Do you think YouTube won’t allow other users to take your creative video work and include it in their own productions?
In fact, YouTube is allowing people to include scenes from your videos in YouTube Shorts clips.
And it’s all perfectly legal.
In this article, I’ll explain how it works.
Sample Video: You’re Opted in by Default
When it comes to letting other people legally take your creative work, you have a choice.
The problem is, YouTube already made a choice for you by default.
And that choice is: “Yes, other people can use clips from my videos.”
So that means you can still deny people the right to use your work, but you’ll have to jump through hoops to do it.
Within the console, you’ll need to click the “Content” link to get to the back end. Then, you’ll have to click an edit icon on an individual video.
But you’re still not done. On the page that appears, scroll all the way to the bottom and find a “Show All” link. Click that.
Then, once again, scroll all the way to the bottom and you’ll see a checkbox that enables you to opt-out of letting others sample your content.
In case it wasn’t clear from that explanation, you’ll need to do that for every video you uploaded to YouTube.
It doesn’t look like there’s a way to opt out your entire channel.
That means if you have 1,000 videos then you’ll have to go through that process 1,000 times.
So when I said you have to jump through hoops, I wasn’t kidding.
Keep in mind, though: it looks like people can only snatch your content for their YouTube Shorts productions.
Now that you know people can take your video clips for YouTube Shorts, you might be wondering what, exactly, YouTube Shorts is all about.
It’s a micro-video service. It’s basically YouTube’s answer to TikTok.
And it allows people to sample videos from other YouTube productions.
So you might see some of your great creative work in a YouTube Shorts clip. That’s fine, though, because you opted in by default.
Okay, so it might not be fine with you. But YouTube says it’s okay.
And that’s the heart of the controversy.
How Will This Affect You?
Unless you view the work you upload to YouTube as copyrighted material that only you can use, you probably won’t get hurt at all by just rolling with the default.
On the other hand, if you make money by producing creative videos, then you could get take a beating.
People can swipe your awesome work and make it their own.
But they can’t monetize it. That’s because YouTube Shorts isn’t currently monetizable.
That might be YouTube’s excuse for letting people use your work. That plus the fact that making pretty much all of YouTube available to Shorts users makes it easier for them to produce videos.
Also: YouTube Shorts by definition only hosts short videos. So maybe YouTube’s lawyers told them it’s all covered under fair use.
That doesn’t mean that people aren’t frustrated, though.
Here’s what one user tweeted: “This is pretty concerning – there is new permission added to YouTube allowing other creators to sample your videos for Shorts. I naively assumed this would only apply to new videos, but it’s auto-opted in all my content.”
This is pretty concerning – there is new permission added to YouTube allowing other creators to sample your videos for Shorts. I naively assumed this would only apply to new videos, but it’s auto-opted in all my content.
— Luke Sherran (@lsherran) May 2, 2021
Wrapping It Up
If you’re active on YouTube, be aware that your content is not entirely your own.
The up-and-coming class of YouTube Shorts producers will take what they want from your creative work unless you explicitly deny them that right.
And it ain’t that easy to deny them that right.
So you have two choices: either grin and bear it or invest some time in the tedious task of opting all of your videos out of content sampling.