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3 intellectual property protections for Youtube videos

Youtube is becoming an increasingly popular way to share creative content. Uploading your video to Youtube can be a great way to gain an instant, large-scale audience and earn recognition. This method of self-promotion is also becoming a lucrative income stream for many. However, there are a few things you should bear in mind when creating your Youtube video to avoid intellectual property infringement.

  1. Take action to prevent freebooting. “Freebooting” occurs when someone takes your Youtube video and then uploads it through a different site as though it’s their own. It is becoming an increasingly pervasive issue that can lead to a huge loss of views and income for you. It can also be a huge hassle to get your stolen content taken down. To help avoid freebooting, consider watermarking your videos. Use a watermark that identifies you and is large enough that it can’t be easily removed.
  2. Make sure any music you include is fair game. Do you want to include a song in your video? Has the copyright holder given you specifically—or Youtubers generally—permission to use the music? Is the music legally protected as “Fair Use”? If none of these is true, using the music would likely be considered stealing.
  3. Verify that screen shots can be borrowed. You might want to reference an interesting tweet or Instagram post in your Youtube video. However, you can’t use a screen shot of someone else’s post if the content is private or if it might hurt the creator’s reputation or endanger them. You also can’t copy someone else’s content for money-making purposes. However, Fair Use protections can allow you to use such content if you’re reporting on an issue or presenting a critique.

Intellectual property infringement is a serious offense. If you have questions about whether your creative work—or that is someone else—is being used correctly, talk to an experienced intellectual property attorney.

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