you can use YouTube’s built-in membership platform to do this, but there are also services like Patreon that can enable you to do this as well.

The premise is simple enough; users contribute a recurring amount to you to support your content, and as an added sweetener, you can offer exclusive content and other perks to encourage viewers to become members.

Merchandise

Merchandise isn’t for every channel, but for those that it is a good fit for, there are plenty of third party options, as well as YouTube’s own partnership for eligible channels. On-demand services mean you can offer merchandise without having to buy the stock in advance yourself, which significantly reduces the barrier to entry.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a way in which you can leverage your existing content by providing links and offers to your viewers which you get commission for. The most commonly used example of this is Amazon, where channels that review products or talk about new tech or similar can link off to those products through their Amazon affiliate links and earn a little money any time someone buys something through those links.

Affiliate links are handy because they can be used in a range of situations by a variety of channels. For example, a channel about improving your YouTube content might not have anything to sell, but they can leave a list of the equipment they use as affiliate links for people who are interested in using the same gear.

Final Thoughts

Business licences (or the equivalent for your jurisdiction) are the kind of thing that, practically speaking, won’t apply to most YouTubers. Sadly, the vast majority of YouTubers either don’t make any money from their channel, or they make so little that they’re probably never going to have to worry about the IRS paying them a visit.

That being said, if you earn any money from your YouTube channel, you will almost certainly be expected to declare that money to the government. While it’s true that you probably won’t have to worry if you are only making a few dollars here and there, you are still technically obliged to declare that money, and as such, legally in the wrong if you don’t.

Given the reach of YouTube and the many differences between states and countries, it is impossible for us to fit all of the relevant laws and regulations into one post. Always check your local laws and make sure you adhere to them. If you take your chances by not getting a business licence when you should, you do so at your own risk.

Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube

Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.

1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search

I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.

Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!

2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos

I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.

When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.

Big mistake!

I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.

That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.

Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.

3. Rev.com helps people read my videos

You can’t always listen to a video.

Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.

This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.

Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.

A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.

4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube

I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.

I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.

That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.

Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).

5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways

I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.

And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.

I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.

I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.

They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.

Categories
TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

Can You Use Copyrighted Music on YouTube if You Don’t Monetize?

Using copyrighted material on YouTube has always been a contentious area. Whether it’s big faceless corporations stifling small creators who are clearly within the realm of fair use, or YouTubers blatantly stealing other YouTubers content, there are plenty of examples of things turning sour.

The question of whether you can use copyrighted music in your videos is a common one for inexperienced YouTubers, and, generally speaking, the answer is no. But what about if you aren’t monetising those videos? In this video, we’re going to address that very question.

The Blunt Reality

There is some nuance to be discussed with this type of situation—and we will get to that nuance—but it should be noted first that there is an absolute to deal here.

From a purely legal and technical point of view, there is no situation where you can use copyrighted music in your videos without permission, with the complicated exception of fair use. Copyright protection is not limited to situations where the copyright infringer is making money from their use of the copyrighted media.

Loosely put, any time someone infringes on copyrighted music, there is potential for someone who might have bought a song or listened to it on a streaming service who will no longer do so because they heard it on your YouTube video. So, while you, the copyright infringer, might not be making any money from your use of the media, you could theoretically still be costing the copyright holder’s money.

So, the golden rule here is that any time you want to use copyrighted music, assume you need permission from the copyright holder. No exceptions. If you’d like a bit more information on fair use, here’s a handy video;

The Nuance

Okay, so that was the blunt reality of using copyrighted music. Now for the more nuanced YouTube reality.

Firstly, you are extremely unlikely to face any legal repercussions for copyright infringement on YouTube. That being said, there is nothing to stop a copyright holder from pursuing in the courts for damages. If you infringe copyright, you are taking this risk.

In practice, copyright holders are content to let YouTube’s built-in copyright protection methods do the heavy lifting. So, while you might not get sued by Warner Bros. for using music they hold the copyright for, you will still face repercussions from YouTube.

Strikes and Suspensions

In the olden days of YouTube, a successful copyright claim against your videos would see you get a copyright strike, with three strikes leading to a suspension/banning. The strikes system is still in place, but it is less relevant than it used to be, as we’ll talk about in a moment.

Banning is the most severe repercussion YouTube will bring down upon you. If you are a successful YouTuber who is perhaps making quite a bit of money on the platform, this is a pretty severe repercussion. If you are a small YouTuber—perhaps one who hasn’t even met the threshold for the YouTube Partner Programme—then the prospect of being banned might not seem so severe, but just bear in mind that the ban would be permanent, and YouTube would enforce it on any future accounts they identify as being you.

Can You Use Copyrighted Music on YouTube if You Don't Monetize? 1

Content ID and Copyright Claims

The reason the strikes system is less relevant these days is that YouTube have implemented a system whereby copyright holders can “claim” copyrighted content, as well the Content ID system for automatically detecting claimed content.

In cases where copyrighted music is detected—and not successfully counter-claimed—the copyright holder has a few options.

  • Mute the audio of your video
  • Block your video
  • Monetize your video
  • Track your video

The first two are pretty self-explanatory. Monetising your video is exactly what it sounds like, with the twist being that the money generated goes to the copyright holder, not you. Whether or not you have opted to monetize that video—or whether you are even eligible to monetize it—is not a factor here. The final option allows the copyright holder to track the viewing statistics of your video, giving them all the data about how many people have watched, where they are from, and everything else you can see about your viewing demographics.

If your content gets such a copyright claim—and it is legitimate—you have a few options. You can swap out the music, dispute the claim, or go with the flow and accept the copyright holder’s chosen action.

In this sense, you could use copyrighted music in your videos if you are not concerned about receiving revenue from them. However, it is worth noting that there is no way of knowing what the copyright holder’s preferred action is, other than finding out who the copyright holder is and looking it up.

For music that is flagged in the Content ID system, you can test the situation by uploading a private video with the music you intend to use. It doesn’t need to be a real video, just a blank screen with the music playing will do. You will be notified as soon as the video has finished processing, and your options will be presented to you.

Final Thoughts

Copyright issues on YouTube are far from straightforward. That is, unless you take the “you can’t use copyrighted music without permission, end of discussion” line of thinking, but, for the most part, you should be safe to experiment without fear of any serious consequences.

Content ID claims do not negatively affect your channel, and YouTube gives you the opportunity to resolve the copyright issues before the video ever goes public, reducing the possibility of real legal consequences significantly.

So, can you use copyrighted music on YouTube if you don’t monetize? The answer is yes… in some cases. It’s also the case that the “don’t monetize” part is non-optional, since you won’t be able to monetize your videos if they have copyrighted music in them.

But whether or not you tried to monetize the video is entirely irrelevant to whether you are allowed to use the copyrighted music.

Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube

Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.

1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search

I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.

Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!

2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos

I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.

When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.

Big mistake!

I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.

That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.

Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.

3. Rev.com helps people read my videos

You can’t always listen to a video.

Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.

This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.

Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.

A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.

4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube

I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.

I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.

That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.

Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).

5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways

I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.

And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.

I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.

I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.

They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.

Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

How Much of a Video Can You Use Legally?

Fair warning, dear reader; this is going to be one of those posts that doesn’t really give you a definitive answer. At least, not in all cases.

The issue of copyright is one that has been a thorn in the side of copyright holders, content creators, and user-generated content platforms since… well, since user-generated content platforms became a thing. Using content that you do not own the rights to is a dicey business, and one that can land you in trouble with YouTube. But at the same time, there are situations where it is perfectly acceptable. And, of course, there are messy grey areas in between.

In this post, we’re going to do our best to cover all the basics, so, if you’ve been wondering how much of a video can you use legally, keep reading!

The Video Matters

The main reason that there is no definitive answer to this question is that how much of a video you can legally use depends entirely on the video, as well as other factors around the video. Let’s start from the good and work our way to the bad.

Public Domain YouTube Channels for Free Footage 1

Public Domain Videos

Public domain videos are the best-case scenario when it comes to video content you want to use. This is because public domain content is completely free for anyone to use for any purpose. You can clip it, remix it… you can even repost it in its entirety, though YouTube will prevent you from monetising that kind of thing.

Public domain means that the copyright has expired, and the work has passed into the public domain. This also means no one can copyright it, however, works that incorporate public domain content can be copyrighted if they have been sufficiently modified from the original content.

Creative Commons

If you can’t find public domain content that suits your needs, Creative Commons is the next best thing. You will need to pay attention to the specific licence, however, because there are several flavours of Creative Commons, and they all have different stipulations.

For example, a CC0 licence is, for intents and purposes, the same as public domain works. CC0 is a “no rights reserved” licence that can be used for anything and does not require attribution. There are also versions of the Creative Commons licence that require attribution, or that are free to use for personal work only, and so on.

Other Types of Free Licence

There are several other types of licence out there that will allow you to use content without worrying about the copyright, but you should always check the specifics of each licence. For example, the Against DRM Licence becomes void if DRM is placed on the work using the licenced content.

