Using YouTube videos in your presentation

No doubt, one way to enhance our next presentation for the business is to add a YouTube video to the PowerPoint! Many of my colleagues who give talks on various forums always ask me a question, does the YouTube terms of service allow me to show a video at the conference? Unfortunately, I did not have a clear yes or no answer owing to multiple reasons.

It is better to understand what property YouTube owns as part of their platform. All YouTube API Services (including all API Data), YouTube Brand Features, the YouTube Developer Site, the Agreement, YouTube Confidential Information, all YouTube websites, applications, products and services, all underlying technology and computer programming, and all derivative works are considered as Youtube Property. If you go through the terms and conditions of YouTube, it is clear that they do not have any accountability, towards users who upload the content, especially on copyright infringement by third parties. But that is the only way from Legal standpoint to run such a platform.

Then, some of them pose a genuine doubt whether it is a fair use, as per copyright laws? What is fair use? Fair use (fair dealing in India) is an exemption to the exclusive right granted to the original creator of the copyrighted work. It allows use of copyrighted work along with some amount of value addition to the original copyrighted work. Such use of the copyrighted work shall not amount to violation of copyright of the original work. But we all should remember that the term “fair use” is determined by courts on a case by case basis. Also, as clarified by Google (on youtube support page), “there aren’t any magic words to automatically apply fair use. When you use someone else’s copyrighted work, there’s no guarantee that you’re protected under fair use.”

Can I give credit to the copyright owner and claim fair use protection? YouTube help page says, “Transformativeness is usually key in the fair use analysis. Giving credit to the owner of a copyrighted work won’t by itself turn a non-transformative copy of their material into fair use. Phrases like “all rights go to the author” and “I do not own” don’t automatically mean you’re making fair use of that material. They also don’t mean you have the copyright owner’s permission.”

It is, therefore, legally advisable to obtain permission for any third party material from its owner before using it for presentation purposes.