What is copyright?
In many countries, when a person creates an original piece of work that is fixed in a physical medium, they automatically own the copyright to the work. As the copyright owner, they have the exclusive right to use the work. Most of the time, only the copyright owner can say whether someone else has permission to use the work.Which types of work are subject to copyright?
- Audiovisual works, such as TV shows, movies and online videos
- Sound recordings and musical compositions
- Written works, such as lectures, articles, books and musical compositions
- Visual works, such as paintings, posters and advertisements
- Video games and computer software
- Dramatic works, such as plays and musicals
Ideas, facts and processes are not subject to copyright. According to copyright law, in order to be eligible for copyright protection, a work must be creative and it must be fixed in a tangible medium. Names and titles are not, by themselves, subject to copyright.
In some circumstances, it is possible to use a copyright-protected work without infringing the owner's copyright. For more about this, you may want to learn about fair use. You can also get permission to use someone else's content in your video.
Your video can still be claimed by a copyright owner, even if you have:
- Given credit to the copyright owner
- Refrained from monetising the infringing video
- Noticed similar videos that appear on YouTube
- Purchased the content on iTunes, a CD or DVD
- Recorded the content yourself from TV, a cinema or the radio
- Stated that 'no copyright infringement is intended'
Some content creators choose to make their work available for re-use subject to certain requirements. For more about this, you may wish to learn about the Creative Commons licence.
No. YouTube isn't able to mediate rights ownership disputes. When we receive a complete and valid takedown notice, we remove the content as the law requires. When we receive a valid counter notification, we forward it to the person who requested the removal. After this, it's up to the parties involved to resolve the issue in court.
Copyright is just one form of intellectual property. It's not the same as trademark, which protects brand names, mottos, logos and other source identifiers from being used by others for certain purposes. It is also different from patent law, which protects inventions.
YouTube offers a separate removal process for videos which violate trademark or other laws.
Just because you appear in a video, image or audio recording does not mean that you own the copyright to it. For example, if your friend filmed a conversation between the two of you, she would own the copyright to that video recording. The words that the two of you are speaking are not subject to copyright separately from the video itself, unless they were fixed in advance.
If your friend, or someone else, uploaded a video, image or recording of you without your permission and you feel that it violates your privacy or safety, you may wish to file a privacy complaint.