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Thread: Legal and YouTube

  1. #1
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    Legal and YouTube

    So I got this handed to me today and I wanted some input.

    We just found out today that in YouTube's terms of service it's prohibited to access slash download their content via anything that is not an authorized YouTube player. Now as a school district we’ve, over the last three years, have been downloading videos from YouTube for in class use and in my program we download videos to use in our student news stories. I figure for the program I’m in we’re covered legally due to ‘fair use’ but seeing as YouTube is seen as a service I’m not sure if that would hold up. As for the district I’m not sure if it being a public education facility would give us a pass.

    Any input before I get a hold of a lawyer?
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    Quote Originally Posted by m4a2000 View Post
    So I got this handed to me today and I wanted some input.

    We just found out today that in YouTube's terms of service it's prohibited to access slash download their content via anything that is not an authorized YouTube player. Now as a school district we’ve, over the last three years, have been downloading videos from YouTube for in class use and in my program we download videos to use in our student news stories. I figure for the program I’m in we’re covered legally due to ‘fair use’ but seeing as YouTube is seen as a service I’m not sure if that would hold up. As for the district I’m not sure if it being a public education facility would give us a pass.

    Any input before I get a hold of a lawyer?
    Do you have a link to the terms of service you are looking at?

    There are tons of links I could post but here is one I found. https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/56100?hl=en
    Last edited by Airwaves; 09-25-2014 at 01:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Airwaves View Post
    Do you have a link to the terms of service you are looking at?

    There are tons of links I could post but here is one I found. https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/56100?hl=en
    Starts around 4.C.
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    I have my own youtube channel and I believe from what I am reading and what I read when I signed up that you probably cannot use it for that. If it is just a matter of showing the videos can you try to use youtube directly? I know schools block youtube but generally on instructors computers it is allowed if granted access.

    I wish I had a better answer for you but I just do not know. Best of luck.

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    Goes bump in the night RebelHill's Avatar
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    USC 110: Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, the following are not infringements of copyright: (1) performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils in the course of face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction

    However... thats copyright law, NOT youtube's own terms of service. Youtube put videos up for download by anyone and everyone (download acting through their site/player)... but the law doesnt distinguish one "method" of download from another, thus... it's a TOS agreement. The worst YT can do if you violate that, is cancel your YT account.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RebelHill View Post
    USC 110: Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, the following are not infringements of copyright: (1) performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils in the course of face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction

    However... thats copyright law, NOT youtube's own terms of service. Youtube put videos up for download by anyone and everyone (download acting through their site/player)... but the law doesnt distinguish one "method" of download from another, thus... it's a TOS agreement. The worst YT can do if you violate that, is cancel your YT account.
    OK that does help me a bit... I just hate when I get asked legal stuff from my boss when he knows I'm just a tech.
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    Founding member raymondtrace's Avatar
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    YouTube prohibits downloading because you are avoiding the commercial advertisements that play each time you view the video. YouTube does not offer its service for free. What you are doing is not much different from taping broadcast television, editing out the commercials, and then redistributing to your students. That is most always illegal.

    "Fair use" does give you some leeway as an educator but I bet the better lesson to teach your young content creators is how to respect the copyright of content creators and the legalities of content distribution. After working with too many adults that have no clue about copyright, we could really use the help of teachers to prepare the next generation.

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    Super Member spherical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raymondtrace View Post
    YouTube prohibits downloading because you are avoiding the commercial advertisements that play each time you view the video. YouTube does not offer its service for free. What you are doing is not much different from taping broadcast television, editing out the commercials, and then redistributing to your students. That is most always illegal.
    I don't know that it's "illegal". YT and their advertisers just don't like it and will do anything that they can to try to force you into watching them. If they can make you think it's illegal, so much the better. It's the same thing as saying that my skipping through commercials on DVRed programs or Internet radio will get me jail time, a fine or my remote taken away for a month. Copyright law, in this case, doesn't enter into it. If it did, then the rebroadcasting of the commercials would be discouraged; and they certainly don't want that. If anything, by inserting commercials into created content, they are, in essence, altering said content. Otherwise, the creator would have inserted them into the original form.

    A well known Internet radio station got into a battle with RIAA and just decided to still air the content but cut the commercials out of it; sending the content to the world for free. The fees are based upon distribution area and the local broadcast area fee was affordable; the entire globe fee was not. So, they supplant the commercials with local musician's creations for the duration. What makes the difference is not charging a fee for the distribution. But I digress.

    Yes, I get that YT's TOS with the creator has clauses that state, in essence: "If you don't agree with our altering your content in order to insert whatever we want into it, whether you like what we insert or not, or you don't get to publish", makes this "local law". But, as RH says, doesn't make it "illegal"; just violates their TOS, that you agree to or not, and if you don't they can refuse to allow you to publish, or watch, if they so choose.

