A report compiled by Sherpa Marketing reflected that approximately 50% of all Canadian businesses utilize social media as a method of promotion and interaction. Among these digital media platforms, YouTube is one of the most widely used modes among audiences with a share of over 49%. Therefore, a large number of businesses, irrespective of their scale, utilize YouTube as a medium for promoting their services.
However, due to YouTube’s rigorous Content ID system, many individuals and businesses are regularly labelled for copyright infringement and unethical use of content. Frequent flagging not only leads to the termination of your entire media account but also tarnishes your business’s reputation. It is crucial for businesses to understand the copyright laws regarding the use of YouTube for commercial promotion with the help of a legal counsel.
Here are a few tips on how to avoid copyright infringement on YouTube:
1) Consult a Lawyer
Copyright is an exclusive, legal right granted to the creators of original works of art, literature, music and science. It protects the sole right of the creators to earn exclusively from their work. However, obtaining a copyright registration is not a prerequisite for protecting an original piece of work.
Many business owners are not familiar with the Canadian Copyright Act and do not have the dexterity to utilize works in observance with the terms of fair usage. Consulting an Intellectual Property (IP) lawyer while devising a strategy for your media accounts helps you avoid IP litigation on YouTube. A skilled IP lawyer also helps you understand the nuances of the copyright law and its implications for your business.
2) Recognise YouTube’s Copyright Policy
Although a majority of content available on YouTube is owned by third-party users, the platform takes a number of measures to ensure the security of its users and protect their work against infringement or theft. YouTube also provides a number of tutorials for businesses and individuals to refer to for commercializing their content effectively. In cases, the platform detects duplicity of content, businesses can still publish their work by taking actions like:
- Muting the audio of the video
- Commercializing the video by streaming advertisements
- Tracking the viewership status of the video
- Blocking the entire video
Review these policies with your IP lawyer to develop an effective compliance strategy for your business.
3) Use Works From the Public Domain
Copyright legislations of Canada provide businesses access to a wide range of public domain resources for commercial usage. Works belonging to the public domain are eligible for free usage, modification, adaptation and alteration without any restrictions or obligations to pay royalties to the creator.
Businesses can access works of literature from Project Gutenberg Canada and musical works from Petrucci Music Library for commercial purposes. Consult an IP lawyer to learn more about public domain resources and ways to identify and utilize them for your business.
4) Follow the Terms of Fair Use
Fair dealing is a legislative concession granted to users under the Canadian Copyright Act. This provision allows users access to unlicensed usage of copyrighted works. Users can abide by the terms of fair usage by stating a few key declarations like:
- The nature of the work utilized
- The purpose of its usage
- The exact segment of work utilized
- The impact of its use for the operator
It is recommended to consult an IP lawyer to understand the minutiae of this provision better. For further tips on how to avoid copyright infringement on YouTube, consult our professionals today.