Storm video on YouTube

Dan Robinson

I was considering posting storm video on YouTube. I was reading the YouTube Terms of Service and saw this clause:

For clarity, you retain all of your ownership rights in your User Submissions. However, by submitting the User Submissions to YouTube, you hereby grant YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the User Submissions in connection with the YouTube Website and YouTube's (and its successor's) business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the YouTube Website (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels. You also hereby grant each user of the YouTube Website a non-exclusive license to access your User Submissions through the Website, and to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display and perform such User Submissions as permitted through the functionality of the Website and under these Terms of Service. The foregoing license granted by you terminates once you remove or delete a User Submission from the YouTube Website.

While it's true the quality of video shown on YouTube is not normally sufficient to reproduce for broadcast or DVD, two main concerns came to mind.

1.) While video is converted to flash for display on YouTube, video may still be archived in higher quality formats that are uploaded pre-conversion. With their license, YouTube could conceivably start producing its own theme videos and sublicensed TV shows using this material. Something like a mass-produced DVD with "YouTube Extreme Weather Caught on Tape" would be within their legal rights. Also, they could sell your video (sublicense) to third parties, such as to National Geographic for use on a nationalgeographic.com web feature.

2.) The web is increasingly becoming a major media outlet in itself. The web is already competing with television in terms of viewership and advertising dollars spent. Although web-quality video normally is not useful for television broadcast, it is becoming a valuable commodity to commercial web-based entities. For example, soon more people may watch the news online than on TV. The value shifts to where the viewership goes, and so does the advertising revenue. Posting on YouTube may be no different than giving your videotapes to a TV station for free.

The good news is that once you delete a video from the site, the agreement ceases. So, you do have some control over the duration of the license. However, it looks like YouTube takes a very generous license of your material once you submit it.
 
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You should read the one for MySpace. Last time I read it it said they own everything you post (eg: you have transfered rights to them)
 
Looks like MySpace caught enough flack to update their ToS as well. (I just reread it).

I still think MySpace should be renamed MyPedoSpace
 
The biggest issue is what to do when someone posts your video for you....then what? I have never seen a site with so much pirated video ....not only from chasers, but TV and movies sources. Mark Cuban recently stated he thought they will be sued out of business, but the Google deal may offer them more protection.
 
The biggest issue is what to do when someone posts your video for you....then what? I have never seen a site with so much pirated video ....not only from chasers, but TV and movies sources. Mark Cuban recently stated he thought they will be sued out of business, but the Google deal may offer them more protection.

You contact YouTube and demand they remove it. If they remove it the story probably ends there. If they don't, keep your records and jump in on the class action suit that is bound to emerge soon. In 5 years Google might send you a check for 13 cents once everything is settled.
 
The biggest issue is what to do when someone posts your video for you....then what? I have never seen a site with so much pirated video ....not only from chasers, but TV and movies sources. Mark Cuban recently stated he thought they will be sued out of business, but the Google deal may offer them more protection.

On the other hand...why would you care? If I posted a video on my website I did so because I wanted other people to watch it. Your goal should be to get as many people to watch it as possible, and YouTube is the place to do it. Watermark it with your website and tone down the quality.
 
I certainly don't mind my video clips being posted. I had put a preview clip on my website several months ago for my 2 hour DVD compilation of Eastern Tornado Video. Somebody took that clip and posted it on YouTube. (At the time, YouTube was off my radar as an advertising medium.) By now, over 4300 people have seen my preview, and I have gotten a lot of nice comments. People have purchased the DVD after seeing it on YouTube. My own more recent post of the same video has less than 200 views.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nT1OklVldU

By having it on YouTube, I also use less of my own bandwith. Instead of complaining, I'll make it work for me. I certainly would recommend stamping posted video with a website in case it ends up on YouTube.

Bill Hark
 
I found one of mine on there recently. I would have left it except the poster had blurred out my URL on the bottom of the video. I contacted the user and YouTube and asked it be taken down and it was gone the next day.
 
Why wouldn't you just sign out of the class action suite and take your own legal action if your copyright has been infringed? Class actions are for money hungry lawyers and are of absolutely no benefit.

