3 Rules to Avoid Violating Fair Use on YouTube

3 Rules to Avoid Violating Fair Use on YouTube

Hey guys, my name
is Tim Schmoyer and just like we
do every Tuesday, we’re going to take a look
at some of the online videos news from last week and
talk about the implications it has for us as creators. And I got a couple
YouTube updates I want to talk to you
guys about, but first of all, there is an article over
a Brafton.com’s website called “Fair Use: A guide to citations
and avoiding plagiarism on the web.” And I want to take some of
the things they talk about in that article and summarize
them for you guys here real quick. So first of all– what is fair
use, what constitutes fair use? Fair Use is basically a
clause in the Copyright Act here in the United
States that lets people use copyrighted
material in their content provided that a couple
considerations are taken into account, and
there are four of them. Number one, the purpose
and character of the use is commercial in nature. Two, the nature of
the copyrighted work has to be taken
into consideration. Three, the amount used of the
copyrighted work in relation to the entire creation
that new creator is making. And then four, the effect it
has on the value of the whole copyrighted work that
you are presumably taking from some other creator
and using in your content. If you are doing something
with that content in a way that the devalues
that other person’s, the original creators, the
copyright holders content, then that would take into
consideration and probably wouldn’t work out too
well in your favor. Now obviously,
these are all very broad and general guidelines. Let me give you guys three
different rules to maybe follow that will help you avoid getting
into trouble with fair use and using other
people’s copyrighted material in your
videos here on YouTube. Number one is make sure you
are using more original content of your own than you are of
borrowed copyrighted material from other people. Now this blog from
Brafton.com suggests that you use like a 70-30 rule. 70% of your video should be
your own content, and about 30% of it could be other people’s
copyrighted material. There’s no hard and
fast rule on that. The general principle is use
as much original material as you can, while using
is a little copyrighted material as you can. And it’s even better if you
are using the original material to give commentary on
the copyrighted work that you are talking about. Number two, the case for
fair use in your video becomes a bit
stronger when you’re using multiple sources
rather than just one source and taking a lot of
different copyrighted material from that one source
and using that in your video. So the more outside
sources that you’re pointing to, referencing,
using as supporting points and contrast for
whatever you’re talking about your video the better. Number three, make
sure you give credit to the source and the
author of that content. Nothing is worse for fair
use than using someone else’s content and trying to play it
off like it’s your own, like and you made or something. I’ll put a link in the
description text of this video or you can go read
their full article, if we want to dig this
a little bit more, but I would just tell
you guys that if you are using fair use as like a
catch-all excuse for why you’re able to use any type of
copyrighted material out there that you want
inside your videos, that is simply not the case. Fair use doesn’t work
that way and you can still get fined and go to court
and have a bigger deal on your hands, even if you are
legitimately using copyrighted material in a fair use scenario,
because only a court of law can actually decide
whether or not what you were doing with your
content is considered fair use. YouTube doesn’t
make calls on that, if the copyright
owner sees your video through content ID
or some other method and thinks that your video
is violating their copyright somehow then they
can flag your video, take monetization
away from your video, they can even issue
you a copyright strike if they’d like. So here’s what I
recommend for any of you guys who are creators
who are relying pretty heavily on fair use
in order to make your content and
your videos, I’ll put a link in the
description text below this video to
a lawyer that I use. He specializes in online
creative type stuff, and I highly recommend that
you schedule an appointment with him, his name is Kenneth
Kunkle, to review your videos, go over fair use, and get some
guidelines and pointers of how safe are you, are you
getting up to some like lines you probably
don’t want to cross. His fees are very
reasonable and getting some upfront to review your
content to potentially save you way more money, way more
expenses, the headaches, and even potentially losing
your entire YouTube channel down the road. I also want to talk with you
guys real quick about update that is rolling out to YouTube. The watch page is
changing a little bit, if you haven’t noticed already. The info bar below the video
is now just making it very easy for you add videos to a
playlist, to share your videos and do other things. We are talking about
this in a previous video because I thought it already
rolled out to everyone. Turns out I got this
feature like, months ago, and it’s just now
rolling out to everyone. So my apologies for
that, but we did talk about this in more
detail already and what this means for
you guys as creators. So a link to that video
is in the description below this video as well, and
I also put a link down there for you guys who are
gaming channels who are looking for some of
YouTube’s top recommended strategies for how you can grow
your YouTube channel as a Let’s Play gaming channel. And then for those
of you guys you support this channel on Patreon,
I got a couple links for you guys there as well about
some changes Facebook is making to the algorithm and
how we share videos to the news feed that people
are seeings there. And I’ll also sharing
a link with you guys on Patreon about what we’ve
been learning about what’s happening in Google search,
now that Google no longer shows like video thumbnails
really from websites. That post will talk about how
we update our strategies now for ranking well in
search and getting people to click on our video. While you’re going
to check and all those links out of you
guys in the comments below about what
your experience has been like we’ve been using a
fair use type of copyrighted material here on
YouTube, and especially if you have any other advice
or principles that you think could be valuable
for other creators, and how to avoid issues
with fair use on YouTube. Please share those below. The rest of you guys,
if you are using a lot of copyrighted material
and banking on fair use to kind of protect you,
definitely go down there and read the comments on what
other creators are sharing. And if this is your
first time here, I’d love to have you subscribe. Every week, we do videos
just like this to help you guys out as creators
by looking at what’s been changing in this
online video industry, and what it means
for us as creators. Tomorrow, on
Wednesday’s I give you guys some YouTube tips,
ideas, suggestions, advice. And then on Thursday’s
we do some YouTube Q&A where I take one
of your questions and do my best to answer
it, because I really believe that a lot of you guys
have messages that could really help people and even
change the world, if people who need to
hear what you have to say could just find you and
hear what you have to say. So thank you for letting
me be a part of helping you guys grow your audience’s
and you YouTube channels. Subscribe and I’ll
see you guys tomorrow. Bye.


