Thursday, June 23, 2011

YouTube and Creative Commons

A few weeks ago it was announced that users uploading videos to YouTube are now able to select Creative Commons as a license option. At this stage this does not include all Creative Commons licenses but a simple attribution license that allows both commercial and non commercial uses of a video. This has taken some time with Creative Commons being around now for more than a decade and YouTube being launched over 6 years ago, but is definitely a step forward for those seeking to enable sharing of YouTube clips.

I have written before about the utter failure of Creative Commons licenses on file sharing networks with Limewire and now Frostwire both incorporating them into their file sharing services. The verification process rarely worked and many files were incorrectly licensed with no way of pulling the files down. This is unlikely to be an issue with YouTube as the DMCA and take down notice process will still apply.

What is interesting about this development however is the jurisdictional issues - Creative Commons has been ported to many countries with teams of people in each jurisdiction developing their own suite of licenses to suit the laws in each country. At this stage there is only one license available for use - a USA attribution license. It will be interesting to see whether the licenses developed in all Creative Commons jurisdictions become available for use or whether it is only the USA licenses that will be used.

48 hours of content is currently being uploaded to YouTube every minute of the day from countries all around the world. Furthermore, on its sixth birthday recently, the YouTube Facebook page stated that there have been over 3 billion streams of YouTube content. At the same time as announcing the availability of Creative Commons licenses on YouTube a Creative Commons video library containing 10,000 videos under CC BY from organizations such as C-SPAN,, Voice of America, and Al Jazeera was also launched - within the first week this grew to 60, 000 videos - all available for remixing.

Further Reading
Creative Commons, CC News: YouTube Launches Creative Commons Support (7 June 2011) < > at 23 June 2011

YouTube, YouTube and Creative Commons: raising the bar on user creativity (2 June 2011) < > at 23 June 2011

TechDirt, Youtube, Creative Commons And Why It's OK For You To License Your Artwork Any Way You Want (8 June 2011) < > at 15 June 2011

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