May 11, 2017

The price of YouTube fame

There is no doubt that YouTube has a massive monopoly over how content is consumed around the world. And given the audience you can reach, it is no wonder that content makers in New Zealand are increasingly looking to YouTube as a means of reaching their audience.

When you use the YouTube site, whether as a content-creator or a content-viewer, you must agree to the Terms of Service. These terms act as a contract between you and YouTube. For content creators, the crucial part of this contract is that, when you upload your content to YouTube, you are giving YouTube:

a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sub-licensable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, publish, adapt, make available online or electronically transmit, and perform the content in connection with the service and YouTube's (and its successors and affiliates) business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the service in any media formations and through any media channels.

In other words, you are giving YouTube a broad licence to freely use your content for any purpose. Something to bear in mind when you next publish your content on YouTube.

A new YouTube series following the Antarctic adventures of Kiwi internet sensation Jamie Curry has proven a hit, pulling in two million views and rising

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Recently a court in Shenzen, China, awarded damages to the tech giant Tencent as a result of a finding of copyright infringement – the work in question was written by Dreamwriter, an automated news-writing system developed by Tencent.

However, as AI applications become more autonomous, and make creative decisions with minimal human input, a question arises as to whether this is the right outcome. 

Our Copyright Act is currently under review and one of the questions MBIE has posed relates to whether the current rules relating to computer generated works are still fit for purpose and whether any changes are required. The first round of submissions are now closed, but watch this space if you would like to keep up to date on where we land on this issue.       

If you have any questions relating to adoption or use of AI technology, please get in touch.

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