Copyrighted Content

And here we get to, unfortunately, the most common type of content you are likely to want to use in your videos. The reality, most of the content will be copyrighted, and, depending on the copyright holder, it may be an almost impossible prospect to get permission.

If the copyright holder is a large corporation—like Viacom, or Disney—you can pretty much kiss goodbye to any hope of legally using the content. It’s not impossible, but if you can even get a response from them, they’ll probably ask for an extortionate amount of money.

If the copyright holder is another YouTuber—especially a YouTuber of similar or smaller stature to yourself—then your chances of getting permission go up somewhat. Whether they say yes will still come down to their preferences and what you intend to do with the content, but you should at least be able to talk to them about it.

Fair Use

Fair Use is a complicated topic that deserves more than a small section in this blog post, so we won’t try to cover everything here. To sum it up, however, the concept of fair use says that you should be able to use copyrighted material for limited and transformative purposes without the permission of the copyright holder. Some examples of fair use include commentary videos, and parody.

Unfortunately, there is no rigidly defined concept of what constitutes fair use, and it is not a law as such, but a defence. That means that fair use would not come into play until after you have been sued, and are in court defending yourself. Needless to say, companies like Disney are not shy about breaking out the lawyers, and they probably have more money than you.

So, while the concept of fair use is appealing, the practical nature of it means you can still fall afoul of copyright holders, no matter how reasonable your interpretation of fair use is.

False Flags

Another problem to be aware of is copyright holders claiming content that they do not have the rights to claim. This can happen in situations where the content has similar audio to some copyrighted content, or where the copyrighted content features some public domain or Creative Commons licenced work. It is nearly always the result of YouTube’s Content ID system, which automatically checks for copyright infringement.

Unfortunately, there are no checks in place to verify that the “copyright holder” actually owners the copyright to the content they are claiming. In most cases, you should be able to counter-claim it and, as long as it was an honest error, the claim will be removed.

Final Thoughts

As a general rule, you should strive to avoid using content that you didn’t create as much as possible. Granted, there are situations where it’s just not possible, but there will always be additional baggage with content you don’t own, even if it’s just YouTube demonetising the video for re-using existing content.

If you do have to use content from elsewhere, be sure to check the copyright status of it, and pay attention to any licencing that might apply.

And, if you are relying on fair use, it’s best not to push the boundaries of the fair use description… unless that’s precisely what you’re going for, of course.

Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube

Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.

1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search

I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.

Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!

2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos

I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.

When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.

Big mistake!

I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.

That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.

Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.

3. Rev.com helps people read my videos

You can’t always listen to a video.

Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.

This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.

Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.

A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.

4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube

I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.

I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.

That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.

Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).

5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways

I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.

And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.

I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.

I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.

They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.

Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE YOUTUBE

Public Domain YouTube Channels for Free Footage

Public domain video is a great source of content for clips, transformative projects, and, frankly, just entertainment.

Public domain video—and any other content, such as audio and text—is completely free of copyright, and can be consumed for free, as well as used in other media without having to seek permission.

Naturally, with YouTube being easily the largest distributor of free-to-consume video around, there is plenty of public domain video on YouTube… if you know where to look. Though this is by no means an exhaustive list, we’ve collected together some good channels for public domain content.

What is “Public Domain”?

If you’re not sure what public domain means, it is essentially a piece of content that has either passed naturally out of copyright due to age, been released from copyright by the copyright holder, or was never copyrighted in the first place.

Public domain material has no licencing requirements or restrictions, and can be used in part or in whole for any purpose, including commercial. A popular example of someone using public domain content to make something new is the 2009 novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith. This novel uses the original text from the classic novel, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, but adds more narrative, turning the story of 19th-century English aristocracy into one set amidst a world full of zombies.

If you are interesting in uploading public domain content to your YouTube channel, check this post out.

Can I Upload Public Domain Movies on YouTube?

Public Domain Movies YouTube

Cinema has been around for a long time, and there are many movies that, either by quirks of copyright law, a filmmakers generous nature, or just the length of time since they were made, have passed into the public domain. Here are some channels where you can find entire public domain movies.

Public Domain Films

As the name of the channel suggest, Public Domain Films uploads entire public domain movies. There is a lot of variety here, from 7-minute shorts to full 90-minute movies. Some are in colour, some are relatively recent. There are films as recent as the late 1980s on there.

Public Domain Movies — Classic Movies Free

Much the same as above, Public Domain Movies has a wide selection of full movies that are in the public domain. This channel also has a selection of playlists, breaking those movies up into genres to make it easier to find something you like.

Public Domain Cinema

Public Domain Cinema is, broadly speaking, the same as the previous two suggestions, though with over 300 films, they are bound to have some public domain movies that Public Domain Films and Public Domain Movies don’t have.

Public Domain Music YouTube

Public domain media is not limited to movies, and there can be just as much of a demand for public domain music. Here are a few channels that deliver that very thing.

Audio Library

Audio Library is a channel dedicated to collecting copyright-free music for creators to use in their projects. And, with over four million subscribers, it is an incredibly popular resource.

It should be noted that not everything on this channel is public domain—there is a lot of Creative Commons music, and other licences that allow people to use the music freely while not being public domain. For most use-cases, this will be a minor detail, but if you are planning on using the audio in your videos, you should always make sure you know what the licencing and copyright situation is.

Public Domain Classical Music

Being one of the oldest genres to be recorded, it shouldn’t be surprising that there is a lot of classical music in the public domain. Public Domain Classical Music is a channel dedicated to just that.

Public Domain Music

Public Domain Music doesn’t have a gimmick or specialisation, but it is another source of public domain music that you can use in your videos without having to ask permission. You can also just enjoy listening to it, if you wish.

Public Domain YouTube Channels for Free Footage

Why is Public Domain Content on YouTube?

You might be wondering why anyone goes to the trouble of uploading public domain videos and music to YouTube, and there are a couple of answers to this.

The first answer is pretty straightforward; money. There is no copyright on public domain videos, which means there is no restriction on what you can do with it, and that includes monetising it. Populate a channel with hundreds of public domain videos, promote it, and rake in the cash, right?

Well, not exactly. While this has no doubt worked for some, YouTube has a policy against monetising duplicate content, even if there are no copyright issues at play.

The second reason is accessibility. You see, while public domain content is free, the distribution is not. If a book publisher does a printing run of a popular novel that is now in the public domain, you can’t demand they give you the book for free because they still paid for the printing and the paper. Likewise, any online video host is paying for the bandwidth and storage of that content, and the fact that they are hosting public domain materials does not obligate them to give you access.

However, YouTube allows free access to all its normal video content, so uploading public domain videos and music to YouTube is a great way to make sure it is available to everyone for free.

Final Thoughts

If we’re being completely honest, you’re probably not looking for public domain content to consume it. The chances are, if you’re the kind of person who is interested in obscure movies from 1923, you’ve probably already seen them.

The more likely reason, of course, is that you want to use public domain media in your videos, and that is a perfectly legal and acceptable thing to do under the current laws.

Can you monetize public domain footage? – Just remember that you can’t simply re-upload public domain content wholesale and expect to monetise it. YouTube will let you upload it, but they won’t let you monetise it as it will be considered re-used content.

Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube

Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.

1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search

I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.

Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!

2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos

I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.

When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.

Big mistake!

I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.

That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.

Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.

3. Rev.com helps people read my videos

You can’t always listen to a video.

Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.

This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.

Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.

A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.

4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube

I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.

I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.

That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.

Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).

5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways

I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.

And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.

I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.

I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.

They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.

Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE YOUTUBE

Can I Upload Public Domain Movies on YouTube?

There are often question marks over the legalities and practicalities of using content that you didn’t create your YouTube channel. For many situations, the answer is quite clear. For example—if you want to just upload an entire modern movie that is still in copyright, the answer is a resounding no. You will get a copyright strike for that, and possibly worse if you persist.

For other situations, the answer may be dependent on what you mean by your question. For example, can I upload public domain movies on YouTube? From a legal standpoint, yes. Absolutely. But let’s reframe that question. Can I make money uploading public domain videos on YouTube? No. No you cannot.

The context of the question is important, because if you are just looking to upload the video with no ulterior motive—perhaps you are trying to create an archive of something—then there is no problem. But if you want to monetise your content, we have a problem.

Can you reuse content on YouTube?- YouTube’s Stance on Reused Content

While it’s true that most of YouTube’s policies and service changes stem from a direct or indirect way to increase revenue, it’s not always immediately obvious how a particular change might help with that.

In the case of public domain content, there are no copyright holders to sue anyone, and the content is still subject to the same rules regarding monetisation as everything else, so what could the problem be?

Well, fewer viewers mean less ad revenue, and less appealing content means fewer viewers. If the same content is appearing in several videos across multiple channels, that content is going to lose its value to the viewer. Moreover, it makes YouTube as a hole look less valuable.

If someone is searching for something and comes across the same content several times, they’re less likely to search there in future.

