I highly advise against this and this isn’t the stereotypical thing. I’m going to twist it in a different angle, right? Because everybody knows that it’s annoying, right?
YouTube Sub 4 Sub [The Truth]
You may be growing your numbers. You may do fantastically well. Your name may be Tom or Tim or Ten, and if you know who that is recently and who can, he’s gone.
But sub for sub hurts you. It inflates your number. It makes you feel egotistically brilliant. Wait, but what it actually does is it means more time you publish that video, that sub or that person who’s not watching your videos doesn’t engage with your content.
And YouTube goes, “Oh, okay. He just got 20 new subscribers. None of them watched, maybe their content is not good enough. Maybe we weren’t right.”
You put out a video and it’s not engaged with. You don’t get that comment or that like, or any form of shares, so they are zombies, they are hopeless.
And if you choose to push out your content to a random percentage of your subscriber base, and you’ve inflated that subscriber base with a hundred really fantastic people at a million really crappy zombies, and 10% of that will go to mostly zombies that do nothing.
That’s a fantastic video, but nobody cares, so then YouTube’s going to go, “We don’t care either.”
It’s all in your heads, what you should focus on is the 10 or 20 that really focus and really care about you, than the 50 that aren’t real.
It’s a metric for vanity, only.
Now, if you want to see the full interview, click on this video here, remember to subscribe for regular tips and tutorials, and I’ll see you soon.
Appearing on camera for some is like being asked to roll over Niagara Falls in a barrel.
Not gonna happen.
But, you want to have a YouTube channel. You want to have your content out there for the world to see, and maybe earn a little (or a lot!) of extra cash from the YouTube Partner Program.
The good news is there are lots of YouTube channels with shy content creators who are making barrels of money without ever even appearing on camera. In fact, many of them don’t even use a camera to make their videos.
But how do you do it, and what kind of content could you make?
This article is perfect for you! I’m going to cover the types of content you could make, how to produce and edit it, then close with some finishing touches.
Ready? Read on.
Choosing a Content Niche for YouTube.
The most successful channels on YouTube produce content for a single, often narrow, niche.
Don’t make the mistake of producing random content on different topics. One day uploading a video on technology and the next day one about celebrities – it confuses viewers.
It’s easy to set up multiple channels on YouTube under the same Google Account. So if you have two passions you want to create content for, make two different channels.
Choosing your channel niche is a critical decision to make when starting out. It also helps if you have an enthusiasm for the topic, but it’s not essential.
Make sure you feel you can routinely produce content for it, without it becoming tedious. And what is most important is that the niche you choose has enough demand to make it worthwhile.
How do you measure demand on YouTube? You can use Google Trends tool to measure overall viewer appetite on YouTube and compare it against popular niches. Look at the image below – it looks like my Unicorn themed channel idea is a non-starter.
Another way to validate your idea is by searching for videos over the last month and sorting by view count.
Look at the view counts to see if there are lots of views for your chosen niche. How many views should you look for? Well, the more, the better, but you should be looking for several videos with at least 1 million views.
Once you have picked your niche, then decide next on the type of non-camera content you want to produce.
Content Types You Can Make For YouTube.
There is a wide range of content you can make that doesn’t require looking into a camera, fussing with lighting, or getting sound levels perfect.
Your chosen niche might already determine what type of content to produce. For example, if you want to start a tips and tricks gaming channel, then screen recording is the best way to go.
But for some niches will be possible to make different types of content, so let’s take a look at your options.
Editing together clips from other sources into compilations seems like an obvious choice for a no-camera YouTube channel.
There are some very successful channels making obscene amounts of money with this content type.
Here is a popular example. Fail Army have 14.6M subscribers and post compilations of funny videos collected from around the web.
There are plenty of niches to go at too, from comedy, gaming, and sports etc. But it is not as easy as finding a few clips, splicing them together and uploading a new video.
Copyright is the problem here. If you don’t own the rights to use the clips you select for your video, then you could face a copyright strike from YouTube.
Get three strikes, and YouTube could terminate your channel.
So how do the current compilation channels do it? There are online services like Jukin Media, where you can buy a distribution licence for clips, but these can be pricy.
There is a workaround, however.
Fair Use of Copyrighted Material.
You can use copyrighted material in your videos without the rights owners permission through a principle known as fair use.
Fair use is a legal concept that is common to many countries where you can use copyrighted material as long as your usage is transformative.
Transformative means that you change the work in a meaningful way. This could be by adding a commentary over it to explain, criticise, or to report on the clip.
