News

YouTube launches support for CC BY and a CC library featuring 10,000 videos

Jane Park, June 2nd, 2011

You may have already heard the great news—YouTube has added the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY) as a licensing option for users! Now when users upload video, they can choose to license it under CC BY or to remain with the default “Standard YouTube License.” Users may also change the license on existing videos by editing each video individually.

In conjunction with the implementation, YouTube has launched a Creative Commons video library containing 10,000 videos under CC BY from organizations such as C-SPAN, PublicResource.org, Voice of America, and Al Jazeera. The library will serve as a base catalog of videos for users to access, edit, and incorporate into their own video projects. The YouTube Video Editor now contains a CC tab that allows users to search the Creative Commons video library and select videos to edit and remix. Users may remix videos directly on the editor platform, and any video that is created using CC BY-licensed content will automatically display the linked source videos’ titles underneath the video player. Since CC BY is enabled as a licensing option, the library will grow as more users choose to license their work under CC BY.

Blogs are buzzing with the news! From boingboing to TechCrunch, Mashable, and GigaOm, people are commenting on Why YouTube Adopting Creative Commons Is a Big Deal.

For more info, see YouTube’s blog, YouTube and Creative Commons – Raising the Bar on User Creativity. Also check out YouTube’s help center on Creative Commons.

20 Responses to “YouTube launches support for CC BY and a CC library featuring 10,000 videos”

  1. michael dale says:

    Does youtube make it easier to download these cc licensed videos? I imagine they would not be subject to the same terms of service that prohibit downloading the other youtube video assets?

    –michael

  2. Jane Park says:

    Hi Michael,

    Currently, YouTube hasn’t enabled the technical ability to download the videos. They are accessible to be edited via the YouTube Editor. However, nothing is stopping people from sharing the videos under the terms of the CC BY license. For instance, the current library of CC BY-licensed videos come from organizations that also host the videos on their own sites, such as Al Jazeera’s CC repository (http://cc.aljazeera.net/) where you can download the videos directly. In addition, anyone who wants people to download their videos are free to upload their video under CC BY at number of video-sharing sites that enable CC licenses and download. See http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Publish/Video for some popular ones.

    Best,
    Jane

  3. BarryW says:

    Its great news that youtube have started using CC licenses, but… its only CC BY that they are using. Why havent they added the other licenses as well? i have video’s up there that are under the same licenses as my music so it would stand to reason i would want this option.

    But, good of YouTube to add this.

  4. Jane Park says:

    Hey Barry, having other CC license options enabled would also be great, but we think it’s awesome that YouTube has added the CC BY option first, along with a library of videos culled from pretty prominent orgs. Let’s see how this turns out, and if there is a huge favorable public response and support with lots of CC BY-licensing activity… perhaps the rest will also become a reality! For now, if it’s not BY, you can note in the description text on YouTube at least, that your video is under such and such CC license. Or as mentioned above, also upload works to other video sites that have enabled all the license options.

  5. Dominic says:

    I think it is a good step by Google. But what if a user uploads and marks a video as CC-BY and he/she isn’t allowed to? This person contravenes against the copyright and allows others to publish the video. I think it will be interesting

  6. Jane Park says:

    Hi Dominic,

    This isn’t an issue specific to CC BY or CC licenses. Anyone could publish anything on the web and say it’s theirs (when it’s not) and also have text next to it saying everyone is free to use the work in any way they like (when they don’t have these permissions to give). Like with anything on the Internet, users should always verify the original source and license of the material. Also, I imagine the same copyright infringement takedown process in place for the unlawful posting of “all rights reserved” copyrighted content on YouTube would apply to posting that same content under CC BY or any other notice.

    For more information, see http://www.youtube.com/t/copyright_center.

    Best,
    Jane

  7. Hi there. I don’t understand too much about Author Licences.
    YouTube does not offer facilities to download videos, but I have not difficult to download from YouTube, Vimeo or whatever with a Mozilla Firefox add-on.

    https://addons.mozilla.org/es-ES/firefox/addon/video-downloadhelper/

    There are many interesting courses that I use to study quietly at home.
    What is there about the users right to use multimedia material to their own use?

  8. Aaron Wolf says:

    But I want to use CC-BY-SA. I won’t go into myriad reasons. Google says if there is enough demand they may add other CC licenses later… how do I go about expressing my demand??

  9. Aaron, I imagine one or more of these:
    * Post on http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/youtube?hl=en
    * Clearly state CC-BY-SA in description of your videos, such that YT could conceivably analyze, perhaps “Video released under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/” so as to capture all of the obvious strings.
    * Post your videos at a site that offers explicit support for BY-SA, eg blip.tv, vimeo, archive.org, wikimedia commons.

    Mike

  10. I’m with Michael Dale … if they are allowing cc-by licensing, downloading ought to be part of the deal. What’s the point of a license to remix without being able to download it to do a remix. Saying we can chase the video down back to the origin or whatever is all well and good, except why, then do we need YouTube? Forcing people to use the YouTube editor is silly.

  11. vvillenave says:

    @Aaron and Mike: for all intents and purposes, if you do intend to post a CC-by-sa video on YouTube, then you’d better select the default ©-all-rights-reserved option rather than CC-by: otherwise you’d end up with a licensing mess where you start by granting many permissions, and then remove some with the copyleft clause (and that’s assuming people will actually go and read the video’s description).

    In other words, with regard to copyleft, the situation hasn’t changed and may even have become slightly worse (i.e. more complicated for people who want to use copyleft licensing). I’ve already given up counting the newspaper articles, here in France, whose headline goes “YouTube adopts _the_ Creative Commons license” (sic).

