Does YouTube own my Videos?

Who Owns Your Footage: You or YouTube?

I enjoyed the January’s What’s Legal column and I have a question. On the news we frequently see YouTube videos shown. An over-aggressive police officer or an irate person at a town hall meeting are two recent examples. The news stations frequently give “credit” to YouTube, and no one else. In small print it simply says “YouTube” or “Courtesy of YouTube”. Isn’t the owner of the clip supposed to get credit at a minimum, or even give permission for the use of the clip at the maximum? YouTube doesn’t own all the clips that I and others posted there, do they?

Rich Wilson,

Wyalusing PA

A very good question, Rich, and the short answer is, by uploading your footage to YouTube you gave away ownership rights. But it’s more complicated than that, of course, and so we sent your question to our legal expert, Mark Levy. His reply is the subject of this month’s What’s Legal column.

– The Editors


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Why I Read Videomaker

I read your Viewfinder article about the difference between pro and home video, and which direction to go.

I have been editing video since 2001. My first computer had a Pinnacle Breakout Box, and my camera was a VHS monster. I was playing and having fun. I found editing footage was easy because I had been using PhotoShop since version 4.0 and the timeline worked a lot like layers did. I purchased (Videomaker‘s training videos.) to educate myself. I have moved up some, but I don’t really have the need to go high-end to be professional. The connectors used to be RCA, and now they are FireWire and HDMI. Some of the snobbish set likes to brag on certain hardware and software details, but I don’t think many of them have an ounce of talent.

I edit on an Apple using Final Cut Pro, with footage shot with a Sony HVR-Z1U. I have an extensive Digital Juice library, and Adobe CS4 Production Premium. My tripod is a Bogen Manfrotto with a 503 Head, and I have a 3 Omni Light kit from Lowel. I am saving for a Sennheiser Shotgun Microphone (the $800 one). My studio is a 16×20 spare bedroom, and I am a professional. Why? Because I am paid. I make Home Videos, Video Blogs and the like for fun. I edit Small Group Studies and Local TV shows for money. Honestly, I find that there is no real difference between the two when it comes to the process of obtaining the end result.

Really, one’s focus needs to stay in the area of developing talent and skill. Yes my equipment may be better than some and lower-end than others (I had someone refer to my studio as a “Fisher Price Setup”), but that comes with time, need, and funds. I read your magazine for the goodies and test reviews, but your skill building advice is what keeps the subscription coming.

We all have to start somewhere, and when I started I found this magazine. You were with me in the beginning and helped me grow. I read some of the high end publications (note my reluctance to call them a magazine because they might get offended?), but you keep it all simple.

Keep up the great work!

Gene Jordan

Thanks, Gene… what can we say, you made our day!

-The Editors

Correction: Steadicam

In our March issue Supports Buyer’s Guide, we inadvertently mentioned the Steadicam JR model as one belonging to the Tiffen company. This model was replaced by the Steadicam Merlin a few years back.

We apologize to our readers and the Tiffen company for any problems this may have caused. Also of note, Tiffen offers a range of Steadicam models to meet the needs of camera operators from Hollywood to emerging professionals, from the Steadicam Ultra 2 coming in around $60,000 to the Merlin starting at less than $850, as well as other body-supported versions that offer specialized configurations. Tiffen also offers three day workshops that can help camera operators gain an understanding of how to properly, balance, wear and use a Steadicam rig.

Correction: Canon

In our review of the Canon VIXIA HF S11 AVCHD camcorder in January 2010 issue, we inadvertently listed “no manual focus ring” as a weakness. However, this model does indeed have a manual focus ring. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

The Videomaker Editors are dedicated to bringing you the information you need to produce and share better video.