So, you’re planning on using the same video on multiple platforms, or perhaps even stealing someone else’s video and using it on another platform they’re not on yet? Maybe I shouldn’t be saying this, but that’s actually not a bad idea!
However, before you hit the upload button…
…please ensure you’re not infringing on someone else’s copyrights; otherwise, you risk getting your video taken down or, worse, getting banned!
In today’s blog post, I’ll guide you through the legal framework of copyright law and provide comprehensive guidance on avoiding copyright infringement when uploading videos on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram. On top of that, I’ll also share a few tips on how to repurpose the same video on these three platforms safely.
Hi, my name is Gorjan, and I’m making a full-time income working from home. Feel free to read my about page if you wish to learn more about my story, past experiences, and how I can help you set up your 1st passive revenue source.
Understanding Copyright Law
So, what is the simple definition of copyright law? Basically, copyright law is a bunch of rules that are supposed to protect creative folks like artists, writers, musicians, or in this case, video content creators. The idea is to ensure that nobody can copy their work without permission, but honestly, the rules are so broad and confusing and, in most cases, can easily be abused.
How does copyright law work? Well, let’s say you create a video. In that case, you own it and decide who and how can use it and for how long.
Anyone who wants to use your video needs your approval first; if not, they risk getting sued by you. I know it’s a bummer, but that’s how it is!
To avoid copyright infringement, you must ensure that the content you’re uploading is original or that you have obtained permission from the copyright owner to use their content. Failure to do so can result in legal action, takedown notices, and other penalties that can negatively impact not only your online presence but your wallet as well. Things that no one wants!
YouTube’s, TikTok’s, and Instagram’s Copyright Policy
YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram have a policy that aims to protect the rights of copyright owners and ensure that creators can use content in compliance with copyright law. So, how do social media platforms detect it, and what are the consequences if you get caught “accidentally” using copyrighted material?
When you upload a video on any of these platforms, they use a so-called Content ID system that scans your video for copyrighted material.
Suppose the system detects any copyrighted material in your video.
In that case, you may receive a copyright strike, which can result in your video being removed, your account being suspended, or other more severe penalties.
Can you post the same video on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram without getting a copyright? If you’re wondering whether you can upload the same video on Youtube, TikTok, and Instagram without getting copyrighted, then I’m afraid the answer is not a straightforward “yes” or “no.”
Let me explain.
If the video’s yours, you can upload it wherever you like, not just on these three platforms alone. This is because the video contains your logo, voice, and perhaps even your face, so you have proof that the content’s yours.
In case of any controversies…
…such as you getting banned or your video getting taken down, you can easily show evidence to claim ownership, easily resolving any issue that might occur.
However, if you want to know if someone else can upload the same video (or use someone else’s video on your accounts), the answer is a bit more complicated.
Yes, you can always show off your video editing skills and remove the sound, change the background, or even crop and edit the video to make it problematic for these platforms to identify the original video.
Like a video-editing ninja, I would say!
However, please understand that these companies are investing a lot of money into Content ID, which, for those who don’t know, is a technology commonly used to detect copyrighted videos. How does Content ID work, you ask?
Think of it as a detective that checks all the videos on these platforms and tells the owners if someone is using their stuff, ultimately giving them the power to remove it or leave it as it is as long as no one’s profiting from it. It’s nothing more than a “robot” that helps content creators get credit for their hard work.
Although you can get away with it a few times, stealing and reusing other people’s content is not a long-term strategy you should aim for because Mr. Content ID will catch onto you eventually, and all of your hard work re-editing that content will go down the drain. There are way better ways to use all that creative energy!
Trust me, from experience, you’d only be wasting your time by taking the shortcut and reusing other people’s content. I’ve personally done it myself, and I’m telling you, it’s a surefire way to shoot yourself in the foot.
Yeah, you might see some quick short-term wins, make a quick buck, maybe a sale here, sale there, but ultimately, relying solely on that strategy will most likely lead to failure down the road. Speaking from experience, it’s a recipe for disaster, and your ship will sink sooner or later; I guarantee it!
Forget about the “it’s unethical” part.
Both me and you know that these days, a lot of folks don’t really care if their way of earning some extra cash is ethical or not. It’s a bit worrying, given that even though we’re content creators, we still consume other people’s content daily, which is why I always say that everything you come across online should be taken with a grain of salt. Honestly, even though it’s a bit worrying, I’ve gone numb to it.
Some people are willing to do just about anything to make a quick buck, even if it means taking advantage of others or engaging in shady practices. I see it all the time nowadays! Heck, you might be one of them!