So, when YouTube detects content that already exists on YouTube—even when that content is not copyrighted—it will demonetise it. This isn’t an unofficial rule, they explicitly mention it in their monetisation policy.

Can I Upload Public Domain Movies on YouTube? 1

Other Public Domain Problems

Though not technically a problem in terms of YouTube policies, there are other issues you might run into when using public domain content in your videos.

Not Really Public Domain

There is nothing to stop someone uploading content to a hosting service and claiming it is public domain. That is, nothing except for the copyright holder. However, if you use said content, you will be responsible for your copyright infringement all the same.

It may not seem fair, that’s the way of the Internet. The only way to definitive prove that a piece of work is public domain is to have it checked out by an expert, which isn’t exactly practical. If you stick to trusted sources, you should be fine. Some random WordPress blog isn’t an ideal source, however.

False Flags

While we don’t doubt that there are unscrupulous devils out there who are prepared to flag a public domain video for copyright violations that don’t exist, the risk of false flags actually comes from a more innocent—though no less frustrating—place.

YouTube’s Content ID system is a way for eligible YouTube channels to have YouTube automatically flag content that it recognises as someone else’s. This is used by TV studios, record labels, and more. The problem is, sometimes these eligible YouTubers use public domain content themselves, and the Content ID system doesn’t always know that. It just knows that the content they uploaded belongs to them, and you have just uploaded content that contains something identical to their content. The fact that it’s identical because you both got it from the same place doesn’t factor in.

In most cases, this mistake should be solvable with a simple counter-claim. Unless the copyright holder at the other end of the claim is an unsavoury individual with no morals, it should be quickly resolved.

Try to Use Original Content

Regardless of whether you are using public domain footage, Creative Commons, or legally licensed video, it’s a good idea to use original content as much as possible. A good metric to strive for is an 80/20 split, with 80% of the content you create consisting of your own original footage. Of course, that’s not going to be possible in all situations. For example, channels that offer commentary on real events will always have a large portion of their content consisting of footage they don’t technically own. But, if it’s possible, you should certainly strive for as little third party footage as you can get away with.

Why Use Public Domain?

If you’re new to the concept of public domain, and you’re wondering what’s so appealing about it, public domain works are works that are not under any copyright. They could have been intentionally released to the public domain at some stage, or they could have passed into the public domain after their copyright term expired.

These works essentially do not have an owner, so they cannot be “stolen”. Transformative works—that is, new works that use public domain content in a way that significantly changes it from the source material—can be copyrighted, however.

To give you a couple of examples, a content creator who includes a minute of public domain content in their video cannot claim ownership of that minute of video. However, someone could release a public domain video in its entirety with their face in the corner giving commentary, and claim that specific video, even though it contains all of the public domain content.

Final Thoughts

Anything that is public domain is essentially fair game for anyone to do anything (within the law, of course), but you should ask yourself what you are trying to achieve. Many attempts to make money using public domain content would fall flat for one reason or another, and end up being nothing more than a waste of time.

However, if you are using public domain content as part of a more complex video, you can certainly pull that off.

Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube

Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.

1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search

I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.

Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!

2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos

I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.

When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.

Big mistake!

I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.

That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.

Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.

3. Rev.com helps people read my videos

You can’t always listen to a video.

Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.

This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.

Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.

A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.

4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube

I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.

I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.

That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.

Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).

5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways

I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.

And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.

I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.

I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.

They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.

Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

What is YouTube Content ID?

If you’ve been around the creator side of YouTube for long enough, you will undoubtedly have heard the term “Content ID”, but what is YouTube Content ID? YouTube Content ID it is an automated system for detecting copyrighted content being uploaded to YouTube. There are many ways of using this system to protect your videos and earn more money from other uses using your content.

Content ID came has been in use on YouTube in some form or another since the early days of the platform, with it first being pressed into service in 2007.

As of 2016, tens of millions of dollars of development had been sunk into Content ID, which had, by then, overseen billions of dollars in payments to copyright holders.

Why is YouTube Content ID Necessary

The world of intellectual property has, it’s fair to say, struggled to keep up with the changing landscape of technology. Unfortunately, the fallout from this is often tech companies having unrealistic expectations placed on them by outdated copyright law.

Digital platforms that feature user-generated content—like YouTube—have towed a precarious line over the years. They are not presently considered legally responsible for copyright infringements on their platform. If that were to change, the landscape of YouTube would change with it, and dramatically so. If YouTube were to be legally (and, by extension, financially) responsible for copyright infringement by its users, they would have to severely restrict what could be uploaded.

Fortunately, this has not come to pass. And, in an effort to ensure it never does, YouTube does what it can to ensure copyright infringements are dealt with. Of course, with mover five hundred hours of video being uploaded every minute, being proactive on the copyright infringement checking front is not exactly something you can assign a team of vigilant curators to.

YouTube does adhere to the US 1988 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which allows copyright holders to notify YouTube of infringements so that they can be taken down (with a right to appeal), but this is not a workable solution for large scale copyright holders—like record labels and movie studios—who would have to sink considerably resources into looking for these infringements.

Unfortunately, these large scale copyright holders are also the ones with the financial and political power to bring about the kinds of changes that would see YouTube made responsible for copyright infringement, and so it is those whom YouTube essentially need to mollify.

Enter Content ID.

What is YouTube Content ID?

What is YouTube Content ID?

Essentially, Content ID works by creating a digital fingerprint of the content uploaded to the platform. This fingerprint can then be easily compared against new content being uploaded, and if that new content is identical or sufficiently alike, it is flagged as a copyrighted material.

We’ll get into what happens next below.

The road to Content ID was not a smooth one. Over the years, several large corporations have sued YouTube with claims that the video platform has not done enough to combat copyright infringement.

In the most well known of these cases—a lawsuit from Viacom demanding $1 billion in damages—YouTuber were forced to hand over twelve terabytes of data about the viewing habits of viewers who had watched content on their site.

Who Can Use Content ID?

In order to make use of Content ID, you have to meet a series of specific criteria that, in practice, make this functionality only available to large corporations, though being a large corporation is not an explicit requirement.

Part of the criteria is that the content you wish to run through the Content ID system is content that can be identified by Content ID. And you will be required to provide evidence that you do in fact have copyright ownership of the content in question.

What Happens if an Upload is Flagged by YouTube Content ID?

The first—and possibly most important—thing to clarify is that Content ID instances do count against the uploader. This is probably the single most significant benefit for YouTubers who find themselves on the wrong end of a copyright claim. Previously, an upheld copyright claim would result in a strike against the channel, and enough strikes would result in things like demonetisation, suspensions, and even bans.

This is still the case for content that does not fall under the Content ID umbrella, but for those that do, the uploader is warned before the content goes live, and no punishment is carried out against the channel.

From there, the uploader has a few options. They can delete the upload altogether, perhaps to reupload a modified version at a later date. They can let YouTube try and remove the copyright infringing material from the video (this is not always successful), or they upload anyway and let the copyright holder’s choice of action take precedent.

As for the copyright holder, they also have a few choices for how to deal with Content ID’d content. They can choose to block the content, which will prevent the upload from going public. They can choose to allow the upload but monetise it, meaning they will receive the revenue from the video. Or they can choose to let the upload go ahead and let the YouTuber keep the revenue, but the copyright holder gets access to the viewership statistics.

All the above assumes that the Content ID is correct. If the ID was erroneous, the uploader can appeal it and, usually, the Content ID flag will be withdrawn, though the system is not perfect, as we shall get into next.

Problems With Content ID

As with any sufficiently large system, Content ID is far from perfect. There have been many instances over the years of the system failing in notable ways, either through unfortunate oversights or malicious intent.

For example, there have been reports of alleged instances where malicious actors have managed to gain use of the Content ID system and used it to claim the revenue of channels and content that belong to someone else.

Perhaps one of the more notable instances of Content ID going wrong was a situation in which Sony Music asserted copyright claims on over a thousand videos featuring compositions by the classical composer, Johann Sebastian Bach. Needless to say, Sony Music—whose parent company were founded in 1946—did not have the copyright to Bach’s compositions, given that he had died some two hundred years earlier.

There have also been instances that fall somewhere between the two above examples. As seems to be all-too-often the case with large corporate copyright holders, Deutsche Grammophon decided to abuse their position of financial power.

A professor uploading several classical music performances—all of which featured compositions whose copyrights had expired—received several copyright violation notices from YouTube. Most of them were successfully appealed, but Deutsche Grammophon decided they wanted to enforce the copyright which they no longer had (if they ever did).

The Main Flaw for Creators

This situation highlights possibly the biggest problem from a creator’s perspective; the decision-making process. Essentially, YouTube wants to be as hands-off as they can get away with.

Everything they do regarding filtering and guidelines is not driven by some all-encompassing goal to make YouTube a particular way, it is driven by certain business interests. In this case, the primary interest is keeping powerful corporate copyright holders happy so that they don’t come after YouTube and try to force them into a position of culpability for the copyright infringements on their platform.

