YouTube Introduces Creative Commons Licensing in Videos, Cloud-Based Editor

3 minute read
J. Angelo Racoma avatar

Licensing content can be a headache, especially for authors and developers who wish to use other persons' or groups' work in their own. While photo-sharing sites have long since advocated the use of Creative Commons licenses, the concept is gaining ground in videos, and YouTube (news, site) is set to announce the integration of Creative Commons in videos and the cloud-based YouTube video editor.

Starting today, YouTube users will have the option to publish videos through the Creative Commons CC-By-3.0 license. The service will also feature new remixing options in the cloud-based YouTube video editor.

A supposedly leaked YouTube announcement will go live this morning, Pacific time.

Now, look no further than the Creative Commons library accessible through YouTube Video Editor to make this happen. Creative Commons provides a simple way to grant and use copyright permissions to creative works. You can now access an ever-expanding library of Creative Commons videos to edit and incorporate into your own projects. To find a video, just search in the YouTube search bar or from within the YouTube Video Editor. We're working with organizations like C-SPAN, PublicResource.org, Voice of America, Al Jazeera and others, so that over 10,000 Creative Commons videos are available for your creative use."

Creative Commons licenses vary by definition, use and intent. The CC-By-3.0 is the most common CC license, and involves letting other users freely republish your content as long as this comes with proper attribution. The license also allows other users to share and remix the content, which means it can be copied and distributed. The license also means your content can be used in a commercial setting in a derivative form.

Google is said to have chosen the simpler CC license types so beginner users won't be overwhelmed with legalese and documentation. The CC-By-3.0 license is simple, after all. Content developers can release their videos, and others can use them, as long as there is attribution. Video producers can freely adopt CC-licensed content, as long as there is proper credit.

What Does This Mean to Video Publishers?

This gives YouTube users several benefits. Users fond of creating video mashups have easier access to content, through Video Editor's new CC tab. This makes content from C-SPAN, Voice of America and Al Jazeera easier to add to videos, as well as video from the millions of other users who have (or will) publish using the license.

Learning Opportunities

Meanwhile, users will also benefit from potential exposure from commercial broadcasters or professional content creators who might want to incorporate their CC-licensed videos in their own works.

What Does This Mean to Creative Commons?

Aside from benefits to YouTubers, the addition of Creative Commons to the service will also benefit the Creative Commons movement itself. CC license users have historically preferred the more restrictive types of the license, particularly the non-commercial variants. Creative Commons statistics indicate that majority of content licensed through CC cannot be used commercially and 25% cannot be incorporated into other derivative works .

YouTube's inclusion of the basic CC-By license simplifies things and opens up the possibility of increased commercial use of content. This also does away with licensing headaches over remixing videos, which can be a source of trouble for both copyright holders and re-mixers who claim fair use. Now that CC-licensed content can legally be remixed, conflicts between original video producers and those into re-mixing can be minimized, as long as the same CC-By license is in place.

Now, whether Google -- or other entities -- can monetize this new feature is something we will have to watch for.

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