One point to note is that YouTube doesn’t decide what is or isn’t fair use – only the courts can determine that. So fighting a copyright strike can be a thankless task, likely to cause stress and take a long time to resolve.
So if you do get a copyright strike, sometimes it’s better to simply remove the clip in question and move on.
There is a filter on YouTube that returns content where the copyright on a video is creative commons.
Creative Commons means that you can freely re-use the content of the video as long as you link back to the source in your video description.
Watch out, though.
If someone has uploaded a video marked as creative commons but used copyrighted material from elsewhere, your re-use of it could still attract a copyright strike from YouTube – it’s a minefield.
Much better to create your own copyright-free content. So let’s look at some of your options.
YouTube Videos Using Images and Stock Video.
This type of content requires you to record a voiceover track on a video made up of images and stock b-roll clips.
An excellent example of a channel that uses this method is Alux.
Focusing on luxury items and the lifestyles of the mega-rich, Alux uses stock photos, manufacturers product photos, and stock b-roll footage to create their videos.
They are the kind of videos that are easy to make, and the topic niches are only limited by your imagination.
Now if you’re extra shy and you don’t even want to even do a voice over for your videos, then you can use free text to voice apps. If you feel they sound a bit robotic, you could hire someone from Fiverr to do the talking for you.
You can even keep it basic and produce a presentation in Powerpoint or Google Slides. If you’re good at explaining things to people, then this could be the method for you.
Many people also use this method to promote affiliate programs in the video description, and make money right out of the gate before they get accepted to the YouTube Partner Program.
YouTube Podcasting Videos
If you have something to say and are already thinking about starting a podcast, then publishing it to YouTube is another way to distribute your content.
You don’t have to be a Joe Rogan or Tim Ferris to make a success of this. If you know a niche inside out and are enthusiastic about a topic, you can build up an audience. YouTube’s viewers use the platform for more than just visual entertainment.
Whether they are at work, relaxing, or doing household chores, people like to have some background audio as they go about their daily lives. Meet this demand by uploading your podcast to YouTube and display a static image for the visual.
Tim Ferris does it, so you don’t have to show a studio feed as well, provided you have something to say that people want to hear.
YouTube Animation Videos
Starting an animation channel is a popular way to have a YouTube channel without needing a camera or showing your face.
There are several ways to approach an animation channel.
If you are already artistically gifted, then you can use one of the many animation software packages available to create engaging content.
You don’t even need to create long animations either.
OneyNG has over 2.37M subscribers and 10s of millions of views from uploading short, funny, animations, which often revolve around a single gag.
If you are not so artistically inclined, then you can use applications that help you create simplistic animations for use in your videos.
Better Than Yesterday is a good example of this type of content. They are near 1M subscribers and have simple narration over basic animation.
YouTube Screenshare Videos
There are thousands of people out there, right now, who want to learn how to do something, that you already know all about.
Whether it’s an Instagram hack, learning how to configure WordPress, or getting cheap insurance online, they look to YouTube for help. Can you create short videos to show them how to do it?
The example below shows only the phone screen as the user demonstrates Instagram hacks. There is not even a voiceover explaining the tricks!
YouTube Gaming Videos
Another screen share content type that deserves its very own section here is gaming.
Sharing sequences from games showing funny clips, how to’s, and competition footage is immensely popular on YouTube.
You may already know the famous channels like PewDiePie, Total Gaming, and more recently, Mr Beast Gaming. But don’t think it’s too late to enter this niche today – it’s enormous.
If you choose this type of content, it’s best if you focus on only one game for your channel.
Creating lots of videos all about one game helps YouTube to see your channel as an authority in the topic. This means a higher chance of your content getting recommended by the YouTube algorithm for people to watch next.
Vanoss Gaming is just a bunch of guys talking and laughing over screen recordings of them playing games. With over 21.5 million subscribers, they are obviously doing something right.
YouTube Sound Channels.
As mentioned previously, there are plenty of people who have YouTube running in the background as they go about their daily lives.
Some people like an ambient soundtrack as they study and others use relaxing music to create a mood for meditation.
These kinds of channels are attractive to run. If you can get viewers to start watching your videos, then it’s likely that they will view to the end – something that YouTube looks for when ranking content.
Yellow Brick Cinema is one of the biggest channels in this niche. They have an extensive back catalogue of videos with millions of views and likely as much in the bank from the YouTube partner program.
Producing Content for YouTube.
Producing video content without a camera means using software tools instead. Depending on the type of content you want to make the cost ranges from free of charge to paying a monthly subscription charge of up to $40+.
