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Reaction Videos - Fair Use Question

RashadTheCreator

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Hey guys!

I've recently decided to start doing reaction videos, and i wanted to know what the fair use policy is regarding these videos. Obviously I cant put full episodes of programmes or trailers in my video, but what are the actual grey areas im allowed to operate within?

Thanks in advance!
 

Shakycow

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Unless you're willing to get a lawyer, go to court, and convince the judge or jury that what you're doing should be considered fair use, there is no gray area.

If you use ANY footage or audio that you didn't create or own the publishing rights to, you're taking a chance.
 

PhysicsFreak101

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Unless you're willing to get a lawyer, go to court, and convince the judge or jury that what you're doing should be considered fair use, there is no gray area.

If you use ANY footage or audio that you didn't create or own the publishing rights to, you're taking a chance.
I'm going to have to agree with Shakycow on that one, but if your willing to take the chance, then here are some tips :
  1. Cut up the video. If you just have un-edited footage of your reaction, it's much more likely to get copyright-claimed. Try and make cuts between important parts of the video, and edit out silence or boring bits.
  2. Have a bit at the beginning of the video saying that you are respecting fair use. Normally a 3-second clip of text that says that the video is protected by fair-use will work.
  3. Have a bit at the end of the video where you make a short summary of your reaction. This is something that I think reaction channels should do, and it also stops people from thinking all you did was watching a video whilst saying random comments, and then beg for likes and subs, which is sadly what most reaction channels do. Maybe say what parts you didn't like, what you did like, what you found funny, and make rate it out of 10.
  4. Leaves links towards the content you react to in the description. This is something that most reaction channels should be doing but aren't. If you don't, you are practically stealing someone's content.
That's really all I have to say. Personally, I don't like reaction channels because it is really generic, and requires almost zero effort to make, but if that's what you want to do, go for it. I know you make other content, like movie reviews, so it's fine if you want to supplement your channel with other content such as reactions, especially if you have a tight schedule. Anyways, hope this helped!
 
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Cephus

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There is no such thing as fair use on YouTube. The only place fair use can be determined is in court. Anyone who wants to go after you for any reason can. There is no such thing as safe. You take a risk every single time of getting copyright strikes, claims or just being dragged into court and sued for everything you have. This is the reality that you have to face. You decide your risk aversion.
 

RashadTheCreator

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Unless you're willing to get a lawyer, go to court, and convince the judge or jury that what you're doing should be considered fair use, there is no gray area.

If you use ANY footage or audio that you didn't create or own the publishing rights to, you're taking a chance.
Fair enough haha[DOUBLEPOST=1549360588,1549360488][/DOUBLEPOST]
I'm going to have to agree with Shakycow on that one, but if your willing to take the chance, then here are some tips :
  1. Cut up the video. If you just have un-edited footage of your reaction, it's much more likely to get copyright-claimed. Try and make cuts between important parts of the video, and edit out silence or boring bits.
  2. Have a bit at the beginning of the video saying that you are respecting fair use. Normally a 3-second clip of text that says that the video is protected by fair-use will work.
  3. Have a bit at the end of the video where you make a short summary of your reaction. This is something that I think reaction channels should do, and it also stops people from thinking all you did was watching a video whilst saying random comments, and then beg for likes and subs, which is sadly what most reaction channels do. Maybe say what parts you didn't like, what you did like, what you found funny, and make rate it out of 10.
  4. Leaves links towards the content you react to in the description. This is something that most reaction channels should be doing but aren't. If you don't, you are practically stealing someone's content.
That's really all I have to say. Personally, I don't like reaction channels because it is really generic, and requires almost zero effort to make, but if that's what you want to do, go for it. I know you make other content, like movie reviews, so it's fine if you want to supplement your channel with other content such as reactions, especially if you have a tight schedule. Anyways, hope this helped!

Thank you so much this was extremely helpful! My reaction videos will just be to supplement my reviews, so I will take everything you have said into consideration!
 

kevin392

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I am very curious to know how reaction videos are handled by youtube when it comes to monetization. I have seen many reaction videos that appear monetized featuring music by huge artists like Metallica and Marilyn Manson which are most definitely copyrighted. If the reaction video is picked up by content ID and a claim is made, doesn't monetization cease for the uploader and go to the copyright holder?
 

Shakycow

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If the reaction video is picked up by content ID and a claim is made, doesn't monetization cease for the uploader and go to the copyright holder?
Exactly... while also giving the copyright holder full control - if they ever happen to change their mind, they can always turn it into a strike without warning.
 

kevin392

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Exactly... while also giving the copyright holder full control - if they ever happen to change their mind, they can always turn it into a strike without warning.
Thank you for confirming. I know it's a "no-brainer" question and the answer is so obvious but then it begs the question....why so many reaction videos if the uploader isn't making money on them? Are they doing something to the videos/audio they are uploading to skirt the content ID systems (skewing something within the clip)? I can't imagine uploaders would actually fight a content ID claim under fair use against the artist they're reacting to.

In my head, I see youtube as a long term "investment" in my time and for that, I do not want to do anything that could ultimately have me removed/banned/in trouble. Sure wish there was a youtube "copyright for dummies" guide as navigating what is OK, what's not OK, what is fair-use, etc is daunting. Part of my confusion comes from seeing so many monetized videos that, in my head, appear to have copyrighted media within their clips.

I appreciate your response and will continue to read through threads to gain more knowledge.