  • Benjie B says:

    My channel was not approved for monetization because of music copyright on 11 of 79 videos. I used the songs because I liked them and don’t mind the music owners getting the revenues. I guess I have to remove the songs to be monetized. Thanks for the info.

  • Greg Doput says:

    Its okey to upload jokes guys?

  • Jarret Palmer says:

    I want to make a youtube account in where I speak motivational talks and uplifting poems but Having the slow sleep music instrumentals am I alowed to do that

  • Hawthorn Law says:

    Great commentary Tim. Very thorough explanation of fair use. As a lawyer myself, it is also important to note that the fair use doctrine doesn't stop someone from suing you or issuing you a C&D letter, or asking Youtube to take down your video. You need to be very careful.

  • mr crock2095 says:

    I want to make a video on sharks can someone please tell me if I can use pictures off the Internet (screenshots ) and use them in my video?

  • nipple slip says:

    Violation of YouTube’s policy on nudity and sexual content.

  • Dezombified says:

    How about using screenshots of a movie to talk about it? Like a top ten list.

  • M.T.S The Shark Music Lists says:

    All of these have never worked for me. I can't use original content because my videos are all ranking albums, and showing clips from songs

  • Dan Dan says:

    I want to create a sclupture of some superheroes can I get copyrighted?

  • Ali Baba Vlogs says:

    Best things is don't even bother to use sum1's copy right content at all do ur own video and avoid get strike !

  • MMalikster says:

    Hi, what if my comedy video has a little bit of a similarity to another video? Let's say that the point if the video is the same but mine is made differently?


    So how channels with compilation videos still exist? For example all these funny videos of others.. I don't understand

  • Vexcenot says:

    Sadly this is ineffective in 2018

  • Mark Bunds says:

    Very helpful presentation, thanks Tim!

  • More Of The Same says:

    What if you aren't trying to make money off of the content you make? What if you want to take someones video and edit a large amount of other content from other sources in just to make something else?

  • jaunty vampierate says:



  • Smoky Sniper751 says:

    If I’m making a fortnite video and I show like a 5 second clip from Mary poppins where the people say It’s Mary poppins! Then showing a game clip to make it funny


    small chanel sub to sub to all thanks GOD bless

  • GratitudeBridge says:

    Should I use standard youtube licence vs creative commons?

    I've been creating a video everyday on GratitudeBridge and not sure what licensing I should use, I'm OK with people using my work which is primarily around my struggle with depression, suicide and spiritual tools of recovery, but I don't understand the implications of these licensing agreements

  • Alluring Restoration says:

    So what if I want to use clips of other people videos in a top 5 video how do I do that

  • Sabina L says:

    I was wondering if I can get sued for using a specific brand on YouTube for example if I bought something from Trader Joe’s and used it in my video can I get sued ?