Screen Recording Software
Whether you plan on recording gaming action or want to show people how to do something on a computer, you are going to need a screen recorder.
There are loads of free options out there. Some good, some not so good. The top ones are:
OBS Studio. This one is open-source software, meaning it’s made by volunteers and is entirely free of charge. It can be tricky to get up and running, with some claiming it has a big learning curve and can be complex to use. It has plenty of features and will run on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Nvidia Shadowplay. Nvidia, the makers of graphics cards, also provides free software that makes it easy to record gameplay. You can record video, make short GIFs, and even live stream direct to YouTube. One to check out if you are thinking about a gaming channel. For Windows PCs only.
Icecream Screen Recorder. Another screen capture software that works on Windows, Mac, and Linux. It has a free version and is much easier to use than OBS Studio. The free version only lets you record for five minutes. But you can upgrade to Pro to get no time limits and more output formats for a one-time fee of $19.95.
Open Toonz. For 2D animation, Open Toonz is free software which is considered a good allrounder. There are plenty of tutorials available on YouTube, but if you’ve not used animation software before it will need time and practice.
It’s open-source software so you’ll never have to pay anything, and it works on Windows and Mac.
Doodley. Doodley is animation software more suitable to those who aren’t good at freehand drawing. You can quickly get up to speed and produce excellent and engaging how-to type videos.
You build screens with a drag-and-drop interface using the cloud-based software, which then animates the images together for you. It costs $39 per month to use, with an Enterprise version that gives you more templates and fonts for $69 per month.
There are lots of ways to put together a slide show — Google Slides and Microsoft Powerpoint to name two. Compiling images into a video is possible using inbuilt Windows software. But, to create a video slideshow, there are much better free alternatives.
Kapwing. Kapwing is an excellent tool for creating slide show videos for YouTube. Upload some images, add a few captions, and add an audio track easily. It also compiles the video for you in the right format for YouTube.
For shorter videos or if you are just getting started, then the free version will work just fine. To create longer videos and have a workspace that stores all your content then you can upgrade to the Pro version for $20 per month.
Vidnami. Vidnami is a good option for quickly building videos using little more than a text-based video script. Paste your text into the software, Vidnami reads it, then selects appropriate images and creates your video automatically.
It even creates an automated voice-over and on-screen captions. The voice is a little robotic but is an option if you don’t like to hear the sound of your own voice.
Editing Videos for YouTube.
Whatever kind of content you produce, it must look professional. There are many channels in most niches now all competing for digital eyeballs, so the content you create should be slick and polished.
YouTube Studio, the channel management platform provided by YouTube, does have a basic inbuilt editing tool.
It’s really best used for a little bit of trimming here and there. It’s not suitable for making the kind of high-quality videos you should be uploading.
There are, again, plenty of free options available, so don’t feel that you have to splash out for a high-end editing suite like Adobe Premier.
For those that have a Mac computer, the bundled iMovie is a really great option. Many successful YouTube channels use nothing more than this to edit videos.
With iMovie, you can use transitions to piece together multiple clips, add sound, titles, and backgrounds. It can do pretty much all you need.
For Windows and Linux users, and perhaps Mac users that want another option, OpenShot Video Editor is an open-source video editor, which is free to download and use.
Taking Your YouTube Content to the Next Level.
Along with proper editing, to make your videos as compelling as possible, add in extra touches. B-Roll clips, animated intros, and subtitles help make your content more engaging and accessible, and are all essential for growing a successful channel.
Let’s look at some tools you can use to add these kinds of extras to your videos.
B-roll is a term from the earliest days of the Hollywood movie industry. The A-roll reel was the main footage for the movie, and an identical B-roll reel was used for filler and cuts. Back then physical celluloid film was cut and spliced together to edit and make a movie.
Today, B-roll refers to any secondary material that you use for filler.
You can get free B-roll video from websites like Pexels and Pixabay. They offer short clips uploaded by amateur photographers which are copyright free and can be used by anyone.
The selection available is OK on these sites, but to have the best choice from an absolute mountain of B-roll clips, take a look at Story Blocks – I started using them in July 2020 and it has helped me level up my level game hugely, leading to great growth on YouTube.
Approaching 900,000 items of stock video, backgrounds, music, and video intros; there is plenty here for you to use to enhance your videos.
The cost varies from $10 to $80 per month on a subscription basis, depending on the amount and types of media you want to download.
Professional looking YouTube Intro/Outro
No self-respecting YouTube channel should be without a professional-looking intro/outro. It’s not just something to have for the sake of it either – your intro helps to develop and reinforce your brand.
