[cc-community] YouTube and Creative Commons

Emma Carpenter emma.k.carpenter at live.com
Mon Aug 12 12:42:14 EDT 2013

Eric is quite right. Assuming that the video's uploader is the licensor, which is the most likely situation, the clause which Maarten noted is not relevant; that clause restricts your behaviour, not the behaviour of the licensor. You could argue, somewhat indirectly, that by uploading to Youtube without a download link the licensor is preventing you from exercising your rights under the licence, but that's not nearly as clear-cut a conflict as I think was originally in mind.

The point here is that there are two separate agreements in play. Firstly, there is the agreement between yourself and the licensor; that is, the CC licence. If you used one of the various non-sanctioned methods to download the video, you would not be in breach of the CC licence, and the licensor wouldn't have any copyright claim against you.

Secondly, you have an agreement with YouTube, i.e. the Youtube TOS. Downloading the video 'illicitly' would be a violation of your agreement with Youtube, and although I haven't read the Youtube TOS, I would assume that the 'punishment' for breaching that agreement would be (in theory) Youtube having grounds to ban you from their website.

I am a lawyer, just about. But don't take my word for it, law isn't a one-right-answer kind of game. ;)

Emma Carpenter

> From: eric at hellman.net
> Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2013 10:40:10 -0400
> To: cc-community at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [cc-community] YouTube and Creative Commons
> It's an important discussion. But remember who is being the licensee and who is the licensor. 
> 1. If the uploader of the video is also the licensor, there is no implication on the license, because the license is not exclusive and the rights holder can do what they want.
> 2. if the uploader is a CC licensee, then it seems to me they are not in compliance with their license to distribute unless they also post a download link. In theory, the video could be taken down by the original licensor for noncompliance.
> YouTube is neither a CC licensee nor a CC licensor, typically they extract a limited license through their TOS. They are protected by DMCA from many copyright claims. They can regulate the use of their website as they see fit.
> I am not a lawyer, just a copyright nerd.
> Eric
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