  • Robert Boehringer says:

    What are the rules about using commercial products in your video — like Spongebob plushies?

  • The Life & Swag Times - 'How To' Videos says:

    Great video man. BIG QUESTION: How about images? If an image on google says 'labelled for reuse' can I use it for my YouTube channel and still gain ad revenue from that channel?

  • perry tylor says:

    Let grow our channel guys
    Will do the same

  • Reading Connect kids says:

    Tim can i read books without getting introuble with the writters and youtube

  • road trip usa 101 says:

    I'm always had copyright on my video thank you for cheering your experience

  • The Rumble says:

    1. Sub and say done!!
    2. I'm fast!!


    New subscriber here, i like your channel very informative.
    Much love from my Channel and my Prayer Warriors

  • Trina Belle says:

    Any small YouTubers that would like to support each other?

  • nNediam yOJ says:

    let grow together,help each other😊subbing to all

  • Monika G. says:

    Are reaction videos monetised,hope u reply

  • DeadlyVenomKing says:

    Need a tutorial not a lecture

  • Today We Built says:

    SUBSCRIBE and I'll do the same! Watch the potato cannon video!!! It's Great!

    Comment done!
    Like this comment!

  • HighHempWraps says:


  • Kunny & Mar says:

    Would it be problematic if I mention a country club (golf club) name or show the sign or something that represent the place in the video?

  • Jason Ensign says:

    Is it illegal to upload full movies private or does it go against copyright law

  • imazooo says:


  • Mays Family says:

    Thanks for another great video, really appreciate you sharing your knowledge.

  • Maia Univ3rse says:

    Okey so i have a drawing channel .. i copy pictures i got from google .. is there any chances of getting copyrighted with that?

  • antok derajat prima klasik official indonesia says:


  • Henry Kater says:

    I thought I read somwhere a while ago that YouTube had solved the copyright infringement problem by its customers (people who upload videos) by monetizing the infringing video and sending the copyright owners money from this video via advertisement revenues. I must have been dreaming as I can't find this info anymore. Maybe it was a suggestion or option they were considering. I am not sure how monetizing works but its sounds like a great idea. The owner gets royalties from use of their copyrighted material (arranged by utube) and the person uploading the video doesn't get taken to court. The more popular the video, the more monies they get. Here's hoping.

  • Yowie says:

    Can I play a copyrighted song for like 10 seconds on an intro or outro?

  • GaZ loves Games says:

    Just what i was looking for to hear more on. Cheers pal.

  • Android Pulse says:

    Hi and yeah just common sense and while your thinking keep thinking never know what you come u with 😛 good points! thanks.

  • Ginfio says:

    I have a question that anybody could answer me.📌
    Hey, I love your channel, I got a question. Ok, let's say I'm recording a video on youtube right now. And there are ads everywhere. If the ads remained in the video while I posted the video would that be copyrighted (Ads)?

  • Emily says:

    How do you add other youtube videos to your video legally?

  • Ben says:

    What are the rules as far as ads go? I know 1 way you can use ads is 1k subs but I thought there was a different way also.

  • Cid Vlogs says:

    Thank you sir!

  • Nikki Schaffner says:

    Can anyone please help me!!! I have a question: can you take a persons video from start to finish and put it in a compilations video?? If you CAN why? If you CANT why?


  • goldenrod and the 4h stone says:

    Can you scrap together small pieces of several sources other c.r. material to make a whole new video?

  • FreakyChumy says:

    Fair Use is not even a LAW! It's just a Dumb, Grey, Colorless Doctrine written by group of lawyers which does not make sense. So basically if I use tiny bits of peoples content here on YouTube even if it's 1 second and under the Fair Use doctrine. The owner can and will still have the power to report my video to YouTube and YouTube will always favor them. Example "The Verge – How To Assemble A Computer" (which was full of crapped)", which was used by Kyle (under Fair Use)explaining that everything they (The Verge) did was wrong. KYLE GOT A YT STRIKE! EVEN IF IT WAS IN "FAIR USE"

  • Duccio Terraria says:

    Hey can you help me please? I got a warn for copyright in a video, but he ask That I can use that song if I add the advertisement, so can I continue use that song?

  • Trvlr Treck says:

    Hi sir, how about youtuber that do a reaction video. Is that not a copyright?

