Some digital artists consider watermarks an infringement of copyright, and ask YouTube to remove them. Google says it never recommends the removal of a watermark: “As long as the user’s uploads are not infringing, we don’t remove watermarks.”
When is a user allowed to remove a watermark, and when is it considered an infringement?
“The only situations where we feel it’s appropriate to remove the watermark are if the user or their channel has uploaded content which is not legal to use a copyright protected image or video,” says an email from Google to Quartz.
YouTube says it doesn’t remove watermarks unless it is for “educational reasons.”
What are some exceptions to copyright watermarks on YouTube?
The Copyright Office, which administers copyright, says that copyright holders such as universities, charities, and non-profits, which have an intention to contribute to public understanding online, may include a watermark in public videos that “reflect or assist the public in understanding the work.”
Can I submit my song to a song contest or a talent show using copyrighted music without permission?
While not specifically mentioned in the Copyright Office’s guidelines, you can submit and be approved to participate in a song contest or talent show using copyrighted music as long as it’s clear that you’ve obtained permission to do so.
“Music used for such purposes may not be used to promote illegal or deceptive acts like music piracy or downloading,” YouTube also explains on its website.
Is it legal for YouTube to have a policy against plagiarism?
While YouTube says that YouTube Content ID alone “is unlikely to detect plagiarism,” that doesn’t mean that your work automatically gets flagged in the system.
Instead, YouTube says, “the Copyright Office is investigating allegations that some creators have used copyrighted content that violates the law.”
As for plagiarism, YouTube says that “Plagiarism is when a user creates or uses another creator’s content for their own purpose without the creator’s authorization and under circumstances that indicate a lack of due care.”
What are some factors the Copyright Office is looking at?
The Copyright Office says it will look at “examples of how creators may have used copyrighted content without permission,” citing plagiarized works such as “Babysitter,” which is described as a “sad story of a family of little girls with special powers.”
You can submit a copyrighted material if you know someone from the past who’d
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