Can I Use Someone Else's Video on My YouTube Channel?

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Make sure to follow Youtube's community guidelines.
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YouTube encourages users to save and share videos they like. On YouTube, adding a video from another channel is perfectly acceptable, and you can set it to be public so your followers can find it. However, passing off someone else's videos as your own is dicey. You must follow the rules of fair use and YouTube's community guidelines to avoid putting your account in jeopardy.

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Google Account Rules on Sharing Videos

If you have a YouTube channel, you've probably spent time trying to decide what you can and can't do. A quick Google search delivers videos and articles that walk you through the process of saving a video to your channel on the site. Using YouTube to add a video from another channel is usually fine. In fact, many creators would love for you to share their videos with your followers.

That said, sharing someone's video on your channel and passing it off as your own are two different things. If you're a creator on YouTube, and you use clips or entire videos without permission or crediting the original user, you could find yourself in legal hot water. It's essential to study the laws of fair use to make sure that you aren't doing something that could cause YouTube to cancel your account or, worse, land you in court.

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Using Copyright-Protected Material

As a YouTube creator, you may want to incorporate a scene from your favorite movie or TV show in your own video. You've probably seen others do it, perhaps in the form of a review or commentary. A Google search tells you all you need to know about this process, which falls under laws regarding fair use. However, applying it to YouTube is a little trickier.

When you set up your Google account, you agreed to certain things, and Google owns YouTube. The best way to make sure you're covered both legally and in the Google terms of service is to reach out to the creator and obtain permission to use the content. This applies whether you're using clips from a YouTube creator's video or a major studio production.

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In some instances, you can use clips of videos on your YouTube channel without violating any laws or Google's terms of service. You can use clips when doing a parody, for example, or reviewing a movie. These fall under fair use, and permission is measured using four criteria:

  • The purpose and character of the use
  • The nature of the copyrighted work
  • The amount and substantiality of the copyrighted work used
  • The effect on the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work

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Creating and Sharing Videos

In some cases, though, you may simply want to add a video from another channel to your own. Most content creators are more than happy to have you do this. It helps them get more views and gives them an opportunity to grow their followers.

Use a Google search to find YouTube videos you think your followers would like. When you find one, click the word Save under the video and then select Create new playlist. Here you can determine whether your playlist is public or private to determine which videos your followers can see and which they can't.

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It's important to stay as legal as possible when you're using YouTube. If you violate the site's community standards in any way, YouTube removes your video, and you are notified. Too many violations in a 90-day period lead to your account being permanently removed from the site.

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