I worry about the people who try to make a living from their material. If someone happens to TiVo your segment of video and then uploads it to YouTube, it's quite possible another news company could pick it up and profit from it (I've seen YouTube videos featured on the news).

Although in the above scenario, I still don't see YouTube being liable. Instead, the news media should be more aware of the material they are using. Go after the people using your material, not the innovators like YouTube.
 
Perhaps he never said site posted videos only. Like RDewey mentions, I'd be a little upset if folks are posting video from purchased dvds. Everyone is for the whole thing until they see their dvd collection on there...and it will be. I would figure that is what Gene was getting at.

Don't get me wrong, I hope YouTube burns in a massive lawsuit. I was just trying to raise a counterpoint. It is not always bad to have you pirated videos appear on YouTube. Yes, in the case of stealing an entire DVD that would be a disaster.
 
I see what you're saying Bill (Ozanne)... But I also think the people using the content for profit should burn as well. YouTube is simply the "enabler", but the people that really benefit are news agencies that redistribute the videos without checking on the source. Even though the video quality is pretty crappy, I've seen it used on our local news (and perhaps CNN/FOX) a couple of times.

Perhaps they tracked down the rightful owner, but my bet is that they simply asked the poster if it could be used (and of course the poster/thief would say yes).
 
I see what you're saying Bill (Ozanne)... But I also think the people using the content for profit should burn as well. YouTube is simply the "enabler", but the people that really benefit are news agencies that redistribute the videos without checking on the source. Even though the video quality is pretty crappy, I've seen it used on our local news (and perhaps CNN/FOX) a couple of times.

Perhaps they tracked down the rightful owner, but my bet is that they simply asked the poster if it could be used (and of course the poster/thief would say yes).

I didn't even think of this aspect. I see YouTube videos on CNN and Good Morning American all the time.

A big problem with the lawsuit....If you went after YouTube there isn't much there. They may have been sold for $1.6bln, but they don't have anything close to that in assets. And Google would be immune. Even though they own YouTube it would be kept as a seperate entity to protect Google's interest. I own shares of many different companies, but you can't sue me personally. You also can't go around the class action. The defendant has the right to lump all similar lawsuits into one class action, its not up to the plaintiff.
 
The defendant has the right to lump all similar lawsuits into one class action, its not up to the plaintiff.

If you are named in a class action lawsuit, you have every right to dismiss your name, but you must respond stating such. If you do not exclude yourself, you release all liability from any events that are stated in the class action lawsuit.

Perhaps this is decided on a case-by-case basis, but here is the wording from PayPal's lawsuit (see section 8):

http://www.settlement4onlinepayments.com/notice.pdf

In addition, I have received some letters from other class action lawsuits that state similar wording (our mortgage company, for example). I believe everyone has the right to exclude themselves from a class action lawsuit, after which they can persue the case themselves.
 
If you are named in a class action lawsuit, you have every right to dismiss your name, but you must respond stating such. If you do not exclude yourself, you release all liability from any events that are stated in the class action lawsuit.

Nice responses and I'll agree if I were promoting a video getting it on YouTube would bring more exposure.....provided the source is not blurred out.

My concern with these comments is they too often end up in a lawsuit resolution...."just sue them." The word sue is used quite a bit in storm chasing circles, but how many of you have actually tried this? If so, how many of you have come out ahead? First, it's going to cost money to research if you have a case, it can be argued that putting it on the Internet invites public domain usage. Taking it to court is at least $5000. That's what most trial attorneys charge at the low end of the price range. Where will the trial be held, New York, LA....that's lots of plane tickets. Can it be proven that the "chase video" is really worth.... say $10,000. The average chase video is usually not tripod mounted and the audio.....well we know what that sounds like. It can also be shown that most local TV stations pay about $100 for chase video, TWC about $200-$300 unless it's exceptional. Not to mention that 25 other chasers probably shot the same tornado.

Class actions do end up in big settlements for health related issues, but personal video, I doubt it. If there is a class action I'll bet Sony and the other big names will get most of the money. No, I don't think the court room is the answer for most of us. I think protecting your video as much as possible makes more sense. There is new software out that keeps viewers from "right click - saving" images and video. I would try approaches like that first.

gene
 
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