Creativity may come easy to some people and if they are lucky enough, they could cash it in and make a living out of it. For others, it may need to be poked and pulled a bit before it can be of use to anyone else other than the person behind the creative process. Whatever the case, once the idea has been had, once it is transferred from mind to something more substantial, then it has to be protected. This is where copyright comes in. Copyright is usually something automatic that happens as soon as an original work is fixed in a physical medium. Now with social media never having a break and being used by just about everyone, everywhere, the lines between what we can do and may not do with other people’s ideas may be a bit blurred.

Most of us know what to do with written text, but what do we do with things like videos that have to do with moving images, music, words and much more – depending on the further creativity of the person behind the video? Things get a bit more complicated here, and with videos being the next big thing when it comes to sharing, we should look into ways to keep our videos content legal, especially when it comes to sharing on YouTube.

Not charging is the way to go – yes, using videos as a business is a selling tool and your ultimate goal is to turn a profit, but you should not charge users to watch your video. Even if it is a video on your private YouTube channel, you cannot charge without YouTube’s written approval. You are not allowed to sell advertising directly on YouTube either. But if you make the content good enough and use the video correctly, it will do what it is supposed to do – it will spread the word about your businesses or products, it will create a population of sharing and it will get people to want to know more and seek you out.

Get permission to use music and parts of movies – just as authors hate it when you steal their work word for word without even a quote or an acknowledgement, musicians and moviemakers also have a thing about other people using their creative property. Even if it is just a few notes, or the chorus from a well-known song or a snippet from a movie, it is still a good idea to get permission. As it is better to be safe than sorry, get permission. Besides, musicians write music to be heard and moviemakers make movies to be seen, and their inclusion in a video that is made to reach thousands of users, is doing exactly what the people behind the music and movies made them for.

In short, when you use YouTube as a marketing tool, make sure you read the fine print because the business people behind YouTube really do dot their I’s and cross their t’s.