The net result here is that the Content ID system can be used by anyone who meets the criteria, and any Content ID flag can be appealed by the uploader. However, if the alleged copyright holder enforces their claim, YouTube immediately steps out of the equation.

The alleged copyright holder is presumed to be in the right, and it is then on the uploader to seek legal vindication before YouTube will consider overturning the Content ID flag. Needless to say, when the uploader is an individual professor and the “copyright holder” is a corporate entity, the corporate entity usually gets their way.

What is YouTube Content ID? 1

Final Thoughts

Content ID is far from perfect, but unfortunately, it’s the best solution there seems to be at the moment.

It’s worth remembering that people and companies who take someone to court will often sue for the most they can get, and when the person on the other side of the copyright dispute is an average individual who might have uploaded one infringing item, there isn’t much in it for the copyright holders to justify going to court, so they settle for blocking or taking YouTube revenue.

However, if YouTube were responsible, and it was they who would be taken to court in a copyright infringement case, the copyright holders would be rubbing their hands together at the thought of a substantial pay day.

And if the infringing uploads weren’t stopped, YouTube would soon turn into a black hole of legal expenses.

In other words, without Content ID, we could be looking at a bleak future where uploading on YouTube is so restrictive that the platform would be a shell of its former self, if not closed down altogether.

Categories
TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

Is Screen Recording YouTube Illegal?

Questions of ownership, copyright, and legal use have plagued the Internet since the earliest days of its mainstream adoption.

From the infamous Napster days to people trying to copyright tweets, there have always been egregious examples of abuse from both the owners of digital media and the people using it, but despite the continued maturation of the Internet, there is still a lot of grey area in many places, and YouTube can sometimes be one such place.

The question we’re dealing with here—is screen recording illegal—is relatively straight forward to answer in theoretical terms, but, practically speaking, there is more grey area than you might think. But before we get into those grey areas, let’s state a couple of important, unequivocal truths.

  • You don’t have the right to use any copyrighted content without permission from the copyright holder
  • Nothing in this article should be considered legal advice

No matter what we have to say about the practicality of using potentially copyrighted content, it is a legal no no. That’s the unvarnished truth of the matter. We are going to lay out some information in this post that may lead you to believe the risk is so minimal you can ignore it, but that’s entirely your decision.

We do not advocate you doing anything illegal, nor do we advocate breaking YouTube’s terms of service.

Is Screen Recording YouTube Illegal

To start with, we’re going to answer the question in the simplest possible terms.

If a video is not licensed under creative commons or public domain, it is illegal to do anything with the video without the owner’s permission. Furthermore, screen recording is against YouTube’s terms of service.

Now, breaking YouTube terms of service is not illegal, but YouTube would certainly have grounds to kick you from the platform – if they wanted to, and you’d been caught doing it. They could even take you to court if they wanted to (though that would be very unlikely).

So, is screen recording YouTube illegal? Sometimes, but it is against YouTube terms of service all the time. Let’s dig a little deeper.

What is Screen Recording?

YouTube does not permit downloads of videos on their platform, so the only way to get content off of the site is essentially to stream it and grab the data as it comes.

There are third party services and applications that can do this quickly, but beyond those, your only option is screen recording.

Screen recording is exactly what it sounds like; you are recording what is on the screen of your device (it could be your phone, laptop, computer, etc.), wart and all.

That means that if you move the mouse and the play/pause buttons pop up mid-video, that will be in your screen recorded version as well. It’s not perfect, but it’s a way of getting the video without YouTube noticing.

Getting Caught

It’s worth noting that any discussion over what is allowed and what is legal only become relevant to situations where one is caught doing the thing that may or may not be illegal.

Now, once again, we are not suggesting you break any laws or terms of service, and if you do so, you do so at your own risk. That being said, at the time of writing this post, there is no way for YouTube to know if you are screen recording.

This means that, while the act of screen recording may break YouTube’s terms of service, you would never be caught for doing that alone. It is what you do afterwards that gives you away. If you record someone’s video and then re-upload it, it’s a pretty dead giveaway that you’ve acquired that video against YouTube terms of service. For the most part, YouTube would not take any action without prompting since YouTube don’t know that you didn’t get permission, but if the original content creator reported you, you could lose your account.

Is it Legal to Screen Record YouTube if it’s For Personal Use?

This one is a common misconception on the Internet; if you are not distributing the video, reuploading it, or using it in public or commercial project, is it still illegal? Yes. Absolutely. Or, rather, the legality is unchanged by what you do afterwards.

There are two main factors that contribute to this misconception.

The first is the fact that, as we mentioned above, the chances of you getting caught if you don’t do anything publicly with the video are so slim as to be practically negligible.

The other thing that fuels this erroneous notion is the fact that you can watch YouTube for free, and if you can watch it for free, what difference does it make if you’re watching it on YouTube or on your own device?

On the first point, a slim chance of being caught is not the same as being legal or allowed. If you are stealing copyrighted material, you might get away with it, but it is still illegal.

If it helps, remember that there is no fundamental difference between a twelve-minute video made by a YouTuber and a blockbuster movie on Netflix when it comes to downloading that content against the platform’s terms of service.

On the second point, while it is true that you can watch YouTube content for without paying a fee to do so, it is not quite free. YouTube earns revenue from you being on their platform through ads and other means, and you watching the content away from YouTube deprives them of that revenue.

Of course, the fact that they have justification to enforce a no-download policy is a moot point—those are the terms they have established if you want to use their platform.

Is Screen Recording YouTube Illegal? 1

What are the consequences for screen recording YouTube Videos?

While we would like to reiterate once again that we do advocate breaking terms of service or laws, we thought we’d touch on some consequences you can look forward to if you do decide to screen record YouTube content.

Probably the two most significant factors here is the financial might of the copyright holder and the visibility of your subsequent actions with their copyrighted content.

If you screen record a public domain video, you are not breaking any laws, but you could still face a slap on the wrist from YouTube for breaking their terms of service. On the other hand, if you record the latest blockbuster movie and redistribute it with impunity, you could face serious legal repercussions, since movie studios have a lot of money and aren’t afraid to make an example of you as a deterrent to others.

What About Fair Use? Is it fair use to Screen Record YouTube videos?

Fair use is an idealistic concept that gets very messy in reality.

The first thing to note about fair use is that it is a case-by-case legal defence, not a right or protection. That means that no matter how clearly in the spirit of fair use you might be, if a person or company decided to take you to court, you would still have to go and defend yourself, with all the financial implications that brings.

However, in practice, online media platforms with user-generated content like YouTube are set up to make life easier for the copyright holder, meaning any dispute between you and a large corporation like a movie studio or music label would likely result in your content coming down regardless, leaving you to take them to court if you felt strongly enough about it (and had deep enough pockets).

Given the context of this post, however, it should be noted that fair use applies to how the content is put to use, not how you get the content. Screen recording is a method of acquiring said video, and is completely unrelated to whether you may or may not be using it fairly afterwards, as it against YouTube’s terms of service.

You could be using copyrighted materials in the fairest way possible, and it would still be against YouTube’s terms of service if you acquired the video by screen recording it.

Final Thoughts

It’s worth remembering that YouTube need to first have their attention be brought to you and second have reason to believe you are screen recording YouTube videos before they would go to the trouble of taking action against you on those grounds, and both things are unlikely if you are being sensible.

But, at the same time, should YouTube decide to take action against you, it could just be a strike, it could be a suspension or ban, it could even be a civil lawsuit. The fact that the latter is extremely unlikely doesn’t make it impossible, so know what you might be getting yourself into.

If you are using other YouTuber’s content as clips in a way that very reasonably comes under fair use, we would advise seeking permission from the creator first.

If you put a video up with content from other videos, YouTube can’t know that you didn’t get it directly from the original creator, but if that creator complains to YouTube that you are stealing their content, it’s a pretty clear sign that you’ve broken their terms of service about not downloading or recording YouTube videos.

Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube

Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.

1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search

I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.

Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!

2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos

I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.

When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.

Big mistake!

I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.

That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.

Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.

3. Rev.com helps people read my videos

You can’t always listen to a video.

Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.

This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.

Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.

A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.

4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube

I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.

I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.

That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.

Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).

5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways

I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.

And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.

I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.

I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.

They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.

Categories
DEEP DIVE ARTICLE HOW TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

How to Make Money on YouTube Using Other People’s Videos

Making money on YouTube with other people’s content is certainly possible, though, as you might expect, there are ethical considerations depending on how you go about it.

If you just re-upload someone else’s content wholesale, without any kind of modification, and pass it off as your own, there is no question that it is wrong in every sense of the word, including YouTube’s rules and guidelines.

So, not only would you be doing something generally unpleasant, but you would also likely fall afoul of YouTube’s policies, and lose any monetary gain you might have had.

That being said, there are ways to make money using other people’s content on YouTube that are entirely within YouTube’s terms, and you can do it in ways that won’t have the YouTubers whose content you are using wishing ill fortune on you.

