As in every field, there is a more complex aspect within the world of Digital Marketing, Social Networking and websites which is ‘Legal Marketing’. Legal Marketing deals with legislation concerning published content or followers’ rights. Copyright and intellectual property rights play a key role within the Social Networking and Internet framework, especially in a website like Youtube where these concepts are so important.

As to the Intellectual Property Rights in Youtube, we have to bear in mind that they concern authors, as well as those people watching or sharing their content in social networks. From users’ point of view, even though it is fact that Google has made a huge effort over the last years to guarantee artists, editors and companies’ works protection, doubts still arise among most users uploading content which will be later shared on social networks or embedded in websites. Therefore, this post seeks to clarify legal ways of using content shared on Youtube. In other words, we will explain whether it is lawful to share a Youtube video and how to do it.

you-tube-897421_1280-300x212When it comes to sharing Youtube videos, the words copyright and communication to the public come into play. According to the Directive 2001/29/CE, Art. 3, as well as the Spanish Intellectual Property Law, Art. 20, ‘it is understood as communication to the public any act by which people may access works which weren’t previously distributed’. Therefore, if sharing a video entails an act of communication to the public, we would need the author’s authorization. However, the European Court of Justice states that if content was previously published and embedding a video doesn’t mean showing it to a new public, it can’t be considered as an act of communication to the public so this action doesn’t infringe the author’s rights. Consequently, it is lawful to embed a Youtube video in a website by including its code since content was previously shown to public. However, it is forbidden to download a video and then upload it to your site since the original way of distribution wouldn’t be the same.

Publishing a modified version, such as a fragment, is another controversial issue. To bring this discussion to an end, we can abide by the judgment of the European Court of Justice. Therefore, as long as new content isn’t shown to a new public and the original way of distribution is maintained, there will be no copyright infringement. However, if you are adding a video to your post or sharing it in social networks, you should credit original author or include a link to his channel to make it clear that you don’t have any rights over that video.

From authors’ point of view, Youtube gives them different options to protect their work. In 2007, Youtube launched the application Content ID which allows authors to specify when and how to content is shown in Youtube. Content ID, together with the Youtube Copyright Policy, guarantees that authors’ property intellectual rights are safeguarded.

On the other hand, it is also a fact that some Youtube users, far from wishing to protect their content, aim it to be distributed, shared, watched… For these users, Youtube made the Creative Commons Attribution License available some years ago.

This issue, which concerns such complex concepts as intellectual property, copyright and communication to the public, has been highly controversial in recent years. The cases of BastWaer and Svensson are clear examples of this. However, the key issue is that we must be always aware of current legislation to avoid having to face serious problems resulting from right infringement.

If you have enjoyed reading this post and you are keen on the world of Legal Marketing, we invite you to read our post ‘Images and Licenses: Which ones to choose for your blog’.