  • DJiMMa says:

    I know music artist who are banned from using their own tracks because of copyright

  • Rhythm Method says:

    i just uploaded a SINGLE TRACK off of a live dvd and in less than a minute it was blocked. i followed all youR rules and whats worst, the same video is on utube 19 times? why was i targeted?

  • mihnic0504 says:

    OMG, the world is getting out of hand.

  • Siru Thagaval - Small info says:

    Can we take videos inside any stores in mall without permission .

  • SUZY QUE says:

    Why do you have to talk so fast I can't catch up with you I have dyslexia I still don't understand if you share a video on here and posted to another site and don't say anything about the video then you are okay is that what you're saying yes or no second if the person gives you permission to copyright that I video and share it you can now if you just take a video and post it let's say I don't know Instagram or don't get permission from the person you can get in trouble is that what you're saying yes or no please talk slower on your videos thank you because you're talk too fast and it's hard to understand thank you☺

  • Hawthorn Law says:

    Thanks for the explanation of fair use Tim – Love your videos!

  • Gamma Gaming says:

    what does the nature of the copy righted work mean exactly???

  • Kids Connections says:

    lol well you video popped up,, i was actually looking into re uploading my own video video like taking my short videos and making a compilation of my own material

  • The Anthony Brown Show says:

    Can this process also be used for reaction videos? I do reaction and comparison videos often. My comparison videos I break them up every 30 seconds or less before switching to the other. What should I do?

  • Emily Andrews says:

    Nice video. I've uploaded videos on my channel, and I was lucky enough to not get any YouTube copyright or community guideline strikes. I should tell you and YouTube headquarters that I have no intention of infringing anything.

  • Shehryar Qaiser says:

    how do you know some video doesn't have the copyright stuff

  • Pinellas Pest & Rat Tips w/ Dusty Showers says:

    Awesome. Thank you!

  • Pinellas Pest & Rat Tips w/ Dusty Showers says:

    I'm curious how Pewdiepie is able to use other people's content. Is this part of his riff with Youtube or does he do it in such a way that it complies with fair use?

  • joannamccloud says:

    What about youtubers that copy another user's info with no credit nicole Nofire uses my info without crediting it as info she got from me such as bbw exchange if contents inside she said she didnt know untill she heard it from me then came back later saying she customized the bag with out saying she learned from me

  • Investing Hustler says:

    What happens if I used words from someone’s writing changed sentences and words around but used my own voice ? Can that video be claimed ?

  • monstersince says:

    may i quote youtubes fucked fair use policy or do you want to watch johnny vegas

  • Nile Horuseus says:

    This sucked

  • Stories That Pop says:

    Great tips. I"ve been researching this since so much of it seems like a grey area, and there's no hard fast rule. Everything is case-by-case.

  • Lemonhead 6002 says:

    I have an important question. If I were to make a remix of the song Mo Bamba and rapped my own lyrics over it and gave credit would that be fine? I know it sounds stupid but please answer.

  • Milo Tay says:

    What if a video link breaks YouTube terms & conditions, by linking up 2 a page which I/U touch that link#

    they're selling stuff which breaking YouTube's rules?

  • ADT CHANNEL says:

    I uploaded a video which had creative common(re-use) features but someone reported that I have violated his copyright, please please help me get my youtube account back, thanks

  • Samy Grace says:

    when i copy a picture on google and i put it in my video, is that a violation?

  • Sanya Berlin says:

    man, you win fastest speech contest..

  • DeclineUS says:

    So many great questions and NO answers…hellooooo…its 2019 and though the vid was from 2014 – we stil have ppl wanting answers…

  • Jeff's Khmer Classics says:

    The trouble is these third party criminal organizations that claim copyright of everything, then youtube puts the burden of proof of the person being accused of using the material. The policy is backwards. I have now made all my videos private, because I am sick of (over and over again, for the same videos) successfully challenging these bogus claims.

  • Flor Hdzzz says:

    Good tips!!!!

  • Lobo Aerial says:

    how about this.
    i shoot and edit my own content only adding music for instance, im editing a lowrider video and add an oldie and bam copyright block.

  • The Movie Critic says:

    all i want to do is react to movie trailers, i see lots of people doing it. . all i want to do is talk to people about movies, not doing it for the money. will i get in trouble?

