Official Understanding Copyright

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MCN Freedom! Global Head of Creator Services
Aug 31, 2016
Manila, Philippines
Hey all, I’ve noticed some of us here have some misconceptions about copyright and how Fair Use applies to that. So if you're still confused or just need a refresher (admit it, we all do) give it a quick look and arm yourself with some Fast Facts. Allons-y!

Fast Facts on Copyright

Copyright is a legal concept that gives the creator exclusive rights over his or her own creation. Simply put, only the copyright holder can do these things:
  1. Make copies of the work!

  2. Create derivative works or alter it.

  3. Sell the work in its original or altered form.
Who is entitled to claim copyright?
  • Creators of the work

  • Producers of film and sound recording

  • Broadcasters

  • Publishers

  • Employers- if the work in question was made in the course of employment

  • Journalists- journalists may own some of the rights, but usually the employer will own all of it

  • Commissioned works- when works are for private or domestic use, the person who commissions it holds the copyright, in most other cases though, the author retains it.
Copyright can be transferred through agreements undertaken by the author.

Copyrights can be licensed to another person or entity on an exclusive and non-exclusive basis (i.e. authors giving film rights to studios or software developers giving companies the rights to use their software)

Why does copyright matter?

First off, copyright matters because it applies to all creators. Not just big stars or companies or studios. It’s important to respect this because as much as you don’t want people making money off your hard work, or it being used in ways you may or may not agree with, or your own person, brand or identity being associated in things or causes you did not consent to, so does everyone else.

Okay, okay I get that, but what if:

1. I use only a part of the work.

The work is still copyrighted regardless of how much or how little you took from it. You still didn’t ask permission from the owner! Further to paraphrase an *ehem* oft uttered maxim, the size doesn’t matter, it’s how we use it.

2. I put in a Disclaimer saying it is not my own work etc.

Good for you! It still counts as a copyright infringement though! Giving credit is not a suitable defense as you still need to ask the owner’s permission for their work.

3. I do not make money off of it.

Copyright doesn’t only protect someone’s wallet, it protects their person, their image, the value of the work and their brand! As much as you don’t want your works associated with things you don’t support, agree with, or even know, so do other creators.

4. There was no copyright notice.

Copyright notices only serve to strengthen protection of the work, just because the creator doesn’t put it, doesn’t mean you can use it.

5. It’s on the Internet, and the Internet is Freeee.

Nope, sorry bud. The Internet isn’t exempt from copyright law and neither are you.

6. It’s Fair Use.

Fair Use is a complicated issue and only applies to specific cases particularly for purposes of social advancement. It is not a free-for-all defense and there are no clear cut rules against copyright infringement. You should consult a copyright lawyer just to be sure if it applies to you or your works. Yup, it’s that hard.

Here’s Youtube’s own handy guide on Fair Use.

The more you know the better:

Here are a few important terms you should know when talking about Intellectual Property

Trademarks- unique and distinctive word, phrase, letter, number sound, smell, shape, logo, picture, aspect of packaging or any combination of these that are used by entities to distinguish their products or services from others. Also a no-no.

Using a trademark that is identical or similar to another may infringe upon trademark rights, in many countries they don’t even have to register it, so no excuses.

Patents- Exclusive right to profit off an invention which is new, inventive and useful. Patents have to be registered to be applicable.

Designs- Visual appearance of a product that gives it a unique appearance. Yup, style is proprietary.

Passing off/ fair trading- using the name, goodwill or identifier of another to misrepresent the public that they have an association with the other person. This is deceitful to both creators and the public. Big no!

Bottomline: If you didn’t create it, didn’t ask permission for it, and do not intend to use it in a way that falls under Fair Use, Don’t use it!

Why bother?!

Freedom! offers a whole host of music, videos and graphics that you can use, for free, for all our Freedom! partners. So why give yourself a headache navigating the legalese, Freedom! has got your back.

Further readings on Copyright-
Refer to this if you’ve incurred a Copyright Strike on your channel.

Thanks for reading!

From the Freedom! Community Team to the entire Freedom! family, see you around! Keep on creating and best of luck to you!

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Written by: Josh Fajardo (Freedom! Employee, Manila)
Last edited:


MCN Freedom! Global Head of Creator Services
Aug 31, 2016
Manila, Philippines
Hey LW, I just realized that I didn't credit my staff member who wrote this. :) He's a Freedom! employee named Josh. I will add his name to the post.

Anthony Smith

Believe it or not, I believe in you!
Verified Freedom! Partner
Freedom! Member
Adding to that, support has been updating old things on the FAQ a bunch lately!

Also so many admins on the forums at once lol
I can't take all the credit BUT I can take some of the credit for that as i've been stocking the sponsorships section and some related areas recently.
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Community Team
Community Team!
Verified Freedom! Partner
Freedom! Member
May 19, 2017
I think there should a more info when it comes to Trademarks.

Trademarks is different from copyright as well.

There some that might think you can't use Trademarks there videos.

Like: I got a sony camera, l drive a BMW and I going to show my new car.

Or you have to hid all logos in your videos.

How to Trademark a smell?

There somethings you can't Trademark like peoples Names.

We need have rule to go by.

When it ok and not ok when it comes to Trademark?