Creative commons videos – Things you should know

What is creative commons in YouTube?

Suppose you’re creating a video on top 10 tourist spots and you need a couple of clips regarding that. Now it is not possible for you to visit those places physically and record those clips. All you can do is use YouTube’s built-in resource known as creative commons. This is a library of videos that are basically owned by creators, still they are re-usable by other YouTubers. Before using them to create new videos, they must be edited.

Previously YouTube had a rule that creative commons videos could be used only through YouTube’s video editor with url https://www.youtube.com/editor. But things are about to change as YouTube has declared that they will get rid of this video editor within 20 September, 2017.




Are you planning to use creative commons videos?

If you’re unable to create new videos, then you can use creative commons videos. Even if you’re good at creating videos and you do that once in a while, you might still need these creative commons videos. Like as in the case mentioned at the beginning of this article (top 10 video). So the thing is that as a YouTuber you should know the proper use and details of creative commons videos.

Firstly, come to know where to find these videos. If you’re using YouTube’s built-in video editor, then you’ll see a ‘cc’ link (in a circle) in the middle of the screen while you’re on the editor page. You need to click on it. Then you need to make a search on your particular interest. In my case, I just made a search for clips on ‘Mosharraf Karim’ who is a very famous and popular actor in my country. You can see my search results in the following picture.

Creative commons search results

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Make a direct YouTube search to find cc videos

There is another way to find cc videos, you can make a direct search for them on YouTube. Suppose I made a direct search of ‘Mosharraf Karim’ clips on YouTube and had some results. Now I need to filter the results. I click on the ‘Filter’ button first and then on ‘Creative commons’ option/feature, as shown in the following image. Finally I have the desired results, now it’s time to choose one or more from many clips available.

YouTube's search Filter

Is it okay to download cc videos and re-upload after modifying them?

If you’re planning to fully re-upload a cc video after minor edits like putting a brand, then you’re thinking wrong. Because creative commons videos are not meant to be used like that. They are supposed to be partially used and that too for specialized purposes. Like you’re creating a top 10 tourist spots video; to do that you can use a cc video on Tajmahal partially. If you’re going to use a cc video fully, then make sure that it’s a part of your bigger video. The point is that you can’t simple ‘copycat’ a cc video, they are not for that purpose.

Now the question is whether cc videos are to be used only through YouTube’s built-in video editor? Or they can be downloaded too and later modified and re-uploaded? Previously YouTube had a strict policy that cc videos are to be used only through the mentioned video editor, but lately things have changed. YouTube itself has decided not to keep this editor anymore. Which means only one thing – creative commons videos can surely be downloaded and edited by external video editor and later re-uploaded, but in the appropriate way indeed as described above.

Risk of copyright strike when using creative commons videos

Many people have been lately reporting that they used certain videos through creative commons policies, yet they received copyright strikes. Now there is a question as to why’s that? The thing is that you need to be 100% sure about the true owner of a certain clip and also if it’s available as creative commons, before you can use that.




Sometimes people illegally copy someone else’s clips to prepare their own video and they declare in the description of the video that it is re-usable (cc). When you decide to use their ‘copycat’ video, you basically are stealing the content owned by original creator. Thus unknowingly you are violating YouTube’s policies regarding users’ copyright. So always try to get to the root, i.e. the original creator of certain video clip. If they grant you permission to use that, then you can do that. Also you can request them to make their clip available as creative commons. When you have used a cc clip, be sure to give credits to the original content creator in the description box of your edited/made-up video on YouTube.

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