So you want to include your favorite pop song in your YouTube Video? Better luck next time!

In the past few years, YouTube has increased their security on third-party content allowing owners of copyrighted materials to advertise, control who can see, or even shut down your innocent video montage; unless you’re trying to sell something-then it’s not so innocent.

If you are making a commercial, i.e selling a product, and are thereby financially benefitting from someone elses work, you really should pay up. Same way you need to buy stock imagery, you must get permission to use someones elses work. And giving credit does not count, unless they say so, in writing.

As a photographer, I agree with this wholeheartedly. As a music lover and someone who enjoys editing videos for myself and for the non-profits I have worked with, I know that there is no replacing that Beatles song with some generic royalty free instrumental. Music is a powerful medium and the message of my video just isn’t the same without a recognizable tune.

But, alas, it’s a slippery slope, so YouTube, and other social networks find it easier to have an “all or nothing” policy. So, even though the video I made about a recent event I attended with the keynote speaker Gloria Steinem fit absolutely perfectly with the Beatles song ‘Revolution’, even though I “acknowledged third-party content”  to allow the owners of the song to advertise on the video (a win-win if you ask me), they still chose to block the video on mobile devices, which led me to, most begrudgingly, remove the song from the video.

So please, be careful and aware of what you share: imagery (meaning ABSOLUTELY NO copying images from Google image search), music, video…basically any content that you did not create or purchase the rights to is liable to shut down your business social page or website – or, worse yet, you or your company could get sued. Know the copyright and advertising rules of any platform you use to make sure you are always in accordance, even if it feels like everyone is getting away with it, it’s just not worth it, and most importantly, it is not right.

Even though my video really was so much better with the Beatles song, but then again, aren’t most things in life a little better with a Beatles song playing? Click here to see the Beatles song version

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