While it plays like a daytime kid’s cartoon, the video above lays out clearly YouTube’s policy when it comes to copyrighted material being used in content carried on the site, and mashups in particular. If you’ve ever uploaded a mashup or re-edit of a track for promotion purposes to YouTube, and wondered if what you’re doing is legal or not, you’ll find out by watching this.
The problem is that the grey area is still as grey as ever; indeed, the video above recommends that you “consult a copyright attorney” if you have any doubts and says that other territories “may” have “similar” legislation to the US’s Fair Use laws.
And yet DJs like Earworm have made whole careers out of mashups they made and posted onto YouTube.
How valuable is your account to you?
The bottom line is this: While YouTube is full of mashups (and straight piracy), and – despite YouTube claiming that “original material is what makes YouTube interesting” that’s what many of us go their for, if you value your account, be very careful when uploading anything that may get you reported.
I was speaking to a DJ who used a copyrighted track for a few seconds in a demo video of some equipment recently and, despite knowing the person who wrote the track and getting thier permission, he fell foul of YouTube due to the publisher reporting him and is still trying to get his account unsuspended. He relies on it as part of his business, and had six-figure viewing stats on some of his teaching videos.
Have you ever had material removed from YouTube for copyright violation? Have you ever complained that sdomebody is violating your copyright online? We’d love to know your experiences in the comments.