Why It’s Not OK to Repost Videos

Last week Two Night Stand was posted on Dailymotion without my permission and I had it taken down. Now this afternoon one of the founders of Ragtube.com posted three of my videos on Ragtube.com without my permission, then sent me a YouTube message to ask if it was OK. Of course it was not OK, but I checked out the site just to see if I wanted to post it there myself. It turned out they were showing overlay ads during the movies. Ads that would generate revenue for this guy, but not for me. Why would anyone think that was acceptable? I requested that the videos be taken down, although as of now they are still up.

Wow. I just created a user account to check out Ragtube some more, and it appears that rather than requiring you to go through the trouble of uploading a video yourself, you can just hit a button and Ragtube will steal it directly from YouTube. That’s a clear violation of YouTube’s terms of use. Videos on YouTube are “not intended to be copied, stored, permanently downloaded, or redistributed by the user. Accessing User Videos for any purpose or in any manner other than Streaming is expressly prohibited.” I can’t imagine this will last long.

It might seem like because I’ve posted a video for free in one place that I wouldn’t mind posting it in another place, but that is really not the case. Here, in no particular order are my reasons why it’s not OK to repost videos from one hosting site to another.

  1. It is illegal. This is a no-brainer, but it bears repeating. Posting a video for free on one site does not automatically grant other people the legal rights to redistribute your film. Not only are they violating the copyright of the author of the video, but they are also almost certainly violating the terms of use of the site they’re taking the video from. I might not have lawyers, but YouTube sure does.
  2. Credit is taken away. Sure, there are probably credits in the video itself, but if it’s posted by someone else then it dilutes the authorship. It’s hard enough to get people to pay attention to my films, I don’t want anyone else taking credit without doing any work.
  3. Loss of control. When someone else uploads your video, you can’t do Quality Control on the video and audio, moderate comments, modify metadata, or choose a thumbnail. These are important aspects of the presentation of the film, and make a real difference.
  4. No income. If there is any revenue generated by the video, it should go to the author, not to some random person who happened to like the movie.
  5. There are better options. I understand that usually the motivation behind the reposter is simply to share the video with others. But guess what, that’s what web video is all about. There are better ways to share the video that don’t break any of these rules. The obvious one is to embed the video rather than repost it. You can also write about it and link to the video. There is no shortage of video sharing options.

So anyway, even if your intentions are pure, please don’t repost my videos. Feel free to share them though.

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