1tipsVideo is one of the fastest growing channels in digital advertising, and there are so many companies who are just getting started with utilizing video in their marketing strategy.

There‘s so many best practises out there telling you what you should be doing, but what needs to be kept in mind as well is not violating privacy or copy rights.

According to Grant Crowell from Reelseo.com, here‘s what you need to know so you don‘t end up violating privacy rights:

  • Avoid showing private individuals in your videos. Even if they may just be in the background, they could still be distinguishable to an audience. If you are catching them in a compromising situation, or exploiting them for commercial gain, then it could also be a defamation and right of privacy/publicity issue. And even if not, their image and likeness is a copyright issue.
  • Get permission first. Have anyone who happens to be recorded in a video, even by accident, be willing to sign a release.
  • Can’t get permission, but need to use the footage? Block out their identities. YouTube’s Face Blurring Tool is a free and quick solution if you can accept having everyone’s face blurred out – allowing you to share sensitive footage without exposing the faces of individuals involved. However, you also have to look out for any other potentially identifiable characteristics, such as a birthmark or their clothing; and even of course, their own voice.

Legally adding copyrighted music, sound effects, or other copyrighted audio

In another one of his articles, Grant Crowell explains that there is one copyright for the song and another copyright for the recording of the song, itself, making it necessary to obtain two licenses from the music publisher and the record label.

Besides, according to Gordon P. Firemark, you have to include a request for Internet rights when obtaining licenses. “Most licenses cover only the synchronization of the music with the images in the video, but don't automatically include the right to stream the video, or make it available for download", he says.

However, if you‘ve performed and recorded the material yourself, or if the piece is public domain music you don‘t need third party permission.

Grant further elaborates that „as a professional video marketer, who deals with media producers, I'll usually have a ‘work-for-hire’ written agreement with the recording artist for any newly produced soundtrack for a video. My written agreements also specify any and all uses I plan to make, or foresee myself doing. That also includes, if I want to re-edit the recording artist's original soundtrack they made for me. Some licensing agencies, including stock audio agencies, will either prohibit you from doing that, or charge you extra.“

If your YouTube video has recognizable copyrighted music YouTube may:

  • Remove your video entirely from your account;
  • Mute the audio on your video or;
  • Allow the copyrighted music or other audio in your video, with additional links in Amazon.com and iTunes to the original source (available for purchase).

You should be careful about the following, Grant advices:

  • Simply giving the recording artist label and credit in your video isn't enough - unless the YouTube Content Partner, who owns the copyright, already has an arrangement in place to allow for it.
  • Performing a cover song in your online video requires permissions as well. Even if you're doing your own performance, you still need permission from the original recording artist or licensing agency acting on their behalf.
  • Music in your computer software program may not be allowed for professional use! So what about the music already provided in computer video or photo slideshow software? Like say, iPhoto or iMovie for the Mac? Can you take that for professional use?
  • You do not have the permission to create a photo slideshow, video, or anything other multimedia using that copyrighted music, if you are using it for any commercial or professionally related purposes, including self-promotion. Even sending out something as seemingly harmless as a photo slideshow Christmas card to your clients and business colleagues could be treated as an infringement!
  • "Educational" videos don't get a pass on copyright use. Just because you're producing a video, either for a school or other educational institution, even for a not-for-profit organization, does not mean that the copyrighted music content is for educational purposes. It is considered an "ancillary" (i.e., supportive) use, which still makes it a non-essential item to the educational purpose of the video itself.
  • Remixes may not be allowed with 3rd party stock audio sites. Your licensing agreement with anyone should state whether you can or can't use edited or remixed original soundtrack. Some audio stock footage companies like Sound Ideas®, stipulate in their end user license agreement that you cannot "change or alter in any way an original music composition owned or represented by Sound Ideas (for example, by adding
  • ·instruments or lyrics) without the prior written consent of the owner." What that means is re-mixes aren't allowed unless you receive an additional permission on top of your standard licensing agreement.

This is what you should do to add music legally to your video:

Add music on YouTube for free with Audioswap, which is a new feature that allows you to automatically and easily add music to your YouTube videos. Using an extensive list of songs, you can spice up your videos with songs from your favorite artists.

Browse stock footage websites, since they have a wide selection at a fraction of the cost, and will typically be just as good as anything you could get on a custom arrangement. Some websites offering an eclectic library of music, sound effects, and other professional-quality audio for licensing include: istockphoto.com, gettyimages.com/music, royaltyfreemusic.com, musicbakery.com, and sound-ideas.com.

Have a written agreement that covers all planned and possible uses. Any transformation of the original audio should require something in writing, saying that you reserve the option to do so.

Always get permissions in writing. Remember, this isn't the same as personal or other recreational use on YouTube - or what you may put up anywhere online. If you're doing it for any professional purposes, you need to have a written agreement with the original copyright holder, such as the artist, or whoever their licensing agency may be.

Search music licensing agencies. If you don't already know who to ask for permission, check out the Copyright Advisory Office for Collective Licensing Agencies. Look under the section marked "Musical Works: Performance Rights.” If you're planning on doing a cover of someone else's copyrighted music, look under "Musical Works: Mechanical Rights”). Also, if you can't find a matching agency on there, just do a Google search, or your search engine of choice, with a query of the name of the artist/song, and the term "licensing" or "licensing information.”

If you have any doubts whatsoever, please contact a lawyer! This information was collected with care, but it is from a marketer’s point of view, and we are no lawyers. (Source: reelseo.com)

By Hiba Assi