So let’s dive into how to make money on YouTube using other people’s videos!

How to Make Money on YouTube Using Other People's Videos

Stealing Content

There isn’t much more to say about this that we didn’t cover in the intro, but just to reiterate; taking another YouTuber’s content and re-uploading without their permission has very little going for it as a money-making tactic.

It will not make you many friends, you will be competing with the original video for views, and it will almost certainly be a short term thing as YouTube will eventually shut you down when they find out you are stealing content.

It’s best to steer clear of this method entirely.

Getting Permission

We’re going to discuss some methods here that, strictly speaking, could be done without permission from the YouTuber whose content you are using, but it’s always worth getting permission if you can, regardless of whether you need it.

If you can somehow get permission for it, even the above method of just taking someone else’s content and re-uploading it would be fine. We can’t think of many situations where the original creator would be okay with that, but it would be perfectly fine if they did.

But, as a general courtesy, it is nice to ask YouTuber’s if you can use their content, even if it’s only a small clip. And, who knows? They may even share your video.

Getting the permissions itself can be tricky, especially if the YouTuber doesn’t check their spam folder too often.

You should be able to find a contact email address for them in their channel’s “About” page (you may have to prove you’re not a bot in order to see it), though the existence of an email address doesn’t mean anyone is looking at the inbox.

You can also try pinging them on social media. What you want to avoid, however, is spamming them with a barrage of messages across different platforms.

Try to leave a little bit of breathing space between attempts to contact them, as waking up to dozens of notifications in different apps all from the same person may be a bit off-putting.

In your messages, be polite, and it can’t hurt to throw in a compliment about their content. After all; you are wanting to use it. Y

ou should also let them know what you are planning to do with the content you are seeking permission to use, and be honest. Nothing can burn bridges like getting permission to use someone’s content for one thing and then using it for something else, especially if the thing you end up using it for is something the original creator would object to.

How to Make Money on YouTube Using Other People's Videos 1

Reused Content

As this post is talking about making money specifically, we need to address YouTube’s stance on reused content.

There is a lot of content on YouTube (and other parts of the web) that are fair game for you to use on your channel from a legal standpoint. Creative Commons content and content in the public domain being the main examples of this.

However, being legally allowed to use content does not mean YouTube will let you monetise it. Their monetisation policies specifically call out “reused content” as something that cannot be monetised.

What this means in practical terms is that even though you are allowed—both legally and under YouTube’s terms—to take a video that is licensed under Creative Commons (as long as you give full attribution) and post it on your channel in full, YouTube will not allow you to monetise it unless you have made sufficient modification to it. How these modifications might look is a significant part of the rest of this post, so keep reading.

What About Fair Use?

Fair use is a convention through which copyrighted material can be used without the express permission of the copyright holder or a licensing agreement to use the content in some circumstances.

The content you produce must be “transformative”, which can include commentary and parody, as well as some other kinds of content.

Fair use is often misunderstood to be some kind of shield to protect you against copyright strikes, but that is not how it works. Fair use is a defence—not a black and white policy—and it is determined on a case-by-case basis. That means that, even if you were entirely within the spirit of fair use, you would still have to go to court and make your case if you faced a copyright owner who is aggressive enough with their legal team to take it that far.

One of the problems with fair use on YouTube is their automated content recognition system, which has no concept of fair use and will flag your videos regardless if it recognises copyrighted material.

As sad a state of affairs as it may seem, it would generally make your life much easier if you steered clear of copyrighted content altogether.

How to Make Money on YouTube Using Other People’s Videos

Now that we’ve told you what you can’t do, let’s get into what you can do.

Here we are going to outline some different ways you can make money on YouTube using other people’s videos, as well as how you would go about it and any other relevant information.

Reaction Videos

Reaction videos are more popular than ever and are not limited to movie trailers. Just about any viral video can be good fodder for a reaction video, though it can help to stick within a particular genre or type of video.

For example, Stevie Knight is a popular reaction YouTuber who reacts to rap songs specifically. For the super famous YouTubers, reaction videos can be about anything because the audience is there to see them, whatever they are doing. But for us mere mortals, it’s probably best to find a niche and stick to it.

One of the critical aspects of reaction videos, as obvious as it sounds, is reacting. If you sit and watch a nine-minute video, pulling the occasional face and barely saying anything, you’re not going to make much of an impression.

And you may fall afoul of YouTube’s reuse policy, as they could deem it not to be sufficiently different from the original video.

Needless to say, this type of video is more suited to YouTubers with a lot of personality.

You are banking on people wanting to see you. They can go and watch the original video easily enough, or check out one of the other reaction YouTubers covering this video, and if you are bland and unentertaining, they may do just that.

Be yourself, as well.

Being a reaction, YouTuber will quickly fall apart if you are putting on a persona. Try not to worry about pleasing everyone; it’s an impossible task.

Just be yourself and be consistent with your videos.

Breakdown Videos

Breakdown videos are very similar to reaction videos but a little more technical in nature.

Where a reaction video is all about the… well… reaction, breakdown videos go into detail about the content itself. In fact, the YouTuber we mentioned above, Stevie Knight, would be a good example for this kind of video as well, as he doesn’t just react to rap music, he breaks down the lyrics.

Breakdown videos are also common for political and social commentary, as well as movie trailers and speeches. The aim of a breakdown is either to respond to things in the video or to give your unique insight to the viewers.

If you decide to go down this path, you make sure you have something to offer.

Unlike reaction videos, where a lively personality and a bit of comedy can be enough, a breakdown video needs to add something to the conversation. If you are breaking down the latest Marvel movie trailer, make sure you are well-versed in Marvel lore, so that you can spot things that regular viewers may miss.

Clip Videos

Clip videos can be on a range of topics, such as “Top 10” videos, or “This Week In…”. An example of this can be found on GameDevHQ’s channel, where they have a weekly series that lists off some of the most interesting projects being developed in the Unity game engine.

This kind of video is very appealing to those more camera-shy YouTubers out there, as it doesn’t require you to be on-camera to make content. It would typically take the form of a series of clips with voice-over narration saying something about each clip.

In these cases, as long as the clips are not too long, you can usually claim fair use with regards to your use of the clip, however, as we stated above, fair use, even when used correctly, is no guarantee that you will be free to use the content.

It would be best to get permission from the content owners first, but if you keep the clips short, you should be okay.

How to Make Money Doing Covers on YouTube 6

Become a Music Content Aggregator/Promoter

This one is a little less conventional, but you could become a channel for promoting unknown musicians.

The idea here would be that you are putting the music videos out on a channel that has more exposure—benefitting the artist—while you run advertisements on those videos.

Whether or not you cut the artists in on the revenue would be up to you, although it will undoubtedly be easier to get artists on board if you are going to pay them.

The main problem with this kind of channel is that it is challenging to get off of the ground, as you need a significant number of subscribers to draw in more popular artists.

One trick could be to use Creative Commons music in the beginning. You would not be able to monetise these videos due to YouTube’s reuse policy, but you wouldn’t be able to monetise in the beginning anyway due to the requirements for joining YouTube’s Partner Programme.

The goal would be to build the channel’s reputation and following up to the point that you can entice up and coming artists to release music through your channel, and hopefully reach a point where all of the content you publish is original.

You can even use cover songs to get your foot in the door and leverage attention. If you need help in making money from cover songs then check out my deep dive blog where I break down the legal points, the fast traffic tips and some great tweaks you can use to get the maximum impact for minimal impact on your pocket.

Mashup Videos

This one requires quite a bit of ability with audio editing software, but you could make mashups of existing music videos.

These tend to be popular when the original videos are from contrasting genres, making the final result something of a novelty that will interest fans of both genres.

One of the most well-known examples of this kind of video is an interesting mashup between Justin Beiber and Slipknot. The less similar to the original songs, the better, or you may get hit with YouTube’s Content ID.

It should be noted that there are legal obligations when using copyrighted music, even if it is only small samples.

You probably won’t end up in a courtroom if you get caught—it is far more likely you’ll get a copyright strike or your ad revenue diverted to the copyright holder—but the possibility is always there when you break copyright law.

What we’re saying here is, strictly speaking, you should get the proper licensing sorted with any copyright holders before creating mashups video. This blog does not endorse doing anything that breaks the law.

You could always license a song from a music supplier such as LickD where you can make cover-songs or mashups and not have to worry about revenue share or copyright clam for the audio. They have a wide selection of popular tracks and you even get your first track for free when you sign up.

Conclusions

You may have noticed that there is still quite a bit of work involved in these various methods.

Unfortunately, there is no way of making money on YouTube with other people’s videos that is simultaneously allowed by YouTube, legal, and does not require some effort on your part.

However you could always try stock video content (for example I use storyblocks for all my b-roll) to pad out your creations and all you have to do is talk over the clips – you wouldn’t even need to show your face.

If that sounds perfect I have 12 Channel Ideas Without Showing Your Face just for you!

