If you watch videos on YouTube you’ll probably notice that there are lots of uploaded videos that contain copyrighted material on the ‘Toob. And that the ‘Toob seems to have a relaxed view on folks uploading clips with copyrighted material on it.
Here’s the thing though:
Uploading videos with copyrighted content is against the terms of service.
So if you’ve got videos that contain copyrighted content on them it’s entirely possible that at any moment your Channel could be suspended or closed down. Ever spoken to anyone who’s been shut down by Google (either their AdSense account, or their YouTube account)? If so, ask them how easy it was to talk to someone and get it reinstated.
If you use YouTube as part of your Content Marketing efforts, DO NOT put copyrighted material on them. Whether it’s music, footage of TV shows or films, images. Anything.
If you need music, there are hundreds of places where you can get royalty free tracks to use. And the variety that’s out there is staggering.
If you need images there’s iStock photos. Or make your own.
If you need video footage you can buy stock footage.
Seriously – your YouTube channel, if used correctly, will grow into a major business asset. But if any of your videos have copyrighted material in them, you can theoretically be shut down. At any time.
What To Do If You Already Have Videos Out There That Contain Copyrighted Material
I was reviewing my channel as part of the prep work for my upcoming Content Marketing With Video course – and I had to seriously look at this option.
Back when I started, I recorded about 15 videos that contained music of artists like Michael Jackson, Bob Marley and the like.
So I triaged my videos.
Those that I didn’t need on my channel and could be deleted immediately.
Those that could be deleted and replaced by an edited version without the copyrighted material (the criteria was they had less than 5000 views).
Those that I wanted to leave on the channel due to the view count, search engine position, etc – but that needed to have the copyrighted material removed.
For the last category of videos what I had to do was this:
- upload edited versions of the video to Youtubewithout the offending sections
- create annotations on the original version that link to the new uploaded ‘clean’ version
- nuke the audio by audioswapping for something from YouTube’s library. (I chose some Bach).
Here’s a screenshot of what people who find the copyrighted version of my tutorial lesson for Billie Jean looks like:
And you can see this video has had nearly 70,000 views – hence the reason I didn’t just want to delete it from the Channel.
What To Do If You Need To Upload Videos That Include Copyrighted Material
Seriously, the answer is don’t.
If you feel you absolutely have to, need to, can’t do without it for some reason then create a new channel and upload it there. Keep your main channel clean. That way if your secondary channel ever gets nuked by YouTube, well you can’t say I didn’t warn you.
There’s Another Reason Not To Include Copyrighted Material Though…
Actually there’s three.
Something I’m working on – and will be teaching in my upcoming course – potentially has these benefits:
- Makes your videos stand out and get more eyeballs – both on YouTube and on Google
- Makes it easier for people to click through to your website from your channel page.
- Gives your channel page more authority.
I’m testing these at the moment….and the early results are encouraging and positive.
Using copyrighted material – whether music, images or TV or film footage – is against YouTube’s TOS and could lead to suspension at any time. As YouTube can be a major asset for your business, it should be a no-brainer that this is something you should actively try and
If you have to use some videos with copyrighted material in them, set up another channel.