One of the most common dilemmas regarding video content is, “can I use someone else’s YouTube video on my website?” 🤔 There is so much good content on YouTube, and if you are a website operator, you’ve probably been tempted to use someone else’s material.
Is it in line with YouTube and copyright rules?
Do you have to ask for explicit permission from the content creator?
What types of videos don’t require explicit permission, and what types do?
We will address these questions, tell you about proper ways of featuring that material, and show you how to do it effortlessly. Let’s get to it!
Let’s start with some interesting statistics showing how important video content is for a website:
So, it is great to have videos on your page, but sometimes it is not easy to create your own YouTube channel and produce original videos for it. Therefore, a lot of people opt to use someone else’s videos instead.
Now that we’ve established that having videos on our website is good for traffic and engagement, let’s answer the question you’ve asked – “can I use someone else’s YouTube video on my website?”
We are not lawyers and nothing in this post should be interpreted as real legal advice. When in doubt, speak to a lawyer.
YouTube rules are pretty simple – by accepting the company’s terms and conditions, content creators allow their content to be shown publicly and used according to the company’s rules. The most important thing is – publishers have the option to choose if their content can be shared or not.
So, in theory, you can share any video directly from YouTube provided that the video has the share option button available.
However, there is a catch – this applies only to YouTube’s native embed function.
So, what about other ways? Well, they are in the grey zone.
There is no single rule that all web admins follow. Some of them ask for specific permissions, while others don’t. In general, you should ask permission when using videos for commercial purposes.
We can’t deny that most websites have direct or indirect goals of making a profit. Still, it’s not the same thing to use someone else’s video to prove a point or explain a topic vs creating a course full of someone else’s videos and charging a subscription for it.
There is no available record of the number of web admins who ask for explicit permission, mainly because it is through direct contact, not centralized via YouTube.
As we’ve mentioned before, YouTube videos with the embed option are mostly safe to share using the native embed option, and you are not likely to have any problems later.
However, if you want to be absolutely safe, no matter what purpose you want to use the videos for, you have two options. The safest video material to use (when it comes to copyright infringement or rather lack thereof) are Creative Commons and public domain videos:
If you plan to use copyrighted content, you will need to ask for permission from the owner (creator) directly, as YouTube cannot give you the license.
Choose a good-quality source. Find a channel or a creator that produces high-quality and original content. If you can – ask for permission.
Most creators leave their contact info, so finding it won’t be a problem. That will put your mind at ease, and that “can I use someone else’s YouTube video on my website” dilemma will be solved.
To do the embed itself, if your site runs on WordPress, then all you need to do is grab the video URL from your browser’s address bar and paste it into your post content. Like so:
Then, just copy and paste it into your post’s content directly. That URL will change into a live video embed automatically:
This is actually way easier done than you might expect. First, get the Feedzy RSS plugin, and install it on your WordPress site. It is a solution that allows you to embed YouTube videos automatically, just by hooking up to the channel’s feed and auto-embedding every new video. And you can filter the videos by keywords, so you will get only the content you want.
Go to the channel homepage and look up the source of the page:
Now search through the page with Ctrl+F and look for the channel ID. It will look something like this:
That string of numbers and letters is the ID itself. Copy that ID and include it at the end of this custom URL:
https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=ID. This gives you a URL that you now put into Feedzy and tell it to fetch all new videos automatically.
The bottom line is: you can use someone else’s YouTube videos on your website, but you have to play it smart. Either use YouTube’s native embed option or RSS feed from trusted channels.
Do you have any other questions about using someone else’s YouTube videos on your website? Let us know in the comments section below!
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