Can I Use Reddit Content For YouTube?

There have been several seemingly unlikely types of content that have found a home on YouTube, and perhaps one of the more unlikely of those is the Reddit comment video. These videos follow a simple formula whereby the YouTuber reads out a selection of interesting, funny, or weird Reddit comments. Essentially it’s a highlight reel of Reddit comments.

The obvious question that arises here is, of course, are you allowed to just use other people’s Reddit comments in this manner? And, in typical copyright-related and YouTube fashion, the answer is a little messy. In the simplest sense, you cannot legally use Reddit comments in your YouTube videos without permission from the author of those comments. That being said, the chances of repercussions are almost non-existent, hence why there are so many Reddit comment videos.

Who Owns Reddit Comments?

Ultimately, all questions of this nature come down to ownership. In the case of Reddit, the person who writes the comment is the owner of that content, with Reddit holding rights to use any content on their platform for things like promoting the service. This means that in the eyes of the law, you would be stealing if you started using Reddit comments in your videos without the express permission of the author.

The exception to this is, of course, when the Reddit comment in question was not created by the author, such as a quote, excerpt, or image. In those cases, the original owner still retains their ownership.

In either case, the owner could lawfully request your video be taken down for copyright infringement, and could even attempt to take you to court for damages!

Can I Use Reddit Content For YouTube? 1

Can You Be Sued For Using Reddit Comments Without Permission?

Okay, dramatics aside, the chances of you being sued over using a Reddit comment without permission are pretty slim. It is not a matter of rights—the owner of the Reddit comment absolutely has the right to pursue you in the courts if you use their comment without permission—but there is an issue of practicality.

In order to actually take someone to court for damages, there has to be damages. Reddit does not presently offer a way for commenters to make money from their contributions directly, and very few users would be able to plausibly claim that their Reddit posts form a substantial part of their income.

The upshot of all this is that the commenter in question would likely be suing you for pennies, maybe dollars. Certainly not enough to make the legal costs worth it.

Now, with all that being said, it’s worth remembering that this is a risky strategy to adopt. Essentially banking on intellectual property owners to decide that suing you is not worth the hassle may work in a lot of instances, but the one time it doesn’t work could be very bad. Needless to say, this is not a legal blog, and the only legal advice we would propose here is don’t break the law!

Asking Permission

The most practical way around this hypothetical problem is to seek the permission of the Reddit commenters whose comments you want to use. Of course, “practical” in this case is a very relative term. Sure, it is more practical than being sued, but Reddit comment videos will typically have dozens of comments in them, if not more. If there is a time-sensitive element to the Reddit comment videos in question, that makes it less practical to get permission from every commenter you want to use.

Using Reddit Content On YouTube

So, where does this leave you? Again, we are not going to advise you to do anything illegal—you should always seek the permission of a content creator before using their content—but if you decide not to seek that permission, we would certainly recommend attribution.

Ensuring that the authors of the comments you are using are clearly attributed—such as in the video itself and also in the description—will likely be enough for many Reddit posters. As we mentioned there is little-to-no money in Reddit for the vast majority of its users, but there is a lot of social prestige to be earned. Indeed, the entire premise of YouTube is built around posting content that other users like, and your video brings more attention to a particular Redditor, it’s unlikely that they’ll complain about it.

Reddit Content Video Ideas

Once you’ve worked out how you are going to handle the legal side of things regarding using Redditor’s posts, you can then start looking at how you will present your video. Fortunately, there are a few options to choose from.

It should be noted that a common theme with these kinds of videos is that the YouTuber themselves does not appear in the video. Often each comment will be accompanied by relevant imagery (such as the comment itself), but, for the most part, the YouTuber’s face does not appear. That being said, this is not a hard rule, and you may want to do something different.

Straight Laced

Some YouTubers opt to play this pretty straight, reading out the comments as evenly as possible, not offering any additional commentary. This style suits YouTubers who are not especially charismatic in front of a microphone.

Straight Laced and Computer Generated

Another option for YouTubers who just want to let the Reddit content speak for itself is to use computer-generated dialogue to read out the comments. This essentially means the YouTuber has no need for a camera or microphone, and the quality of text-to-speech has improved remarkably over recent years.

Colour Commentary

If the YouTuber in question is a charismatic presence—and especially if they are quick witted—they might want to narrate the commentary themselves and, in doing so, inject their personality into the video.

Final Thoughts

Using Reddit content on YouTube is an increasingly popular style of video, and, while there is plenty of rough edging when it comes to the legal side, if you can navigate your way through that potential minefield. it, there is an unending supply of content for you to make!

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.

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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!

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3. helps people read my videos

You can’t always listen to a video.

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I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.

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

I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.

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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.


How To Promote YouTube Videos on Reddit – Step-by-Step Guide

Promote Videos on Reddit and Your YouTube Channel in 2018 – 2019 // Learn how to use Reddit. Share videos on Reddit to grow your channel and expand your social media footprint, but do it properly!

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