Should I let the web take my film 4 a ride?

Recently someone asked me if Youtube’s TOS would protect their videos from being ripped. Here’s the answer, excerpted from a Facebook conversation:

It’s sad but Youtube won’t give you any license that protects you like a copyright registration or a WGA registered script.

I suppose, if you upload your work and use the advance settings to establish date, then (maybe, just maybe) you could claim proof of authorship (if) you ended up in court or filed a piracy claim using the Youtube Content ID system.

[Bill M] is correct about the need to “register” your copyright. I think it’s 35 bucks for the PA form, and the last time I did it, they allowed me to upload a digital copy of my movie – therefore saving shipping costs, and completing the process quicker than snail mail.

Regarding [Alex, who uses a youtube-download software to save videos to his PC.]   He’s right, there’s plenty of programs that will grab video from streaming sites like Youtube. 

But heck,  if you’re looking for saturation, then you might not care because posting your videos online gets your stuff out there. If you want to stop folks from stealing, then you could place your movies on my Roku and Fire TV channels, and at least this makes it harder to “leach” the content digitally — but of course that won’t stop a Cam’d version.

Another Facebook commenter mentioned that people make a living grabbing video and then re-posting it as their own on Youtube.  This absolutely happens, and it’s a dang shame that we (sometimes) can’t trust Youtube with out content.  Unless that is, we swing a large bat like the Hollywood Studios who choose to stream their content via Youtube’s Partner program.

Here’s an example.  A film buddy of mine used a small section of Night of the Living Dead in a promotional video.  But Youtube flagged it for copyright infringement.  What…How, he asked me? 

As it turns out, Youtube gave a company the right to file a Content ID claim for Night of the Living Dead.  When this happens, it allows that company to grab all the ad-revenue that is associated with EVERY post on Youtube that contains some NOTLD content. That’s allot of videos – thousands in fact.  Check it if you like.  And in case you didn’t know…NOTLD has been Public Domain for over 40 years. (I think it was The Orchard that is the one that is monetizing Notld and other orphan films.)

Thanks for reading, I hope this Facebook conversation – gone Blog is something that is coherent enough for you to make use of.

-Dean

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