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Chances are if you're not a lawyer, you probably haven't thought about the concept of Terms of Service. But here's what really happens. If you use somebody else's servers to deliver your video, you have to grant them certain rights when it comes to that video content. The same can be held for blogs and other social media services. When you put your stuff on someone else's site, you must grant them some specific rights on how to use that content. For example, let's take a quick look at YouTube.
Now YouTube posts Broadcast Yourself. In fact, more video is uploaded to YouTube than you could possibly imagine. 48 hours of content every minute of the day. That's just insane, and the truth of the matter is YouTube really doesn't have time for expensive lawsuits. So they make you agree to some pretty specific terms when you put your content up there. Now this may look like gobbledygook and you could read it by going to YouTube's page directly.
Just type in YouTube and search for Terms of Service and you'll find this document. What I want to really point out to you is Your Content and Conduct. The section that really matters there is, what rights you're giving them. Some keywords that really stand out are things like sublicenseable, transferable, without limitation. By posting your content there, you are giving YouTube the rights to re-syndicate your material without your expressed permission.
Once you've posted it, they don't have to ask if somebody else wants to embed it on their website. Now you have certain privacy controls you could turn on and off, but you have to realize that you are giving them these broad rights. That's what the phrase without limitation actually means. Now I highly recommend that you actually head over YouTube yourself and look up the Terms of Service. You could find it off of the support page or a simple Google search for YouTube Terms of Service will take you there. Keep in mind though, it's not just YouTube.
Every website is going to have Terms of Service and those rights that you give up are going to vary depending upon the site. This all ties into copyright and do you have the rights to post what you're posting, and what rights are you giving away to that hosting site? Generally speaking, the paid services such as those like Vimeo don't take as broad of rights with your content, as the unpaid services. But these all have strengths and weaknesses and what it really comes down to is, don't be afraid to talk your lawyer.
You should have somebody on your site who is looking up for your rights. Make sure you have a discussion before you start publishing. Now this isn't something you're going to have to do every time for every single post, but you should probably sit down and talk about what your plans and objectives are and see if there's any potential hurdles. What you're going to find when you do this is that there's a lot of things you probably took for granted. And as such, you don't want to make assumptions. When it comes to being a publisher, you do actually have some legal rights and responsibilities.
Make sure the content you are posting is content you have right to post and that you're not going to get yourself in trouble for putting stuff out there into a public venue where you pretty much give up all control.
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