The following are some frequently asked questions related to potential copyright issues with the use of YouTube videos in church settings.
Can video content posted on the CofChrist YouTube channel be played for worship or personal use by anyone who accesses the channel?
Yes, in most circumstances. – Under YouTube’s terms of service, users can access content for their information and personal use. Playing videos for personal use is allowed for anyone who accesses the channel. Playing videos posted by Community of Christ for worship or other group events would also be allowed for Community of Christ congregations, campgrounds, mission centers, members and employees using the video for an official Church purpose. For other situations, those who wish to display or broadcast these videos should contact the Office of General Counsel to request permission.
Should videos posted by persons other than Community of Christ be downloaded, projected, broadcast or otherwise used in Community of Christ worship or group events?
No, not without permission. – A user that uploads video(s) with the user’s original content owns the copyright in that video. You would need to obtain permission from that person to use the video. Unless (1) you have received permission or a license from the copyright owner to use the video; (2) your use of the video is covered by an applicable Creative Commons or other license or (3) the scope of your use falls within the fair use exception (which would require a more in-depth analysis), then showing or broadcasting these videos for a worship or group event would likely be an infringement on the rights of the copyright owner.
Please note that some videos may also contain original content not owned by the person uploading the video. Before relying on the permission of the user uploading the video, you should do some due diligence to ensure that that person was within their rights to include the other person’s original content and your use of the video would not create a secondary copyright violation.
How do I know if the YouTube video I want to use is covered by a Creative Commons license?
Information about what type of license covers a YouTube video is displayed in the information below the viewing window for that particular video. You will need to click the “Show More” link below the already displayed video information. You should then see an item called “License” that indicates the type of license covering the video. If the video is covered by the
Standard YouTube License, then the default restrictions apply and you’ll need to obtain permission to use the video in a worship or group setting.
Are YouTube videos covered under OneLicense or CVLI licenses?
No, OneLicense applies to the use of music and has not provided a corresponding video license to date. CVLI is a license for those wanting to show full-length movies and movie clips. CVLI has an agreement with certain movie studios for the use of their content. However, most YouTube videos are posted by individuals that have not entered an agreement with CVLI to license their copyrighted material. You should not rely on your CVLI license to cover YouTube videos.
Is it ok for Community of Christ websites to include links to online videos not owned by Community of Christ?
Probably, posting a link to a YouTube video or other websites on a Community of Christ website is probably ok, provided you aren’t aware or have reason to believe that the video/website you’re linking to contains copyright infringing material. Linking simply redirects someone to another site to view the material rather than directly displaying the copyrighted material on your congregation’s or mission center’s website. Courts have not ruled on whether embedding the video is an infringement or allowed under copyright law. If you want to post a YouTube video or other material from another website, we recommend linking to the other site rather than embedding the video or content. Please also refer to the guidance below about posting content on Church websites and social networking sites and consult the Website Toolkit and Social Media Guidelines released by the Communications Team.