The terms of service are the legally binding rules that determine how people use a website whether your are a consumer or a publisher. Why is it important to read the terms of service? In this video, author Richard Harrington explains the importance of understanding the terms of service and how they impact how you hypersyndicate.
And it's important that you read these, or talk to someone who understands them, so that you can make the right decision for you. Let's explore YouTube's for just a moment. With YouTube, they promote that you can broadcast yourself, and YouTube is all about the individual. As such, some of its policies could create tension for companies or for professional folks who are using the platform. Now, the Terms of Service are pretty dense, but you find these available on YouTube's website. Just go to the About section, or you can explore these to find them.
But the Terms of Service are pretty simple. A web search as well can make it easy to find, just type in, "YouTube's Terms of Service." What stands out though is key phrases like sublicenseable, transferable, and without limitation. YouTube is saying that if you put content onto their website they are free to license it to someone else. They are free to transfer it to someone else to use however that person wants without limitation. With YouTube, you do not have the rights once you put the content up there.
Sure, you can hold copyright still, but you have given YouTube an unlimited usage right to do whatever they want with your content, putting it wherever and using it however they want. That's what those words mean, sublicenseable, without limitation, transferable. Now, this is not what you would expect but it is the reality. I've made a short-cut URL here, bit.ly/youtubeterms, if you'd like to go and explore those Terms of Service. I will say this, realize that the terms of service are binding.
If you post to YouTube, or any of these other websites with terms of service, you agree to the terms of service. If the company changes the terms of service, you could of course remove content, but in many cases, you're susceptible to the changes. Essentially, once you've posted something to one of these networks, and if they make a change you don't agree, you might be able to delete your content. But in many cases, there's all sorts of rules that say if that content was re-shared, or added to someone's channel, it might still be there. But the only caveat you have is to file a copyright claim and try to take the video down.
Copyright is going to be important that you understand. Now, by no means can we cover it completely here, you could take a look at websites like copyright.gov, or take a look at the copyright alliance to better understand how copyright works. By no means can we explore everything with copyright, and of course laws do vary from country to country. But if you're going to publish your video onto international platforms, it's important that you understand your country's copyright laws, as well as the laws of where the company that's hosting your video resides.
The truth of the matter is you can try to fight uncopyright issues, but it's very difficult. One of the few outlets you'll have will be a DMCA takedown, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which many host take seriously. And this can be enforced against you as well, if you violate copyright. But realize that this can be an expensive and timely process, so it's very difficult to fight. Rather, I suggest that you track down a lawyer that you trust. Now before you start publishing this content, it's important that you have some legal counsel.
This is particularly true if you're going to be publishing content on behalf of an employer, or for a client, or, if you're looking to do this professionally. By talking to the lawyer and having them review the different terms of service for the websites you're considering, they can lay out the trade-outs and risks associated. The truth of the matter is you're probably going to publish to most of these websites, but it's going to be important that you realize what can happen. For example, many folks who choose to publish to YouTube will burn in their own watermark with a bug or a copyright.
That way if people re-syndicated or use it beyond their control, they can actually take control over that. Other people will put content up onto only sites like Vimeo, that better establish their rights. But then, they have precise control, but not as broad of an organic reach. It's important that you consider your options, and services like Wistia exist for a reason. YouTube, while quite useful, and Facebook as well with a giant audience are enticing, but for some folks the control or legal issues associated with these broad, particularly free websites, are daunting.
It's important you realize the less you pay for a service, the more rights you're giving up when it comes to your content.
- Understanding how online behavior is changing
- Syndicating an RSS feed with Twitterfeed and HootSuite
- Targeting computers with video sharing sites
- Targeting mobile devices with YouTube, Vimeo, and SoundCloud
- Creating a podcast
- Streaming podcasts for mobile devices
- Using Vimeo and YouTube to target televisions
- Creating a consistent look and brand
- Validating, optimizing, and monitoring your RSS feed