How to License YouTube Clips, What Studios Won’t Put in Their Licensing Contrats, and a Good Fair Use Argument
Whether you’re shooting a documentary, a video for the Internet or even an indie film, the chances are getting higher each day that you’ll need or want to use existing footage.
This comes with a battery of legal implications, most of which are complex and require lawyers input, but just like the to-blur or not to-blur a t-shirt logo recurring question, it’s always good to pick up notions here and there, to know when it’s time to be wise and budget.
In a (rather chaotic) presentation named How to Find and Use Great Third Party Content Steve Kozak and Barry Dagestino didn’t really talked about the premise of their presentation but did give out some info that I thought were worth capturing and sharing here.
The Three Steps to License a Youtube Clip
– Send messages to the YouTube Channel Owner
– Negotiate a Licensing rate
– Initiate the Licensing agreement
What Big Studios Won’t Put in Their Licensing Agreement
One of the first requirement you should make sure is in your licensing agreement is the Represent & Warrant close, that basically confirms that the other person warrants that they own the footage and can represent it. This is essential to have unless… you are dealing with one of the big studios.
Big Studios don’t issue a Rep & Warrant but issue instead a Quitclaim which basically says, “We believe we have the rights to license you this clip and we’re going to let you use it, but if it turns out somehow that we don’t have the rights to license it, then it’s not our problem.”
There is no going around it, but be aware of it.
A Good Fair Use Argument for Footage Without Owners
Because Film is Forever (forever meaning licensing for perpetuity), you have to be very careful about using footage in your films.
If you can’t find the source of a footage you use, it can be seen as an argument for fair use, but make sure you have done your due diligence and, more importantly, that you’ve documented your research, having a paper trail to show proving your good faith, and possibly having set aside the money for the assumed fee for the footage. All this will help you win over your case if there’s ever any problem afterwards.
On top of these three points, here are a list of resources I’ve captured from the speedy power point presentation:
Searching for Footage & Photographs:
- Major Stock Houses
- Independent Stock Houses
- Google Images
- AirPower Stock Footage
- Police Chases (Aerials)
- Police Dashcam (DUIs)
- The Film Gate
- KCAL via Corbis
- All Stock
Major Stock Houses
- Getty Images
- T3 Media