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Is Your Business Violating Copyright Laws On YouTube?


Does your business rely on YouTube? You can’t sell anything directly on YouTube, but for many businesses, YouTube drives sales, promotions, and is the lifeblood of communication between the business and the general public. If you are on YouTube, you need to be aware of potential intellectual property (IP) problems that go along with being on YouTube.

How YouTube Detects Copyright Violations

YouTube uses software that automatically scans your video for content that infringes on other people’s IP. So, if you put up a video of your business and play, for example, a Bruce Springsteen song, YouTube will find it, flag it, and take your video down.

Alternatively, the label for Bruce Springsteen can also find your video, and ask it to be taken down.

YouTube will just take your video down–they won’t sue you. However, the content owner (Springsteen, in our example) could sue you, if they feel that you have derived a significant financial benefit from using the IP.

It is easy to violate someone’s IP rights on YouTube, without being aware of it. For example, if you post a video of the office party, and in the background a Springsteen song is playing, you could be violating copyright. If you post a video of one of your workers playing “Born in the USA” on his guitar on your YouTube channel just for fun, you could be violating copyright laws.

Incorrect Take Downs

Many businesses find that their content is taken down incorrectly–YouTube’s artificial intelligence often cannot differentiate between real IP violations, and legitimate uses of IP.

For example, YouTube likely couldn’t tell the difference between one video that plays Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” to promote a business (not permissible) and someone who is posting an instructional video on guitar chords for others to play “Born in the USA” (likely, permissible). YouTube’s algorithms also don’t understand “Fair Use,” which would allow you to use copyrighted material, in some situations.

Worse, some people (like your competitors) use IP violation notices as a weapon, wrongfully reporting competitors for non-existent IP violations.

Challenging YouTube

There is the feeling that YouTube errs on the side of caution, taking down a video first, and asking questions later. If you feel that YouTube took down your video impermissibly, you may need legal representation to challenge the decision, if you want the video to remain.

Challenging a video that is taken down can be serious, because if enough of your videos are flagged and taken down, your entire channel or account with YouTube can be disabled–YouTube is a private company, and can refuse to allow whoever it wants to use its service. Allowing multiple copyright violation notices to go unchallenged, can lead to having your entire account didsabled, which could cripple your business, if you are relying upon YouTube to drive your sales or promotions.

Call the West Palm Beach copyright litigation attorneys at Pike & Lustig today to help your business with its business contracts and agreements.




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