YouTube’s other intellectual property issue

There’s been a lot of talk about the copyright issues that YouTube faces with the vast volume of clips that aren’t authorized by content creators. We’ve seen a number of licensing agreements for content. YouTube has also pulled unauthorized Comedy Central clips.

But there’s an issue with user-created content that has gotten little discussion: In many cases, the person holding the video camera doesn’t have rights to what they’re videotaping. If you video your family at Disney World, the Chrysler building, Guggenheim or a baseball game, you only have the rights to use that video for personal purposes.

Take this video on YouTube of the fountains at Bellagio. All of these entities potentially have rights involved:

  • The person who created the video.
  • MGM Mirage (the owner of the Bellgaio).
  • The composer of the song.
  • The performer of the song.
  • The designer of the fountain show.

Photographers and movie studios often pay site fees to shoot at such locations. iStockPhoto has a database for stock photographers that lists rights involved with many famous locations.

It’s only a matter of time before we see these locations asking for their cut.


About Rakesh Agrawal

Rakesh Agrawal is Senior Director of product at Amazon (Audible). Previously, he launched local and mobile products for Microsoft and AOL. He tweets at @rakeshlobster.
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2 Responses to YouTube’s other intellectual property issue

  1. Content creators should be less concerned with the sharing of their material and more concerned about original material being created by some person with a camera. That person is the long-term problem.

  2. Pingback: Flickr and privacy rights « reDesign

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