YouTube: "We Pwn J00!"

Better think twice before posting your favorite videos to YouTube. You might just be giving them a license to sell your soul. YouTube’s updated terms of use essentially allows them rights over your content, including selling it in any form or media.

From Wired,

The video site YouTube constitutes an equal or larger threat to small content producers. Before you upload that video of your 19-person indie rocker reggae band, for instance, you may want to read the fine print. YouTube’s “new” Terms & Conditions allow them to sell whatever you uploaded however they want.

To quote from the YouTube terms itself,

… by submitting the User Submissions to YouTube, you hereby grant YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the User Submissions in connection with the YouTube Website and YouTube’s (and its successor’s) business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the YouTube Website (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels. You also hereby grant each user of the YouTube Website a non-exclusive license to access your User Submissions through the Website, and to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display and perform such User Submissions as permitted through the functionality of the Website and under these Terms of Service.

Short of saying they practically own your content (until you remove it from their site, that is), that will also be the case in the event that YouTube gets acquired.

I remember writing on company Terms of Service here a while back. They’re mostly one-sided. The fact that community-driven sites such as video sharing, blogging and social networking web apps have such a large aggregation of user-contributed content makes you wonder if they’re sifting through your material to studying for trends and user-identifiable activity.

When in doubt, delete!

The foregoing license granted by you terminates once you remove or delete a User Submission from the YouTube Website.

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