Sacramento Intellectual Property Law Blog

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Has it really been 15 years since two men registered a website called YouTube? The site exploded on the internet in recent years as more people here in California and around the world found a way to earn a living uploading content for others to watch. According to the CEO Susan Wojcicki, the number of content creators with at least 100,000 subscribers grew 40% in the last year. Those creators earn five figures a year, which makes YouTube big business for a lot of people.

The problem is that it can be so easy to violate another person’s copyright, especially those with music rights. Just in 2019, YouTube paid no less than $3 billion to the music industry for rights to songs for advertisements and subscriptions. That number probably does not include any copyright infringement claims that arise, which is why the popular site has begun cracking down on content creators for violations.

In the third quarter of 2019 alone, approximately 8.7 million videos were taken down due to potential copyright infringement. The CEO says that doing so reduced around 70% of the videos that either came close to or crossed the line. Content creators need to make sure they understand YouTube’s policies regarding copyright infringement in order to avoid losing money on videos.

The internet has made it possible for hundreds of thousands of people across the globe to work from home and earn a living doing it. In fact, some people here in California and elsewhere make six to seven figures a year, which means they probably cannot afford copyright violations through YouTube or from artists themselves. It would be wise to consult with an attorney to gain a better understanding of copyright law in order to limit the potential for videos being removed due to a misunderstanding or an honest mistake.

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