By now, most of us have posted something to youtube, and most likely it’s of a cat or something equally as exciting. If you’re fortunate enough to get some actual views from the video, you may have also received an email from Google that reads like this:
Your video [....] might be eligible for the YouTube Partnership Program, which allows you to make money from playbacks of your video.
Making money from your video is easy. Here’s how it works: First sign into your YouTube account. Then, review and complete the steps outlined here: http://www.youtube.com/ivp?v=oaTsT3EK8yw. (hmmm…it appears they killed this link. wonder why….)
If your video is approved, we’ll start placing ads next to the video and pay you a share of the revenue as long as you meet the program requirements.
We look forward to adding your video to the YouTube Partnership Program, blah blah blah…
Here’s an example of a video that YouTube has authorized as eligible for revenue sharing via video ads.
Everyday YouTube is flooded with screen captured video game footage by uploads from some of the most watched channels. And many of those videos are monetized by YouTube’s in-video ads.
But are these channels playing with fire?
YouTube’s help files state:
To opt your video into revenue share, be certain that you have the express permission from the person who created or produced all of the content within your video. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Movie or TV footage or visuals
- Performances (including concerts, events, and shows)
- Graphics and pictures (including photographs and artwork)
- Video game or software visuals
- Music (including lyrics, cover songs and background music)
In other words, it is NOT OKAY to use someone else’s material without permission even if:
- You edit together or “mash-up” other works.
- You alter any portion of the original material.
- You only use 30 seconds of a song or a video clip.
- You paid for it. This does not mean that you have permission to include it in your video.
- You give proper credits.
- Nobody sends you a copyright notice.
To me, that’s a pretty ‘black and white’ description of what you can and can’t post if you’re seeking revenue sharing. Oddly enough, YouTube doesn’t really seem to care at the moment.
But just wait until those videos start making some serious money, and then let’s see what happens.
The takeaway here: get while the gettings good, but don’t count on that revenue to last.