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Does Your YouTube Video Breach the Copyrights Law?

Updated: Aug 31

by: Clara Viriya (clara.viriya@launcher.id)

YouTube is a digital platform based on the internet that provides the public with various facilities to enjoy video content for free. Not about being a connoisseur of the video shown in it, this platform allows users to digitally access, view, and share videos. YouTube's presence also features a lot of creative and insightful content created by users or known as YouTuber. This word originates from YouTube users who regularly post videos that have been delivered to their respective channels. The video quality varies depending upon the user's preferences and interests. It may be about beauty, travel, news, automotive, even information about the laws and economics. Several government institutions also find it easier to attract the society awareness and literacy about national issues and governmental activities. For example, our incumbent President of Republic of Indonesia, Mr. Joko Widodo, seldom updates his state activities through his verified YouTube channel.

Economic Rights to YouTube Content

Today one of the most lucrative professions can be called YouTuber. Even the pensionary now starting to build their own retire career plan by making contents on YouTube. YouTube has now become its own business sector allowing users to gain money or they call it monetizing. Via this process, YouTube gets permission to insert advertisements in the videos the content creator upload, and users get 45 percent of the advertisements, while YouTube gets the remaining 55 percent. However, the income-seeking issue definitely cannot violate the current laws.

As to what would be a problem if you want to post YouTube videos. If the video has something to do with someone else or someone’s creation, then you might be violating their copyrights. Under the Law No. 28 of 2014 on Copyrights, copyright is the creator's exclusive right that arises automatically on the basis of declarative principles after a work is carried out in real form without reducing restrictions in accordance with the statutory provisions.

Therefore, if the content or video that YouTuber uploads involving the work of other individuals or people, for example recording the musical concert performance, under Article 23 of Copyrights Law, it is stated that the person recorded in the video has the right to prohibit the recording process, and even though the video is ultimately of no economic value, the recorder must still obtain an approval of the person recorded in the video. Furthermore, if such video recording is intended for commercial purposes, then it is clear that the recorder committed Copyrights infringement. This is regulated in Article 9 paragraph (2) of the Copyright Law. Besides having to ask permission, the recorder and uploader of the video must pay royalties in accordance with the rules.

There are several violations that are definitely committed in the example of the above case which related to the rights of the event owner, the song owner's right, and the performance right. When someone does a fixation or recording of sound that can be heard, recording videos or both, which can be seen, heard, duplicated, or communicated through any device, then the person concerned must have permission or approval from the party who is the object in the video. Whether or not there is monetization or the economic benefits of a video uploaded to YouTube, it does not eliminate the economic rights to use the video, so clearance process is still needed.

So, in order to avoid copyrights infringement, YouTube users should make clearance or permission to the rights owner before publishing related videos. The misunderstanding, makes a lot of copyright violations that occur in the practice. To minimize this, socialization is needed to the public about copyright infringement, especially in the publication of videos to YouTube.