    (– At least it’s preferable, IMO, to a time when “the” Creative Commons License used to mean mainly non-free licenses (-nc,-nd and the like). But by all accounts, it’s still a big messy bowl of legal soup. FAL, anyone? ;)

  12. Michael and Laurel, it would be nice if YT facilitated downloading, but it is not an obligation. This is a fantastic step forward.

    vvillenave, yes absolutely, if a video is under a different license one shouldn’t mark as CC-BY. I should have mentioned this but failed to even think of it, as it seems so obvious to me. :-) My only disagreement would be with an assessment that the situation wrt copyleft may be slightly worse than before. It seems significantly better as there will be lots more permissively licensed videos which can be incorporated into copyleft projects.

    Mike

  13. Kim Tucker says:

    Hi Mike (et al.),

    I think a debate/discussion needs to be raised in the free culture community (and other “open” fora) regarding cc-by and cc-by-sa. Both have a key role in realising the vision for a free culture and libre knowledge society. Specifically, I question the logic in this statement of yours: “It seems significantly better as there will be lots more permissively licensed videos which can be incorporated into copyleft projects.”. This thinking negates/marginalises the role of cc-by-sa and the implications might be broader than most people think. A few thoughts here:

    http://wikieducator.org/Libre_knowledge/discussion_topics/cc-by_vs_cc-by-sa#YouTube_and_CC-BY

  14. Kim,

    I largely agree with you. In the current environment copyleft is tremendously important, under-appreciated, and incorrectly feared (including in software, let alone non-software works we’re talking about here). This is not to say that copyleft is magic; it requires lots of effort from license stewards and communities to ensure that there aren’t competing copyleft silos to the extent possible, and that the spirit of copyleft isn’t broken, not to mention countering FUD.

    However, I have some quibbles with things you say in your linked thoughts:

    Cc-by actually encourages business models which create artificial scarcity and enclose cc-by cultural works.

    Wrong, CC BY is neutral, at worst. Consider that the default is full copyright restrictions, ie enclosure. A CC BY work is not enclosed, far from it, and an adaption may be enclosed or may be copylefted, or may continue under CC BY or another permissive license.

    Incorporating cc-by resources into cc-by-sa and other libre copyleft mixes (as many “open” culture advocates suggest) is too late. Using cc-by leads to a situation that is in’de-fence’able (sorry, the stable door expression does not work here). The enclosed/restricted mixes, having absorbed the best of the cc-by free cultural works, may easily come to dominate (e.g. they will be the first found via certain search engines, and used for convenience by users who don’t understand the implications for a free culture, libre knowledge society and for sustainability).

    This is incorrect in three ways.

    First, copyright restrictions are not the only “defense” against enclosure (and if they were, CC BY is not defenseless; many uses are verbatim, meaning the free work is available, adaptations require attribution and license notice, meaning users can find the free ancestors, and DRM is prohibited). Community and institutional and government policy are also central (and I don’t mean a community to berate exploiters, but to continue producing free works/versions/distributions) as in many cases are naming (especially control of domain names).

    Second, enclosure dominates right now. Incorporating adaptations of CC BY works into non-free works is noise at worst. Furthermore, how often does it happen, especially for more substantial works that ought be more valuable to enclose, e.g., I have a paucity of anecdotes about CC BY textbooks and other materials on CNX.org or any other site being made non-free on any scale worth noting.

    Third, the old one about obscurity vs piracy may arguably be transposed to the problem we face — the greater problem is obscurity of free cultural works, not the enclosure of the same. It would be better if a potential encloser were to instead release their adaptation under BY-SA, but how often does that happen relative to how often the potential encloser just uses another resource that they can exercise more restrictions over? Free riding enclosers aren’t necessarily a bad thing for free culture.

    In summary it is not the clear cut “leads to a situation” that you make it out to be.

    To protect and grow the commons…

    For this I agree that copyleft is vital (but not an exclusive strategy, so marginalisation should not be read into discussion of any other strategy). Since you brought up in the context of discussing YouTube, it seems worth pointing out the obvious that protecting and growing the commons isn’t YouTube’s primary goal.

  15. Kim Tucker says:

    Thanks Mike for this insightful response and the useful links you included. I have commented on the discussion page:
    http://wikieducator.org/Talk:Libre_knowledge/discussion_topics/cc-by_vs_cc-by-sa

  16. Eric Kotonya says:

    I have a question on monetizing a Creative Commons Attribution blog.

    Is it possible to legally monetize a blog published under Creative Commons Attribution License by selling the database to developers (at a low price) for them to use in building offline services?

    The blog is not the subject of the price, but the extra service of compiling it into a database.

  17. I’m with Michael Dale also … if they are allowing cc-by licensing, downloading ought to be part of the deal. What’s the point of a license to remix without being able to download it to do a remix. Saying we can chase the video down back to the origin or whatever is all well and good, except why, then do we need YouTube? Forcing people to use the YouTube editor is silly.

    Tous

  18. Pineal says:

    Soo…. What are peoples, not lawyer, opinions on the legality of using a firefox extension to download CC-BY video’s of YouTube?

  19. Thanks for the article dear. I’ve a question, can anyone monetize these CC videos (adding adsense) ? …. if yes than does it make sure to not deleting your channel by youtube in future?

  20. martin says:

    marginalisation should not be read into discussion of any other strategy). Since you brought up in the context of discussing YouTube, it seems worth pointing out the obvious that protecting,downloading ought to be part of the deal. What’s the point of a license to remix without being able to download it to do a remix

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