We all know that video is an amazing marketing tool, but before you create your own content, beware of copyright laws. Otherwise, you could end up in hot water with content owners. It’s very easy to infringe on rights by accident, because intellectual property is an abstract concept that’s still emerging.
Make sure you understand these policies before posting—even before agreeing to a website’s terms & conditions: When you do this, you certify that all of the content on your page is legally yours—which must be true, otherwise you have already broken the law. These days, you can be fined up to $150,000 for infringement. Most people don’t know this, because skipping terms & conditions is so common. Recently, social networks have really stepped up their law-enforcement game. Here is one of TWENTY-FIVE sections about copyright in YouTube’s user agreement:
“You further agree that Content you submit to the Service will not contain third party copyrighted material, or material that is subject to other third party proprietary rights, unless you have permission from the rightful owner of the material or you are otherwise legally entitled to post the material and to grant YouTube all of the license rights granted herein.”
(You should probably read the whole thing—here’s a link.)
You should never assume that crediting an artist/writer/creator protects you from infringement. It’s all relative, meaning that individual copyright holders have full and exclusive rights to their work. Remember that giving credit doesn’t mean you have permission to use the content. Again: All relative; some businesses appreciate the increased exposure and publicity. Treat these companies as your co-workers. Contact them and appease them by following their policies.
In most cases, owners’ names are clearly listed on or near the desired content. Keep an archive of permissions and, if you are running a business, make sure that your employees/members are aware of Copyright laws, policies and practices.
I say all of that in order to say this: It’s easiest to just work with a reputable production company, like New Sky Productions, to complete the process of obtaining rights. Take that, Terms and Conditions!
If you don’t believe us, go ahead and read from The Chicago Tribune’s whole section about copyright infringement. Or, if you don’t like the Chicago Tribune, you can read from Newser. If you don’t like Newser, try The LA Times. The list goes on…