Categories
YOUTUBE

Are YouTube Videos Public Domain?

YouTube has a veritable cornucopia of content available on its platform, with the overwhelming majority of it being created by regular YouTube users, not large corporations. This can often lead to the misconception that content on YouTube is “free”, or in the public domain as it is officially termed. The truth is a little messier than that, but we’ll walk you through everything.

So, are YouTube videos public domain? – This can be a grey area and depends on the copyrights given by the video owner and the age of the content itself. But the quick answer is, no. Most public domain content has no owners or the copyright has expired. Most YouTube content is fairly new works and therefore covered by assumed copyright.

Of course, we’re assuming you’re interested in whether a video is in the public domain because you wish to use the video for something. If that is the case, there are other options to consider.

Now, onto the details!

What is Public Domain?

Public domain is the term used for creative works that have no exclusive intellectual property rights. If you were to use material that is in the public domain, nobody could lawfully claim ownership of your content—though it won’t necessarily stop someone from trying.

Creative work can find itself in the public domain for several reasons. The creator of said work can waive intellectual property rights, for example, and release it into the public domain from the beginning.

There are also certain kinds of works that are simply not allowed to be copyrighted, an example of which being the formulae of Newtonian physics. Many works were created before any meaningful copyright law existed, and so were never protected, to begin with. There was no copyright registry when Shakespeare was writing his plays, for example.

Finally, there is a time factor involved in the passing of intellectual property into the public domain, but this is a little tricky to detail.

Is It Legal to Make YouTube Videos from Books? 2

Books and Software

For example, any computer software created before 1974 is deemed public domain.

Meanwhile, books typically pass into the public domain a certain amount of years after the author’s death. For America, this term is 95 years; however, it is 70 years for many other countries.

All of this means that for America in 2020, any book published before 1925 is in the public domain. You’re probably starting to see why it’s a little tricky to cover all the bases here.

If you want to learn more about making YouTube videos from books then check out my deep dive blog into what can you and can’t do without getting in trouble.

Music

Moving on to music, there is typically a clear distinction between musical compositions and musical recordings.

Compositions (essentially, the melodies and lyrics) are subject to broadly the same copyright terms as books. This is what led to the infamous case of Warner/Chappell suing people for singing “Happy Birthday to You”. Recordings, on the other hand, can be thought as more akin to property.

If you’ve ever heard of stories like Michael Jackson owning Beatles songs, this is how it was possible. The owner of the recording has the ownership rights of that recording; however, the artist is still free to perform their music, and will typically earn songwriter’s royalties.

But how does this translate to music in the public domain? Well, for the most part, you are free to cover music that is not in the public domain.

You should be aware that anything sounding too close to the original recording will likely get flagged by YouTube’s automatic copyright protection. Still, you won’t actually be doing anything wrong.

Copyrighted recordings, on the other hand, while still subject to an eventual transition to the public domain, have not been around long enough for there to be any public domain recordings. In 2020, the 95-year time limit on copyright extends back to 1925. In 1925, musical recordings were almost entirely classical music, and were still being outsold by sheet music! Some recordings will start going into the public domain in 2021, however.

When it comes to using music in my videos I use LickD. They have a wide range of popular tracks and artists. They have a simple fee system and you pay based on how many views you get on average. There is more information on their website.

Are YouTube Videos Public Domain?

Movies

Movies and film, in general, follow the same rules as books, though the terms will vary from country to country.

For America, the term of copyright is once again 95 years, and anything produced before 1925 is automatically considered public domain. That term is rolling, meaning that in 2021, anything created before 1926 will be in the public domain, and so on.

There are several works of film that are in the public domain because the creator has intentionally released their movie that way. Or, in the case of the cult classic, Night of the Living Dead, accidentally released into the public domain as the distributor forgot to file a copyright notice!

Public Domain on YouTube

YouTube does not presently have a means of flagging videos as containing public domain works. As such, there is no clear way to identify public domain content short of going off and researching yourself.

It is important to remember that the descriptions are not always accurate. If someone posts a video claiming it is public domain, and you then use that video and get sued because it is not public domain, the fault will still be with you.

Are YouTube Videos Public Domain? 1

You may be considering using public domain works in your monetized videos, and you have every right to do that. You could post an unmodified public domain work in its entirety on YouTube, and you would not be breaking their terms and conditions or any copyright law. You should be aware, however, that YouTube does have specific other rules in place that could affect you. For example, they have a policy on re-using content.

This essentially prevents people from just reposting existing work and monetizing the video, even if they are legally allowed to use the work.

One example of this would be a music compilation video made up of songs that are in the public domain. Another example would be uploading a public domain film.

The point of this policy is to prevent YouTube from being flooded with opportunistic attempts to make money for little effort. If a video is in the public domain, there is little other reason to post such a video. If you are modifying the video in a significant way, however, you should be safe from YouTube’s policies.

YouTube’s Standard License

We’ve covered what you can do with public domain works, but what about YouTube’s standard license?

From the uploader’s perspective, YouTube’s standard license grants broadcasting rights to YouTube. Basically, this means that the video is only licensed for watching on YouTube, and cannot be reproduced or redistributed without your express consent.

In agreeing to this license, you are also agreeing to YouTube’s terms regarding uploading videos. Still, the most significant factor is that you have control over your video when it comes to other people re-using it.

You will be entirely within your licensing terms to deny—or grant—permission for any use of your video. This applies equally to small individual YouTubers and multi-million dollar media companies.

If you are not the uploader, and you are considering using another YouTuber’s content, you will need to get permission from the uploader unless it is Creative Commons. We’ll get to that shortly.

Now, the reality of the majority of YouTube videos is that using a small sample of another video will not result in any legal action taken against you. For one thing, a small enough sample would be considered fair use, and not worth arguing over for the creator. But also, most YouTube creators cannot afford the expensive legal fees of attempting to sue someone.

If you use significant portions of another YouTuber’s video—or the whole thing—expect to get your video taken down unless you have the permission of the uploader. For larger corporations, such as record labels and media companies, using even a few seconds of their content can be enough to get a video automatically penalized.

For such companies, you are unlikely to get permission, or even a response if you request it, so it would be best to consider that a non-option.

Are YouTube Videos Public Domain? 3

Creative Commons

So, we mentioned that public domain and just grabbing content and hoping for the best weren’t your only options for re-using YouTube video. When a YouTube video is uploaded, the uploader can choose between the standard YouTube license and a Creative Commons license.

There are many variations of the Creative Commons license; however, YouTube only offers one of those variations. This is known as a CC BY license, but what is it?

Let’s start with Creative Commons as a whole. Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that makes sharing and re-using original works and knowledge easy and free. There is a lot to this organization beyond their licenses, but this article is not about Creative Commons, so we’re going to stick the licensing.

By using a Creative Commons license, you have a properly worded, completely legal document that lays out the licensing terms of a given piece of content.

Using this kind of license makes sharing content easier because there is no ambiguity or uncertainty about whether content can be used. The answer is yes; the only question is what is required of the entity using the material.

For example, CC0 is their base-level license, and, practically speaking, is the same as public domain. There are no requirements of compensation or attribution on CC0 works, and there are no restrictions on how you can use it. Other versions of the license do have limitations on how the work can be used, or requirements in order to use it.

Still, we’re only going to go into detail on the license that YouTube allows you to choose.

Are YouTube Videos Public Domain? 2

CC BY License

The CC BY License allows for the sharing, copying, and redistribution of the licensed material in any medium or format. You are free to transform, remix, and add to the material for any purpose, including commercial.

Perhaps most significant is the fact that the creator of the material cannot revoke any of the freedoms you have been granted. This only applies as long as you follow the terms of the license, however.

The only requirements under this license are that you must give credit to the creator, link to the complete license, and make it clear if any changes were made (and what they are). It is also essential that you do not make it appear as though the creator endorses your work.

Another facet of Creative Commons licenses is that you may not place any restrictions on CC BY licensed material. One example of this would be taking CC BY content wholesale and putting it behind a paywall.

The situation regarding using CC BY licensed video (or other content) in your YouTube videos is the same as with public domain. You are free to do so, however, merely finding creative commons works and reposting them will fall afoul of YouTube’s re-use policies. That will almost certainly see your videos disqualified from monetization.

If your content is sufficiently transformative, or if you only include the CC BY content as a relatively small part of your video, you should be fine.

Conclusions

Are YouTube videos public domain? Unfortunately not. At least, most of the time they’re not. The critical thing to remember when considering the use of existing YouTube content—as well as any content on the Internet—is that you need explicit consent in some form from the creator. That is if you want to use that content without running into problems further down the line.

As a general rule, assume that any content for which a large corporation owns the copyright is a no go. It will almost certainly get taken down, and some companies are more litigious than others.

And, remember, if you want to monetize your content, you need to add something to it. You can’t just upload an existing public domain or Creative Commons video. Well, you can, but YouTube will flag it under their re-use policy and disqualify it from monetization. Add something of value for your viewers to the content, and you should be good to go.