Over time as your viewer subscriptions grow, your intro and brand serve to communicate trust.
If viewers like the content you produce, then as soon as they see your familiar branding, they will start watching your video with a positive view.
You can develop an intro/outro with Story Blocks mentioned above. But, if you don’t subscribe to that service, an alternative tool is Placeit.
I have used PlaceIt in the past for client branding – YouTube banners, channel intro and outros, even stock mock ups – I highly recommend you check out their templates.
With Placeit, you can create logos, animated intro/outros, and other branding graphics you can use on also use on sites like Facebook and Instagram. You can even generate slideshow videos for YouTube using the software.
Placeit costs $14.95 monthly for unlimited access to all the features. You could sign up for just one month and generate all the graphics you need. Alternatively, save 50% upfront with an annual subscription.
Add Subtitles and Captions to Your YouTube Videos.
First, we need some definitions.
Captions – These are the text displayed on your video that matches what is being said by the presenter or narrator.
Subtitles – These are like captions, but also carry additional information for the viewer, such as sound representations for the hard of hearing. They also refer to foreign language translations of the speech in a video.
Why might you add in captions or subtitles? It opens up your content to many more viewers.
Captions are useful for people who are consuming content on the go and aren’t in a position to listen to the audio. Or maybe watching on the sofa while their partner is glued to the TV.
If you subtitle your video into other commonly spoken languages, then you get to reach a wider audience from other countries.
Now you could add captions yourself, going through your content and painstakingly adding text one piece at a time. Or use a service like Rev.com.
They charge by the minute for speech that is captioned or subtitled, so you pay a variable fee per video.
I use Rev.com to help me caption my videos in bulk and I can even do it in multiple foreign languages to help maximise my international reach and get more views for my YouTube videos.
Setting up a successful YouTube channel without a camera is very possible. There are many people doing it already and achieving lots of views, subscribes, and Partner Program earnings.
But competition is increasing day by day, so to give your channel the best chance of success, you need to make sure that you produce high quality videos.
This means good editing, addition of intros/outros, b-roll, and adding captions too if applicable.
Get going with some of the ideas above and see what you can produce for your channel. Good luck.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
“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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How To Make YouTube Videos // There is a lot that goes into making a YouTube video. How To Make A Video for YouTube is a skill you hone over the years that you make content and today I am here to show you how I set up my equipment, what equipment I use and how to get ready to make videos online.
How To Revive Old YouTube Videos is a topic of great discussion. Going back and reviving old videos is a great way to get more out of your back catalogue of YouTube Videos. When you revive old videos it helps bring new views, increase views and boost channel watch time. This in turn helps rank your videos better and gain more subscribers.
If you are like me, you have been on YouTube for a few months, or in my case 4 years, and have been uploading videos regularly. These videos build up and act as a library of video content. These videos can help you learn how to get better on YouTube and can also act as a source of search rankings and traffic for your new content.
Why not revive your YouTube Videos with a little video MOT.
Go back, look at old “dead” videos and see if you can improve on the titles, the descriptions and the tags.
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Hub Content, Help Content and Hero Content Videos are the 3 Type Of Content YOUR Channel Needs To Grow. Hub content is focused on you channels core audience for example daily vlogs, regular news or vlogs. Help Content are YouTube Videos designed to teach viewers something, a list, a lesson or a tutorial. Hero Content is when you go for the big flagship video that takes you the longest to edit, has the highest budget and is seen as the special event. Mixing these 3 types of content will help give your channel the structure it needs to grow and attract audiences outside your community, while engaging your existing subscribers.
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Making YouTube Videos, Why Delay? Start making YouTube Videos Today!
Many new youtubers hesitate and worry about making youtube videos. They worry about How To Start Making YouTube Videos and keep making excuses why they can’t start just yet. In this video Alan Spicer tells you to stop delaying and make youtube videos today – START CREATING!
Everyone finds an excuse to delay making YouTube Videos. I tend to find people are worried about the quality of their first few videos, their YouTube video equipment or even over think how much time they need. It is this delaying that actually stops people from making YouTube videos entirely. Making YouTube Videos is an art that needs to be honed and practiced. The more YouTube videos you make the better you will get.
When I started making videos in 2013 they was horrible, tinny, shaky and hard to watch. However, this gave me a baseline to improve from. I can look back at the video and take notes on what I need to improve. If each time you make a video you take notes and try and fix 1 thing that bothers you, it can act as a way to teach yourself to get better. After making YouTube videos for 2-3 months you should then be able to look back and see how much you have improved since day one…. but if you dont start….. you cant get better!