How To Avoid Copyright On YouTube? Do’s & Don’ts

Written by: Kaushik Jethva

Last Updated: May 30, 2023

avoid copyright on youtube
Avoid Copyright on YouTube

In the digital era, where everyone has the potential to become a creator, the issue of copyright infringement is growing more complex and concerning. One place where this is especially true is YouTube, a platform where millions of users share and monetise their content. In this blog post, we will focus on understanding “how to avoid copyright on YouTube” and why it’s crucial for every content creator to grasp the basics of copyright law.

Firstly, we need to understand what copyright means in the context of YouTube. Copyright is a legal right that protects original works of authorship, like music, films, books, and videos. On YouTube, this means that you cannot use someone else’s work without their explicit permission. This might sound straightforward, but “how to avoid copyright on YouTube” can get tricky because of the vast and diverse content available on the platform.

The first step to avoiding copyright on YouTube is understanding its copyright policy. YouTube operates under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which provides a means for copyright holders to ask YouTube to take down videos that infringe their copyrights.

YouTube employs a Content ID system to monitor copyright infringement. This system scans uploaded videos against a database of files that have been submitted by content owners. If a match is found, the copyright owner is notified, and they can decide what action to take:
monetise the video, track its statistics, or request its removal. To understand how to avoid copyright on YouTube, it’s crucial to comprehend the implications of this Content ID system.

Use Original Content

One of the simplest and most effective methods on “how to avoid copyright on YouTube” is to create and use your original content. From the video footage to the background music, ensure that all elements are created by you or are free from copyright restrictions. If you are vlogging, for instance, the video and audio are usually all yours, and you should have no copyright issues.

Take Advantage of Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation that provides free legal tools to give everyone, from individual creators to large companies, the option of offering a “some rights reserved” approach to copyright. On YouTube, you can filter search results to show only videos that have been uploaded with a Creative Commons licence. These are videos that you can legally and freely share, use, or even modify as long as you give credit to the original creator. This is a fantastic resource on “how to avoid copyright on YouTube.”

Obtain Necessary Rights or Licences

If you want to use a piece of copyrighted work in your video, you must obtain the necessary rights or licenses. This could involve reaching out to the copyright owner directly and negotiating terms. It’s essential to get these permissions in writing to have proof if a dispute arises.

Use Royalty-Free Music

One of the most common ways YouTubers infringe on copyright is by using protected music. A solution to this is to use royalty-free music. There are plenty of online resources available where you can purchase or download royalty-free tracks for your videos. YouTube also provides a free Audio Library filled with royalty-free music and sound effects.

Fair Use Policy

While it’s crucial to learn how to avoid copyright on YouTube, it’s equally essential to understand when copyright laws may not apply, and this is where the concept of fair use comes in. The fair use policy allows limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the copyright owner for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

However, fair use is a complex legal doctrine and can be interpreted differently on a case-by-case basis. If you plan to use copyrighted material and believe it falls under fair use, it might be best to consult a legal professional or a copyright expert to avoid any pitfalls.

In its commitment to helping users understand “how to avoid copyright on YouTube,” the platform offers what it calls “Copyright School.” This is an online resource with short, informative videos that explain the basics of copyright laws and how they apply to YouTube. It’s an excellent resource, especially for those new to content creation.

Attribution and Disclaimers

Although attributing the owner or including a disclaimer in your video or video description may be good practice, it, unfortunately, won’t automatically protect you from a copyright claim. Remember, the ultimate way “how to avoid copyright on YouTube” is to ensure you have the necessary permissions to use the work, even if you credit the original creator.

Be Wary of Public Performances

You might think recording a public performance like a concert or a festival would be free of copyright issues. However, the music, performances, and sometimes even the venue can be protected by copyright. Always do your research or consult with a legal expert before posting such content to avoid any possible copyright issues.

If you’re still unsure about certain copyright aspects or if you’re dealing with complex content, consult with a legal expert. They can guide you on “how to avoid copyright on YouTube” and help you understand the legalities around copyright laws, fair use, and licenses.

2 Wrapping Up

Understanding “how to avoid copyright on YouTube” is a fundamental part of being a successful and responsible content creator on the platform. By understanding and respecting copyright laws, you not only protect yourself from potential legal consequences but also foster a fair and creative environment for all users.

Remember that copyright isn’t an enemy of creativity but rather a framework that protects it. It ensures original creators get the credit they deserve for their work and encourages the creation of fresh, original content. As YouTube continues to grow and evolve, so too should our understanding of “how to avoid copyright on YouTube.”

By following the advice laid out in this blog post, we can all work to make YouTube a platform that supports and respects the rights of creators everywhere.

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Kaushik Jethva
Written by: Kaushik Jethva author

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Updated: May 30, 2023
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