We're rapidly approaching the end of 2013 and we can't thank you enough for letting us be a part of your journey this year. All of us at GTChannel feel privileged to work with you in making more quality automotive content on YouTube. We've seen all of us grow our audiences, improve our content, and get more attention from advertisers and sponsors.
As we head into the end of the year, this is a good time to reflect on some recent updates to YouTube.
By now some of you may have heard about managed and affiliated status for channels within an MCN. This is a very simple classification and it follows the logical naming.
Managed channels are those channels an MCN manages directly. In the case of GTChannel that would be channels like GTChannel and HotVersionGT. These are channels we control directly on a daily basis and are responsible for in terms of content, audience, rights, and all the other aspects of running a channel.
Affiliated are channels that are part of the GTChannel family but not directly run by us. In short, you, our wonderful partners. Affiliation changes nothing. You're still a part of GTChannel and we're still as committed to helping you succeed. Simply changing the title does not change our dedication to you and your channel.
Another update to YouTube is the process of manually approving monetization on videos. This is not as bad as it sounds.
If you're already following the best practices set forth by YouTube and GTChannel, you should be fine. This new process, in theory, only have an effect on those content producers who regularly use content they don't have legal permission to use. This shouldn't be any of our partners. Using music, video, or stills you fully own, are royalty free (different than creative commons), or licensed, then you're in the clear.
One murky area to this new policy is gaming footage. One thing to understand is that YouTube isn't against gamers. YouTube, who is caught in the middle between gamers and the game publishers, has a legal obligation to comply with American copyright law.
These laws are set by the American Congress and it's actually not YouTube enforcing those laws. YouTube has to provide tools and mechanisms for the actual copyright owners to enforce their legal rights. Some of these tools are Content ID and the ability to manually claim, block, or take down videos. The new monetization review process is just YouTube having to comply with the laws passed by Congress.
The way copyright applies to video games is pretty unique and while we're not lawyers (and this is not legal advice), here is how we understand the legal claims to video game footage: Rights to use gameplay in a non-fair use way are set by the individual publishers. Typically, publishers do not allow the use of footage for any reason on any platform. Some may state that policy but don't enforce it- which is not the same as having legal rights. While other publishers (we don't know of any) are okay with you using anything from their games for any reason. Whether you enable monetization or not, it doesn't matter. If you don't have permission from the publisher authorizing you to use video game footage, you are breaking copyright law when you upload your video- with a few exceptions, mainly fair use. You can read about the definition of fair use here http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html
It remains to be seen how much this possible manual monetization review affects us all. We'll have to wait and see. As a community of auto content creators, it's in our best interest to share with each other on our experiences with this new process. If you experience delays, let us know. Which is why we encourage you to write us if you run into this first hand so we can all better understand how to make the best of these new updates.
Thank you and happy holidays to you all!