YouTube: Stealing Your Content?

Steve Rubel blogs about YouTube today. YouTube is interesting, but unfortunately they’re competing in a space with better alternatives, including, but not limited to,, and, all offering free hosting. The difference? The ones I listed above don’t have license agreements which require you to sign your rights away to them in perpetuity merely for getting hosting. YouTube’s license states:

By posting or sending a User Submission, you expressly grant YouTube
a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, worldwide
license to use, reproduce, modify, publish, edit, translate,
distribute, perform, display, and make derivative works of such User
Submission, and your name, voice, and/or likeness as contained in your
User Submission, in whole or in part, and in any form, media or
technology, whether now known or hereafter developed, including the
unfettered right to sublicense such rights, in perpetuity throughout
the universe.

Not only that, but these guys seem mainly interested in hosting one-off Internet video. They are not making efforts to cater to the vlogging community, and the guy that’s involved with them that does frequent mailing lists I’m on is not incredibly personable. Overall, I just can’t see why you’d give away your content, giving YouTube the right to create derivative works and resell your content w/o your consent with other sites will honor whatever license you choose to release your content under.


Check out the comments below where Steve from YouTube responds to this post. This is the beauty of the blosophere and the tools that have been developed (Technorati, Pubsub, etc). I have concerns (even though I’m not a customer) and YouTube is addressing them.

To update this, in response to the concerns elicited by the vlogging community YouTube has modified their license. I hear they’re still watermarking their videos, which I would prefer they branded their player and not their video, and they’re still working to allow syndication of video. The point is people have concerns and YouTube is listening and joining the conversation, which is something every company can learn from. Kudos to YouTube.

In response to Steve, I’m not sure who I was thinking of about impersonal relations on the mailing list. Best guess I can give is that I was thinking of Charles, but I’m not exactly sure why I wrote that.


4 Comments on “YouTube: Stealing Your Content?”

  1. Steve says:

    Just found this posting about YouTube. Clint, I’m steve from the videoblogging mailing list. Who was the unpersonable person that has been representing YouTube?

    As mentioned on the website, the Terms of Use was written up in such a manner out of ignorance rather than selfish intentions. Based on feedback from the videoblogging mailing list, we have made changes to the Terms of Use to grant the rights to all videos back to the users.

    I hope we can convince you and other early adopters that we offer a compelling product along with rich features built on-top of just pure hosting.


  2. Very interesting post clint. I think YouTube is in a great place, they’ve got a jump on the market. However, I agree that there’s about 100 million things they have to change to suceed. The question is do they dare allow themselves to change so much and so quickly. When flickr first started for example they were absolutely nothing like they were today. THey pretty much threw 1.0 out the window through a very quick series of changes, a pace that’s still going on. I think for YouTube to succeed they need to be willing to burn down and rebuild very quilkly, allowing themselves to morph in a manner that not only challenges their core business but allows them to grow into something they would have never expected. Case in point tagging and “ajax” weren’t even around when flickr started, now their open interfaces, API, and tagg communities are their bread and butter.

    YouTube has arrived on the field, but they’ve just begun to play the game, a game where the rules are still being decided. Those rules are being decided right here…. 100’s of little things… like don’t brand my content, brand your controller interface… allow me to syndicate my content…. and I need to not maintain my ownership, but I need tools for expressing it by declaring my license type.

    You tube has tremendous amounts of value, the question is can they figure it out while the sands are shifting under their feet, and can they be flexible enought to do it before the market passes them by. I hate to say it, but these new media markets are more fickle than fashion on the surface. You have to get really, really into the marketplace down here with us individual media haxor nobodies in order to really start seeing the shades of grey. But we’re more than willing to share YouTube if you’re willing to listen.

    You tube took a huge roadblock and turned it into a positive. Now lets see if they caqn build on that momentum by taking the next leap… not just allowing us to maintain our rights, but also declare our rights… they should look to flickr to see how they as a service provider can empower indivduals legally to declare their intentions for collaboration with a creative commons licensce.


  3. […] eo blog that I had to comment on and thought I’d post my response here as well. Re: Clint Sharp’s Blog an’ Vlog � Blog Archive � YouTube: Stealing Your […]

  4. oldie says:

    How the heck does a company like youtube afford to offer all that space to users for free? I can’t imagine that advertising alone covers the costs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s