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How To Copyright A Video: All You Need To Know

A copyright is something that a content creator owns which prevents anyone else from using your videos, whether it's to publish, recreate, repurpose and more. By holding the copyright to a video, only you or your brand has the rights to that content, preventing others from benefiting from your ideas and hard work, but also making sure you receive credit for what you created in terms of recognition and monetary gain. 

Why should you own the copyright to your video content?

There are a number of key reasons why copyrighting your videos is important:

Ownership and profitability

Once you own a copyright to a video, your video cannot be published or benefited from by anyone other than yourself. For large video projects, this prevents any other businesses from stealing your ideas and generating attention or even money from your work. 

Assignability 

You can assign copyrights to other people once you own one, meaning you can allow others to use your content only if you go through the necessary legal processes. You are therefore in control of who has the rights to publish it and can control who can access it and where it can be seen.  

Internationality

Copyrights protect your videos internationally.

Duration 

Always be aware of how long your copyright ownership lasts; however, the protection usually lasts for the owners entire lifetime plus seventy years. 

Infringement 

By owning the copyright for your video, you are entitled and able to act quickly and effectively when someone infringes on this. If someone who doesn’t own or hasn’t been assigned copyright tries to use your content you can take action to have this removed and ensure you gain all the monetary benefits they may see from using your content. 

How to copyright a video… 

Believe it or not, there is no long-winded method for gaining copyright protection for your videos. Essentially, any content that you have recorded yourself using a tangible device that is live-streamed or uploaded to a service is automatically copyrighted. Whether you publish your video publicly or simply store it for yourself, it is still fully protected by copyright. 

Despite copyright being automatically secured when you save a video onto a storage device or upload it online, it’s still essential to understand what it does and doesn’t entail. What’s more, the legal process involved in disputing your copyright with people who use your videos can be lengthy and expensive. 

Factors to consider:

  • Sending yourself video content via email or text does not equal copyright. 
  • Copyrights can only be claimed for existing video content, not for ideas, thoughts or facts of planned videos. 
  • It’s important to keep a record of all the documentation involved in the development of your videos should your copyright ever be disputed. 
  • You can register your video copyright with the Copyright Office online or via post to ensure you have protection, though this isn’t necessary if you have your video stored or published. 
  • Despite copyrights being automatically put in place when a video is created and stored, it’s still best to include a copyright notice within your content when publishing it online for public use, such as ‘Copyright (or ©) [year released] by [name of owner]. All rights reserved.’.
  • Always check the individual copyright of the service you plan to publish your videos on. Reading the fine print might take time, but its always worth being informed about yours and the other company’s rights. YouTube, for example, automatically copyrights every video that is uploaded, but in return, you must allow YouTube and Google to do whatever they want with your content.  

Sounds and images

All videos are usually accompanied by audio files, whether its background music or a voiceover. Sounds or music can be used to add information, create a certain effect and more, but it’s always important to check your rights to a sound before you add it into your video.

Even if your video content was created by you, using existing audio created by someone else without being assigned copyright by the owner can lead to your entire piece of content infringing on copyright laws and being taken down. Where possible, always create your audio, but if you do need to use sound effects or music created by others, you will need to obtain a license from them to avoid being penalised or losing your video entirely. 

Similar to using audio in your videos, images also require copyright. Suppose you plan to include stills or static images within your videos. In that case, these either need to be taken by yourself, by a company you have commissioned to do so or you need to gain a license to use the images by the copyright holder. 

Publish your videos securely today with Zidivo!

Start your free 30-day trial with 5GB of bandwidth

Zidivo takes the security of all our users videos seriously. All video content hosted or streamed via our platform allows you to stay in control of your creations; we don’t hold any rights to using or repurposing any videos. What’s more, you can upload your videos using fully white labelled HTML5 players to represent your brand. 

There are no ads and nothing hidden in the fine print, so you can rest easy knowing you maintain all the rights to the use of your videos.

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