Yet, not everyone is like this!
I like to believe there is still a lot like myself who want to make an honest living and do things by the book, ensuring we provide as much value as possible.
Maybe not a lot, but still, we’re out there!
But, let’s face it, there will always be those who are happy to cut corners and take shortcuts, even if that means compromising their values. If this sounds anything like you, know that I don’t judge you whatsoever and that I sincerely hope you make the most money possible! Honestly, I do!
However, all my years of working online have taught me that if you want to build a real and loyal audience that will translate into sales, it’s crucial to create original and incredibly valuable content that truly resonates with them.
I repeat: it’s the only way to see long-term success!
It may seem daunting at first, but I assure you the hard work and extra hours are worth it. When I started my first website, you could not imagine the pressure I was under. I felt completely overwhelmed and struggled to find my voice and connect with my readers for quite a long time actually.
But despite all the mistakes I made, I didn’t quit and kept working at it, which turned out quite well for me. Nowadays, I can proudly say that my content is unique and valuable, and the fact that you’re still reading this clearly proves that it resonates with you, my audience. So, props to me, I guess.
Back to the topic.
Can you upload the same video on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram without getting copyrighted? You certainly can, and you won’t have any issues as long as you’re the creator. However, if the video is not yours, it’s not advisable, as you may get flagged for copyright infringement, which will do you no good!
In conclusion, uploading your own video to multiple platforms is perfectly fine and won’t harm you in any way. Still, when uploading someone else’s video, asking for permission or finding other original content to share is always better.
Avoiding Copyright Infringement on Social Media
Use Royalty-free Videos
There are way too many Royalty-free sites that allow you to use other people’s creations without paying any fees, which is an excellent way to speed up your content creation and find videos to use without any legal consequences.
On these sites, you can find all kinds of different videos, from nature shots to aerial views of cities and animations, that you can safely use without worrying whether you’ll step on someone’s toes or not. However, although these videos are free-to-use, please read the terms and conditions carefully because some creators may still ask that you credit them for their creations.
In contrast, others may have certain restrictions on using the videos, so please make sure to spend those extra few minutes going through the terms and conditions to avoid any potential legal issues.
Here’s a list of 10 royalty-free websites you can use:
Ask For Permission
If you’re unsure whether you can use a video, ask! To obtain permission, you will need to find a way to get in touch with the video owner, whether by sending an e-mail or DM or filling out a permission request form on their website.
When sending your message, it’s important to be clear about your intentions and how you plan to use the video. Understandably, some owners may ask you for a little money, but you’re always free to say no and continue your search elsewhere.
Also, please don’t delete any of the messages because there have been a lot of instances where people pay a fee but still get sued afterward, so it’s best to keep them to avoid any potential legal issues down the line.
So, let’s say you found a really cool TikTok or YouTube video that you like and want to use for your own channel. In that case, the first thing you should do is figure out the best way to contact the channel owner, but usually, all the contact details can be found in the video’s description or in the video itself.
Here’s a sample e-mail template you can use:
Hi [copyright owner],
My name is [your name], and I am a content creator on [TikTok/YouTube/Instagram].
I recently came across your video [insert video title and link] and really liked it, so I would love to use a clip from your video in my own video, which I plan to upload to my channel. [link to your channel goes here]
I would appreciate it if you permitted me to use a clip from your video, for which I will credit you and link back to your original video. If there are any guidelines or restrictions you would like me to follow, please let me know, and I will be happy to comply. Also, please let me know if there’s anything else I can do for you!
Thank you for considering my request.
I look forward to hearing back from you.
Best regards, [Your name]
You know what they say…
Politeness is an inexpensive way of making friends, so try to be as friendly and professional as possible when contacting copyright owners. Please explain well your plan on using their video and even flatter them if necessary.
Also, don’t forget to offer to credit them in your own video because, in most cases, this is more than enough for them to say yes!
If you don’t hear back from them in a week or two, don’t hesitate to send them a polite follow-up e-mail reminder. And if they still don’t respond or decline your request, it’s best to respect their decision and find another piece of content to use in your video. It’s not like it’s the end of the world.
Here’s another sample e-mail template you can use:
Hi [copyright owner],
I hope this e-mail finds you well. It’s been a while since I reached out, so I wanted to follow up on my previous message regarding my request to use a clip from your video. [insert a link to their video here]
I understand you’re likely very busy, but I just wanted to check in and see if you had any further thoughts on my request. Again, I respect your right as a copyright owner, and I’d be happy to credit you for your work.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing back from you, and I hope you have a great day!
