Sunday, June 17, 2007

YouTube and Ownership

A friend pointed this out to me on the YouTube User License Agreement, which can be found here.

Under the section "User Submissions" there is a clause as follows:

However, by submitting the User Submissions to YouTube, you hereby grant YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the User Submissions in connection with the YouTube Website and YouTube's (and its successor's) business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the YouTube Website (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels.


I've bolded my particular finding - I understand the need to the ability to reproduce and distribute the content, but by agreeing to this license you are apparently giving YouTube the permission to create works based on your content. I don't particularly understand YouTube's need or right to do this. If I'm wrong about this or am misinterpreting, shoot me a comment and/or email.

3 comments:

Benjamin De Schrijver 1:51 AM  

They have to put that in there because of all the uploaded videos that get edited by others and then re-uploaded. For example, there was recently a video of a child getting accidently kicked by a breakdancer, and someone else put that in slowmotion and added videogame sounds.

It reminds me of hotmail in the past (or even in the present too?). Or was it msn messenger? Either way, the user agreement basicly said that if you attached a file (or was it send a file through msn?), Microsoft then can claim rights to it. Which meant that in theory, you couldn't send yourself anything as a backup, or couldn't work with it if you were creating say a short with a friend online, without having the risk of Microsoft claiming/owning it.

Cooked Art 10:58 AM  

Hey Ben,

I think that the re-editing of videos is something that can only be done with a moderate amount of 'hacking' (using a website or diving into code). YouTube doesn't provide a way for users to download the videos to the computers for editing, so it seems to me that they're not really supporting this practice.

What I find this user agreement implies is that if YouTube chooses, then they can create and profit from the work that is already on YouTube. Or, if YouTube went belly-up today, its successor would have the rights to create works based on all of the content that was uploaded to YouTube.

Cooked Art 11:15 AM  

I should add another point - much of the content on YouTube is not actually the copyright holder's uploads. While this is against the EULA of YouTube, most know that it is still fact.

In this case, then, how does the Agreement stand? If someone else got a hold of your content and uploaded it to YouTube, does YouTube still have the right to make derivative works based on that content?

I'm sure this is especially important to the big networks - their content is being uploaded left and right - and presumably, YouTube has the right to make spinoff films of their shows.

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I love animation and making films.

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