And, if you see some recent content that you really want to use in a future video; you can always wait 95 years for the copyright to expire!

Categories
TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

Is It Legal to Make YouTube Videos from Books?

“The video was taken down due to copyright infringement”. This is a phrase we have heard any number of times about a video that is no longer available on YouTube.

What does it usually mean? Why do videos get taken down? If I read a book on BookTube, will the video get taken down?

Wait, BookTube?

You read that right. BookTube is the unofficial name for YouTube channels that discuss everything bookish.

BookTubers upload videos about their favorite books, favorite authors, characters, reading habits, and anything related to books. Book clubs like Bookmarked have channels that discuss books monthly.

Is It Legal to Make YouTube Videos from Books?

BookTube is now so popular that publishing houses have even taken notice of it and they use it when considering what marketing strategies they will use for their books.

Coming up with something creative takes up a lot of time, energy, and even money. Original work is often like a child to the creator and they naturally feel very protective of it as a lot of work has gone into producing it.

Often, creators don’t mind sharing their work for no pay, as long as they get credit for it. However, many people intend to make money or make a living out of their creations and therefore they protect it as one would protect a house or a car. It is their intellectual property.

This applies to films, songs, and written materials like books. This is where copyright comes in.

Is It Legal to Make YouTube Videos from Books? 1

What Is Copyright?

Copyright is a collection of rights automatically owned by a person who originally creates an original work, for instance, a song, movie, book, or even software.

The rights include the right to distribute the work, make copies, reproduce it, derive other works from it, and make money from it. Copyright law exists to encourage creators to produce work by ensuring that their work is protected from theft and that they can make money from it.

It encourages creativity and makes available these creative works to the general public. For a piece of work to be protected by copyright, it has to be:

Creative: It must be innovative.

Original: It must belong to the person. It cannot have been copied from somewhere else.

Fixed: It must be affixed to some medium of expression. It should be available for viewership and should have the ability to be reproduced.

If you came here finding an answer to whether you can make videos from published books, you have come to the right place.

So, Can I Make YouTube Videos from Books?

Published books are copyrighted material, and so you are bound by the very grey areas of law. By the strict black and white wording, blindly reading a book on camera – no. But if you get permission from the owner to make an audio/video version of the work, then – yes!

So really the question should be: to what extent can I use this book in my channel without breaking the YouTube copyright regulations?

Remember that original work is important to the creator and you have to respect their intellectual property rights.

Still it is sometimes possible to use copyrighted material without infringing on the owners’ rights. Before we get into this, we should understand a few concepts about copyright.

Fair Use

Simply put, fair use is a set of exceptions to copyright restrictions. It’s like an open backdoor into a locked room.

These exceptions allow people to use copyrighted material without attracting the ire of copyright police. The fair use lines are, however, blurred, and sometimes it takes a judge to define whether a particular case is a fair use or a violation of copyrights.

To be on the safe side, if possible, get a lawyer to look at your content if you can. Note that the information given here does not constitute legal advice.

Some common guidelines usually given when considering whether something is fair use are:

What You Are Doing With the Content

If you are going to change the content substantially, you may fall into the fair use category. For example, parodies can get away with using copyrighted material, because they change the original content by ridiculing it.

Sometimes parodies even generate more views for the original content. Mashups of songs involve combining different songs in a creative way to make up a relatively new song, so they can also fall under fair use as they significantly change the original versions.

Criticisms or reviews of books or movies can also be fair use provided the critic uses very short clips of what they are reviewing.

The same goes for giving a video or book tutorial with commentaries. However, it all still boils down to creators. They can still complain to YouTube if they feel that their rights have been infringed on. If you aren’t so sure, ask a lawyer.

The Nature of the Content

Non-fictional or factual material is more frequently allowable under fair use than fictional, original material.

How much of the Original Material you are Using

You should use just enough of the material to make your point. Too much would be a violation.

Still, according to YouTube, sometimes even a small amount of the original work can be considered a violation if it constitutes the very core of the work.

For example, if you wrote a work of fiction based on a powerful evil ring that must be destroyed, you would be using the central theme of JRR Tolkien’s entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, even if your story is completely different.

Will it Substitute the Original?

If your work will lead to reduced sales or views of the original material it will definitely be considered as an infringement and will not be protected under fair use.

As mentioned earlier, fair use is complicated. Videos that have complied with fair use can still get reported for infringement and the uploader usually has to defend their work. They have to be really sure of their case.

Some myths about fair use exist and it is important not to get taken in by them in order to avoid an infringement claim.

It’s not Infringement if I Give Credit

Crediting the original creator does not protect you from copyright violation. This cannot be your only claim to your video’s eligibility.

Still, even if your work falls under fair use and is not an infringement, it’s always good to credit the original creator.

It’s Alright if I Use Less Than 30 Seconds of Copyrighted Material

There is no specific amount of duration of content used given for something to fall under fair use. As mentioned earlier, it just has to be reasonable.

It’s Not Fair use if I’m making money out of it

As long as your content falls under fair use, you can still make money out of it.

It’s Fair Use If It’s Only For Entertainment or For Non-Profit

This does not automatically give you fair use status. A court will look at each situation before deciding, always with the interests of the content owner in mind.

If your content reduces the creator’s target audience it won’t matter whether or not you intend to profit from it. Out it will go.

Adding My Original Material to Someone Else’s Copyrighted Work Makes It Fair Use

Adding some original material of your own to someone else’s work does not automatically make it fair use. This is because it still may not substantially change the original, and may in fact make it look worse, hence affecting the creator’s target market or reputation.

I can Decide Fair Use for Myself

Fair use has many grey areas, so it would be risky to push your boundaries as this may get you into trouble with YouTube.

In certain cases, however, when copyright owners demand for videos to be taken down, YouTube protects the content creator under fair use guidelines, for the purposes of encouraging creativity and educating on fair use. This video is an example of such a case.

Is It Legal to Make YouTube Videos from Books? 2

So, Can I Use Books on my YouTube Channel?

When YouTube was formed, it was originally meant to be a content sharing platform. For years, users uploaded videos containing both original content and content owned by third parties.

Although this attracted a lot of backlash from creators, it took quite some time for YouTube to develop its copyright policy. In the meantime, many people became famous for videos that contained third party content.

One example is Alex Day, who would post videos of himself reading large chunks of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight books and making funny and sometimes derisive comments about them.

A blatant copyright violation.

His videos eventually got taken down once the platform’s copyright policies came into effect. These policies changed how people uploaded content about books as they could no longer read out texts without violating the policy. Even if they credited the authors.

However, some channels have managed to maintain their success. KidTimeStoryTime and Brightly Stories are two such examples.

Their success is due to the fact that they have collaborated with the copyright owners when producing their content. Both channels do read-along of books on their videos but with consent and in collaboration with publishers or authors of the books they feature.

It then becomes a win-win situation.

The channel can make money from the content they use, and the copyright owners benefit through the marketing of their books.

What Happens If I’m Accused of Copyright Infringement?

One of two things can happen if you violate someone’s copyright. These are discussed in the lines to follow.

Content ID Claim

Companies that own copyrights like music and film production companies issue Content ID for all the material they produce. This enables them to quickly identify their content on YouTube. YouTube has a system that scans every video uploaded against an existing database submitted by copyright owners.

If a match is found, YouTube will automatically file a copyright claim for the original content owner. If it was a mistake on your part, you can appeal on those grounds to YouTube. Still, the final verdict will lie with the copyright holder.

If they insist and can prove you have infringed their copyright, you will have to take down the video, or have it taken down by YouTube.

Is It Legal to Make YouTube Videos from Books? 3

Some content ID claims will only prevent material from being available in some parts of the YouTube community, or may allow it to remain on the platform but insist on directing any revenue earned by the video to the copyright owner rather than the uploader.

Sometimes the phrase “included copyrighted content” will be displayed with the video to track the video but not actually block it. It also does not negatively affect your YouTube status.

You’ll know of a claim against you in the copyright notice section of your channel’s video manager. In some cases, you get notified via email.

Take-down Notice

This happens when a copyright owner notifies YouTube of a copyright violation with legal consequences. If the complaint satisfies all legal requirements, YouTube takes down the video.

The video will display the phrase “Video taken down: copyright strike”. If you get three copyright strikes, you get a lifetime ban from YouTube. Yikes. Worse, even after that, you would not be able to recover your videos.

Once you get a copyright strike, YouTube requires you to take a short course and do a quiz on copyright regulations to refresh your memory. Something else to note is that a strike doesn’t last forever.

It usually lapses after six months, and once that happens your slate is clean. Still, you don’t want to have a reputation as a copyright violator. Lastly, you can still negotiate with the copyright owner to keep your video up with certain conditions, such as limiting viewership in certain regions.

Conclusion

Always keep in mind that the YouTube algorithm is very good at finding copyright violations, including something as simple as background music.

Although you can licence music much easier with companies like LickD who have a wide library of tracks to use – check out their site.