    That there is now the ubiquitous "option" of paying a fee to "listen to Internet radio without ads", is a serious bending of the law. What it really amounts to is legalized extortion. Like organized crime, pay us "protection money" and we won't bother you. They make the ads so loud and jarring that you're forced to pay them to buy them off; because your eardrums are being blown out by the periodic yelling. If they made the ads with any care for the consumer at all (if you want to get someone's attention... whisper), their ads would be more likely to be listened to. Do that, treat me as if I have some value, and I'm more inclined to buy your product. Instead, it has the opposite effect. That they are so rude causes people to find ways around them. They think they're being so clever, but people end up actively disliking the product that they are trying to sell because the "target" is treated poorly. Same thing goes for YT inserting ads into your content. It's crossed the line, which is why many choose other video services that treat creators and consumers with respect.
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    "OH NO!", Joseph Joestar ncr100's Avatar
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    USA:

    http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ21.pdf

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    Registered User sami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RebelHill View Post
    USC 110: Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, the following are not infringements of copyright: (1) performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils in the course of face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction

    However... thats copyright law, NOT youtube's own terms of service. Youtube put videos up for download by anyone and everyone (download acting through their site/player)... but the law doesnt distinguish one "method" of download from another, thus... it's a TOS agreement. The worst YT can do if you violate that, is cancel your YT account.
    Not exactly true - or at least not true for long. The T P P A agreement soon to be signed (and I'm sure other legislation already in effect) gives corporations the right to essentially enact laws in their EULA / TOS agreements. Meaning that in theory, breaking a EULA/TOS is essentially breaking the law. All kinds or dumb and crazy things like "Using an electronic system for other than its intended purpose" etc. So, while I agree with you in principal, the laws are rapidly changing providing corporations with the discretion to target/harass/prosecute anyone who rubs them the wrong way. Will you fly under their radar? perhaps. Who knows with laws as stupid as these being enacted.

    Edit: Trying to think of examples courts have ruled in favor of EULAs... Apple vs Psystar, Aereo? Here's what the EFF has to say:
    https://www.eff.org/wp/dangerous-ter...rs-guide-eulas
    Last edited by sami; 09-27-2014 at 12:36 AM.

  11. #11
    Super Member spherical's Avatar
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    Statutes on the books notwithstanding, any contract that, in and of itself, does not break laws but sets its own rules, makes what can be termed a "local law". If you agree to it, that is what you are bound by. My rights as a creator are protected by Copyright law. However, if I sign a contract that states that I give away some of those rights, the Copyright law will not save me. So, by creating any EULA or TOS, and you agree to it, whatever new law may be written is essentially moot. They can do it already, as long as you a) don't mind, b) don't know enough to care.
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    Founding member raymondtrace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spherical View Post
    I don't know that it's "illegal".
    It has just been settled again recently in a court of law. One cannot take content from a service and redistribute it.

    https://www.aereo.com/

    YouTube contributors consent to a shared copyright with the YouTube service. YouTube determines how the content may be distributed. Taking that content outside of the agreed terms is effectively a breach of contract, and is illegal... regardless of any other pending legislation.

    Can you fly under the radar? Sure. You can also teach your students to smoke outside so their parents do not catch them.
    Last edited by raymondtrace; 09-29-2014 at 07:24 AM.

  13. #13
    Goes bump in the night RebelHill's Avatar
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    That however is REDISTRIBUTION... not ACQUISITION...

    YT allows acquisition of content via download, and whilst their TOS makes a distinction between a download enacted through their website/player/app, and some thrid party method, the law does not (contract law and its binding agreements notwithstanding, but if you've not actually signed up to a YT account in the first place, you've not entered into any agreement either, and you DONT have to enter such an agreement to access videos on YT in the first instance).

    If you were however to redistribute such content, then yes, that may be illegal... for instance if you filmed YT playing on your screen and broadcast that out in some fashion.

    But even there, it gets murky, because YT freely give away the ability to EMBED videos into other webpages... which in effect ALLOWS redistribution, and once again, there's no requirement to enter any agreement with YT before you're allowed to access this feature, and again, since the law doesn't make any distinction between the particulars of how a redistribution is performed (without a specific contract), that can easily be assumed to be a free ticket to redistribute anything you like, any way you like.

    Also again... go back to the OPs purposes... for student use, within an educational environment, and for student news story purposes... There ARE exemptions in the USC for the use of copyrighted material in such circumstances which it specifically states ARE NOT considered an infringement.
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    Founding member raymondtrace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RebelHill View Post
    That however is REDISTRIBUTION... not ACQUISITION...
    The topic here is redistribution because the OP is giving the files to his students. And those students are using those files in their video production. That is double redistribution.

    Quote Originally Posted by RebelHill View Post
    ...but if you've not actually signed up to a YT account in the first place, you've not entered into any agreement either...
    Not quite. The YouTube terms refer to anyone who uses or visits the site. A registered account is not required to be bound by terms of service. https://www.youtube.com/t/terms

    Quote Originally Posted by RebelHill View Post
    But even there, it gets murky, because YT freely give away the ability to EMBED videos into other webpages... which in effect ALLOWS redistribution...
    True, but "embedding" is redistribution according to YouTube's terms. By embedding, YouTube maintains control of the presentation. YT may push advertising through the embedded player or acquire traffic to the main YouTube site.

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    Goes bump in the night RebelHill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raymondtrace View Post
    The YouTube terms refer to anyone who uses or visits the site. A registered account is not required to be bound by terms of service.
    Nope... If when first landing on YTs page (without having an account), you had to click some "agree to TOS" before proceeding, you'd be bound by them... in absence of that you are NOT so bound because you've not entered into any agreement to be so.

    You CANNOT just impose some "contractual obligation" upon someone without their consent... else you could just open a shop/outlet who's "terms of entry" were that you had to pay $100 if you left without making a purchase, and impose this "clause" without having to inform people of it before they chose to enter.

    And again, you're also ignoring the EXEMPTIONS from claims of infringement for certain uses, which the OPs arguably fall into.
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