Your Rights (You gave them away!)

I came across this post today, from a guy who posted his video on YouTube, then saw it on VH1, and took the VH1 video, showing his video, and tried to show it, and… Well, go read the post….

I’ll only deal with the first part in which his video was used by VH1. When first saw one of those “web video” shows on TV months back, I knew something would go wrong. I was hoping they’d show a video that was under a non-commercial license (which would not include anything on YouTube obviously.) Well, this isn’t exactly how I saw it happening, but it’s close. Sort of. It is my belief that Christopher Knight surrendered his rights to his video when he uploaded it to YouTube. Well, more precisely, I should say that I think he granted YouTube a very liberal license do to whatever the hell they wanted to do with his videos… Below is just a snippet from the YouTube Terms of Service:

“For clarity, you retain all of your ownership rights in your User Submissions. However, by submitting 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 successors’ and affiliates’) 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.”

I’m definitely not a lawyer, but read it over, and do you see the “royalty-free… transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute… display… affiliates… business…. in any media formats and through any media channels” In other words, “You hereby grant YouTube the rights to do whatever the %$@&! they want with your content.” I mean, I can’t read that any other way.

How much do you want to bet that Viacom is an affiliate of Google/YouTube, and if they aren’t now, they will be tomorrow. Honestly, I caught a lot of crap from people because I kept saying that YouTube was bad/evil/thieves, etc. Sure, I’ve been known to promote rival services like Ourmedia and which, you know, actually let you control your creations, and maintain your rights.

You have choices people! I’m amazed by those who get all outraged about accounts and videos being deleted. It’s a service, someone else runs it, deal with it. Get your own account, post the videos there, or on a service that is friendly to what you do. Argh…..

We may have to hold a Creative Commons Salon in Milwaukee sooner than we thought.