  • Nintendorak Yamato says:

    I hope this works if I don't want to skip the ending of Kingdom Hearts 3

  • marcusread says:

    A question for Tim/Video Creators or anyone else for that matter! I have obtained permission from various content owners to use their content in a video of mine. How do i show this in the description? Just saying I have permission doesnt prove anything right? And I know that youtube or third party copyright chasers do not usually look in the description. So is there a way I can show I have permission? thanks.

  • Milly Monroe says:

    how bout a podcast bout music playing free beats n recording ur own vocals ?

  • ptpgrad says:

    So if a chunk of my vlog is me having a conversation when there is music playing loudly behind me in the space while I was there, would that be fair use? I am not referencing it or even acknowledging it and it is only 3 minutes of a 54 minute vlog. I assume its the owner of the background music who is claiming copyright and wants to "share" monetization. As of right now, I have under 100 followers and am not monetized, so it isn't an issue at the moment. Should I let them "share" the monetization with me for inadvertent sound that I can't cut out, but am talking over or dispute it…recommendations?

  • CrazyDaneTV says:

    Can i make a reaction video of a trailer

  • S Thomas says:

    I am extremely confused, Saved videos that I found on YouTube to a playlist so that I could go back and watch them later, and I received two different strikes for doing this, one for copy Rite Infringement and a second for age restricted material, how is this possible I did not upload or download anything I just put content that was on YouTube already into a playlist so I could go back and watch it later. can anyone tell me what is going on?

  • Tim James says:

    Ok, so say for example I take three to six short action scenes from a Hollywood movie and put it into my movie which is non profit. Then I do the following: (1) flip the scene/mirror it over, (2) add visual effects like muzzle flashes, fire and explosions etc, (3) add different music and sound effects. And yet I put the names of the movies and titles of their scenes I used in the end credits. Could I still get in trouble for that?

    Not all of us have big budgets and time or even patience to hire tons of actors and choreographers for martial arts shots. So sometimes, short cuts are required. I could understand if my film was monetized and then I would get into trouble, but if it's non profit?? If 80% of the content was mine and I would use 20, 15, 10 or even 5% of Hollywood films shots (yet was told I could "not" alter it in any way but had to leave the footage as is), that's not a movie – – that's a movie "review" or a "comedy" by that point.

    I saw videos on YouTube where some movies had light sabers added to them which gave a unique effect. Well, those scenes were altered. Are those YouTube users now in trouble, even though they didn't monetize their videos?

  • T_grapher says:

    Wassup homie is okay to react to a You tuber video when your channel is monetized but without permission from him or her!

  • Golden Ninja 50 says:

    time to update your topic. its 2019. fair use is dead.

  • Mia Vega says:

    thank you , very informative ✨🍓

  • Evelyn Wells says:

    What if I made a travel video that had a song in the background similar to the kind of videos lilifilm does? How likely is that to be considered fair use

  • OlaGolme says:

    It is literally impossible to understand fair use on youtube. I see people upload NBA highlights with the announcers all day long, but when I do the same thing I get my video flagged with when I have my own commentary on the videos. They dont care about the small creators.

  • King Katura says:

    Not the case anymore i'd update this after doing some research

  • Tiku T says:

    I received a copyright strike brcause of an 8 minutes game highlight i made from a screen recording (the game was live it when i screen recorded it). Please explain me why the strike

  • Huggles Vlogs says:

    What is the consequence of doing reaction videos ?

  • Surviving Chronically says:

    Do I need a disclaimer for my vlog? It’s main focus is being a mom with multiple chronic illnesses that chooses cannabis as my medicine. My goal is to advocate and educate. And just take followers on my journey to find peace in my diagnoses. I have searched google and YouTube and have not found information on if I need a disclaimer in writing or video.

  • Totally Tonya Vlogs says:

    I follow the TV series Big Brother but I just record the highlights. I edit with green screen, filter, zoom and use transfiguration. I give credit. I have even started using commentary but I keep getting content copyright! Is there a way to follow TV shows and not get copyrighted??? I really need help with this🤔🤔🤔🤔
    thanks for your time

  • Ella Corrigan says:

    If I make a video of me creating a craft I found on Pinterest, can I monetize the video? Or is everything on Pinterest copyrighted? Note – I wouldn't use any photos from the site, I'd shoot my own, but the craft would look the same in the end.

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