So even if the original owner doesn’t notice it, YouTube definitely will.

To have good standing in the YouTube community, make sure you avoid getting caught on the wrong side of this law. It’s usually fairly easy to get permission from a content owner to use their content if you ask nicely and can prove that your use of their content will not in any way hinder the distribution of their work.

So go ahead and make those books, but be careful, and remember, when in doubt, ask a lawyer.

Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube

Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.

1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search

I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.

Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!

2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos

I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.

When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.

Big mistake!

I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.

That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.

Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.

3. Rev.com helps people read my videos

You can’t always listen to a video.

Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.

This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.

Rev.com can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.

A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.

4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube

I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.

I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.

That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.

Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).

5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways

I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.

And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.

I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.

I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.

They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.

Categories
MARKETING SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

How to Use Copyrighted Music on Youtube @getlickd

Download Music for YouTube videos – Looking to use chart music in your YouTube videos without getting stung with copyright issues? Asking yourself – How to Use Copyrighted Music on Youtube Legally? Then LICKD might a a solution for you. LICKD helps you license popular songs that maybe in the charts of trending and put then into your videos for a small fee without any major issues from the YouTube Bots.

TRY LICKd – https://lickd.grsm.io/alanspicer5715

Lickd is a digital platform helping YouTube content creators legally use the music they love. We provide commercial music from real labels for licensing in YouTube videos without the fear of a Creator losing their ad revenue to a Copyright Claim.

How can I legally use copyrighted music on YouTube? – When you get a third party content claim YouTube suggest you do one of the following:

  • Acknowledge it. If you don’t mind the ads, you don’t have to do anything.
  • Remove or swap the music. *
  • Share revenue. If you’re a partner you can share revenues for song covers.
  • Dispute the claim if you believe you have the right to use the music.

* In 2019, YouTube added new features to make it easier for creators to resolve the claims. In particular, YouTube configured their post claim tools – Add or Replace a Song, Remove a Song, and Trimming – to automatically release claims on some of the cases.

The best option is to secure the permission of the copyright owner to use their music on YouTube and to have the owner retract the claim. This may be free (as with Creative Commons or Public Domain music) or you may need to pay a licensing fee.

Getting the permission (or the license) may be easy or hard depending on what kind of music you’d like to use.

If you are after a popular commercial song this usually involves getting in touch with the publisher and working out a deal. As you can imagine, the licensing fees in this case may be quite substantial.

Categories
TIPS & TRICKS VIDEO YOUTUBE

What Is Fair Use On YouTube? – Copyright Fair Use For Dummies

What Is Fair Use On YouTube? — Fair Use For Dummies // Fair Use on YouTube Explained. Fair Use is a US loophole that allows you to use clips of copyrighted material as long as you follow certain guidelines. Fair Use explained and simplified into 3 core points.

1–80/20 Rule — Use more of your OWN content than anybody else’s.

2 — USE MULTIPLE SOURCES — If you can reference more than just one person or clip to illustrate your point then that shows them you are being fair.

3 — CREDIT THE OWNER — Make sure you name drop or name the original content creator in the video or description.

YOUTUBE TIPS — FACEBOOK SUPPORT COMMUNITY GROUP — https://www.facebook.com/groups/1887378077953745/

► SUBSCRIBE FOR REGULAR YOUTUBE TIPS & TRICKS — https://goo.gl/oeZvZr ◄

▶️ YouTube Tips 2018 Playlist — Kickstart your YouTube Channel in 2018
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbBZyPIsG-k&list=PL09mwoOn57VRPECEJr_77vWzbTyzps58p

▶️ 10 MUST SEE Tutorials for New YouTubers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NETFLYKZ7Eg&list=PL09mwoOn57VRenAaRqFwtWZJKbEYNcVhZ

▶️ How To Get More Subscribers in 2018
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZn7BMXfN3Y&list=PL09mwoOn57VR68oJH8vVKK38t-ymTIVoc

✅ FREE YOUTUBE TIPS eBOOK/PDF — https://goo.gl/E1LC43
▶️ Suggested YouTube Equipment — http://amzn.to/2sBAs2Q
▶️ Rank Better & More Views with TubeBuddy — www.alanspicer.com/tubebuddy
🔴 Want to go Pro? Need my help? Try YouTube Coaching! — https://goo.gl/ibQuk9

#YouTubeTips #YouTubeTutorials #Tutorials #YouTuber #YouTube #FAQs #Copyright #WTFU #YouTuberProblems #StartCreating

Alan Spicer YouTube Tips Channel — YouTube Tricks, YouTube Tips & YouTube Hacks to Help Grow Your YouTube Channel. I make YouTube Training Tutorials based on my personal experience on How To Increase YouTube Views, How To Gain YouTube Subscribers and How To Grow A YouTube Brand Online.

I have been on YouTube since 2013 growing an Entertainment and News Channel, MrHairyBrit. Within that time I have made many mistakes but have also learnt many YouTube Hacks that I want to share with you to help you Rank Your YouTube Videos On YouTube, Grow Your YouTube Channel and Get Your Brand Noticed On YouTube.

I also have a background in Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, and Web Design & Development.

We can grow together, We can learn together… Start Creating!

NEED HELP GET IN TOUCH — Alan@HD1WebDesign.com

► THANKS FOR WATCHING PLEASE REMEMBER TO LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE AND SUBSCRIBE — https://goo.gl/oeZvZr ◄

Note — Some of my links will be affiliate marketing links. These links do not affect the price of the products or services referred to but may offer commissions that are used to help me to fund the free YouTube video tutorials on this channel — thank you for your support.

Categories
TIPS & TRICKS VIDEO YOUTUBE

How To Appeal Copyright Strikes On YouTube

How To Appeal Copyright Strike On YouTube 2018 // Remove copyright strikes from your videos by appealing copyright claims. Sometimes you get false content ID claims or dinged with a copyright strike and you need to appeal under fair use, or dispute a copyright claim against your videos.

How To Appeal Community Guideline Strikes — https://youtu.be/wyjm6mekzKI (live 24 Feb 2018)

How To Remove Copyright Strikes On YouTube

Make sure that you understand how fair use and the public domain work before you choose to dispute for either of those reasons. YouTube can’t help you determine whether you should dispute a claim. You may want to seek your own legal advice if you’re not sure what to do.

Disputes are only intended for cases where you have all the necessary rights to the content in your video. Repeated or malicious abuse of the dispute process can result in penalties against your video or channel.

How to dispute, appeal or remove a copyright strike

– Sign in to YouTube.
– In the top right-hand corner, click on your account icon.
– Click Creator Studio — Video manager — Copyright notices.
– Click the c symbol next to the video with the claim that you wish to dispute. This will take you to information about what’s been claimed in your video and who claimed it.
– Click File a dispute and fill in the appropriate fields to submit your dispute.

► SUBSCRIBE FOR REGULAR YOUTUBE TIPS & TRICKS — https://goo.gl/oeZvZr ◄

▶️ YouTube Tips 2018 Playlist — Kickstart your YouTube Channel in 2018
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbBZyPIsG-k&list=PL09mwoOn57VRPECEJr_77vWzbTyzps58p

▶️ 10 MUST SEE Tutorials for New YouTubers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NETFLYKZ7Eg&list=PL09mwoOn57VRenAaRqFwtWZJKbEYNcVhZ

▶️ How To Get More Subscribers in 2018
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZn7BMXfN3Y&list=PL09mwoOn57VR68oJH8vVKK38t-ymTIVoc

✅ FREE YOUTUBE TIPS eBOOK/PDF — https://goo.gl/E1LC43
▶️ Suggested YouTube Equipment — http://amzn.to/2sBAs2Q
▶️ Rank Better & More Views with TubeBuddy — https://goo.gl/PS2RMn
🔴 Want to go Pro? Need my help? Try YouTube Coaching! — https://goo.gl/ibQuk9

Alan Spicer YouTube Tips Channel — YouTube Tricks, YouTube Tips & YouTube Hacks to Help Grow Your YouTube Channel. I make YouTube Training Tutorials based on my personal experience on How To Increase YouTube Views, How To Gain YouTube Subscribers and How To Grow A YouTube Brand Online.

I have been on YouTube since 2013 growing an Entertainment and News Channel, MrHairyBrit. Within that time I have made many mistakes but have also learnt many YouTube Hacks that I want to share with you to help you Rank Your YouTube Videos On YouTube, Grow Your YouTube Channel and Get Your Brand Noticed On YouTube.

I also have a background in Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, and Web Design & Development.

We can grow together, We can learn together… Start Creating!

NEED HELP GET IN TOUCH — Alan@HD1WebDesign.com

► THANKS FOR WATCHING PLEASE REMEMBER TO LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE AND SUBSCRIBE — https://goo.gl/oeZvZr ◄

Note — Some of my links will be affiliate marketing links. These links do not affect the price of the products or services referred to but may offer commissions that are used to help me to fund the free YouTube video tutorials on this channel — thank you for your support.