Best regards, [Your name]
Use Public Domain Material
So, what is “public domain” material, and how does it work? Basically, public domain material refers to those author creations that aren’t protected by copyright law anymore, meaning that you’re free to use, modify and distribute them without worrying about getting permission from the owners.
As a social media content creator, these materials can benefit you in many ways. They can be extremely helpful, especially if you’re just starting out online and don’t have much time or resources to create your own content.
It’s worth noting, however, that just because a work is in the public domain doesn’t mean there aren’t any restrictions on how to use it.
As with royalty-free videos, some of these materials may require you to provide attribution to the original creator or ensure that they aren’t used in a misleading way that damages the owner’s reputation. So, do your research.
By taking advantage of these resources, I’m sure you will save a ton of time, money, and creative energy, while still producing the best possible content that engages and delights your audience without stressing about getting infringed.
Here’s a list of 8 public domain sites you can use:
- Internet Archive
- Prelinger Archives
- Pond5 Public Domain Project
- NASA Image and Video Library
- Open Video Project
- Public Domain Movies
- Footage Firm Free Footage
Legally Steal Copyrighted Material
As content creators, it’s only natural that we’ll get inspired by someone else’s content at one point or another. However, as said multiple times throughout this post, we must always remain careful not to break any copyright laws.
We can easily do that by manipulating the Content ID system by transforming other people’s content into our own original and unique pieces that our viewers or readers will love. How, you ask? Well, it’s easier than you think.
Adopt that piece of content by adding your perspective, simply by sharing your thoughts or experiences related to the topic you’re crafting a video on!
And no, don’t just slap your logo on the original video; that won’t cut it. It takes much more than that to fool a sophisticated copyright-detection tech bot.
For example, let’s say you’re making a video on the struggles that come with trying to make money online. In that case, you can share a few bits and pieces of your personal story or maybe even mention that time you almost got scammed or whatnot. Build upon the original video, and don’t hesitate to add your twist and character to it. (touches of humor, satire, horror elements, etc.)
You can also get creative and incorporate additional images, videos, infographics, or even sound effects to make your piece stand out from the original.
Again, please be very cautious when doing this and really put some effort into it because, as I mentioned earlier in this post, the three platforms we’ve been discussing invest a lot of money into copyright-detecting technology.
Also, I know you want to take all the credit, but don’t be selfish and give credit where it’s due. They did all the heavy lifting for you, and what’s left of you to do is add a bit of creativity and personalization, so you might as well thank them for it.
By crediting them, you also increase their exposure, meaning their business will grow, and you will have even more content to “steal,” re-edit, and repurpose.
Also, don’t expect to pass a copyright scan just by adding music or a voiceover on top of the original video. Instead, cut the original piece into shorter clips and then spice it up with some music or sound effects.
I personally use Filmora for all my video editing, but you can use whichever software you prefer. Most video editors nowadays have a ton of impressive transitions and motion elements, making merging, splitting, trimming, cutting, and cropping video clips almost effortless, so go ahead and knock yourself out.
These few tips will not only make it easier to transform the content but also reduce the likelihood of triggering Content ID. Think of it as taking a little snippet of the original content and using it as a jumping-off point for your own video. You can focus on a particular moment in the original piece and expand on it uniquely.
Last but not least, add even more value to it!
By adding your own insights, you’re not only addopting the original, but you’re also providing your viewership with something new that actually has some substance.
How to Repurpose the Same Video Across All Platforms
- Tailor content to each platform’s audience.
- Follow platform guidelines for video length.
- Add captions and relevant hashtags.
- Use platform-specific features.
- Edit videos to fit aspect ratio.
- No matter where you post it, include a call-to-action.
- Use relevant keywords, captions, and descriptions.
- Create teasers for longer videos.
- Repurpose videos into shorter versions.
- Track video performance with analytics.
- Incorporate user-generated content.
- Create a series of related videos.
- Collaborate with other creators.
- Use a consistent brand voice and visuals.
As we wrap up, I hope you’ve better-understood social media copyright law and how to avoid infringing on others’ rights when uploading videos to platforms such as TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram. Remember that even though it may seem tempting to repurpose someone else’s content or your own across multiple platforms, ensuring you have the right to do so is a must.
Following my tips in this post, you can confidently create and repurpose your videos without fearing being banned or having your content removed. So go ahead, create, repurpose, and share your video content across multiple platforms, but always remember the importance of respecting others’ intellectual property rights.
I hope this post has been helpful, and I encourage you to apply these principles in your video creation endeavours. Thanks for reading, and until next time!