Because FameBit content is branded content funded by brands, it is considered “commercial speech” (essentially, an advertisement). Content that is considered commercial speech cannot invoke the same “fair use” defenses as non-commercial speech. As a Creator, this means you should be extra mindful about how you feature people, copyrighted works, locations, logos, trademarks, and other intellectual property owned by third parties in your work. You must also comply with all FTC consumer protection requirements, and disclose the relationship between your content and the sponsoring brand.
While FameBit cannot provide you legal advice, the below common issues and best practices may help you create safe FameBit content. Content that doesn’t follow YouTube’s copyright policies, FTC disclosure requirements, or other obligations under your agreement, will not be approved and will not be authorized for upload, jeopardizing payment. As part of the production process, FameBit may ask you questions about the legal status of third party materials and people featured in your content, so it’s important that you work with your own counsel to resolve issues before you shoot.
Please review the below guidelines to avoid common copyright and third party rights pitfalls.
To protect yourself and the sponsoring brand, Creators should produce original videos without any third party materials (unless specified by the sponsoring brand). Any people or third party materials -- including music, photos, logos/trademarks or names -- incorporated into content created for FameBit must have the proper rights and licenses granted.
- FTC disclosures. You must adhere to the Federal Trade Commission’s requirements around disclosure. FameBit will not approve videos that do not clearly meet them. Please refer to the FameBit Creator FAQ for more information.
- Permission for People. The general rule is that a person (famous or not!) who is recognizable in a shot requires a written release for you to use their image/likeness. If you’re not sure if you need a release or not, the best bet is to get one. This includes visible faces in the background/in crowds and people on the street. You may be required to blur the faces of people who have not signed a release. Also, do not feature the personally identifiable information of anyone without written permission (e.g. their name, email, address, phone number, screen name, customized avatar, etc.)
- Minors are not a minor concern. Minors (under the age of 18) must always sign a release TOGETHER with their parent or legal guardian. You must have a release for every minor appearing in your content.
- Music sounds complicated—because it is. Just because you paid for a music download doesn’t mean you can use it however you want. Any music or sound effects in your final cut must be specifically licensed for that use - no matter how incidental or how prominent, no matter how short or how long. This includes rights to both the recording and the written composition. Using original music? Remember that “original” means you - and only you - wrote, performed, and recorded the music. If you recorded your own version of an existing song (i.e. a cover song), remixed or sampled existing musical compositions and/or musical sound recordings, you still need to clear all rights and have licenses in place. Heard a certain song used in other YouTube videos? That doesn’t mean the song is fair game. You must still obtain the proper licenses to use it in your work. There are music libraries you can access, but even if something is royalty free, it still may require a license. Remember that FameBit videos are “commercial,” so make sure that when you do get permission it is for commercial use of the song.
If you don’t have a valid music library license, or license individual songs, you are free to use any of the music tracks in the YouTube Audio Library for your FameBit content.
- Materials and video. Any material that appears in your video which may be copyright or trademark protected - including, photography, posters, logos, video games, computer screenshots or other images that show trademarked or copyrighted material, music compositions, or third party video footage - likely requires a release or license from the original creator. This includes images of celebrities you may find online. A photograph you may want to use usually has two rights to be cleared: the photographer who took it, and the person/artwork/brand contained in the image itself. Not all photographers have the right to grant a license to the person’s image in their photography. Often the best route is to seek a stock image source that includes a license free and clear of any restrictions or additional clearance requirements.
A friend is letting you use some of his footage for your video? Remember - everything contained in their video clip also must be fully cleared.
- Logos, packaging and clothing. Don’t allow anyone appearing in your video to wear clothing with trademarks, logos or recognizable characters like cartoon/movie characters or sports team logos. Also, unless specifically approved, make sure none of your footage includes logos on any products appearing in the shot, like beverages, cosmetics, food packaging, computers, phones or any other equipment. When in doubt, turn the package around, and pick a plain blue shirt instead of that one with a logo on it! You should also avoid verbally mentioning another brand or brand slogan unless specifically requested by the sponsoring brand.
- Locations. If you shoot in a third party location such as a retail store or public park, you must have permission from the legal owner of the property. Remember, everything included at that location - individual people, product logos, artwork, music playing over loudspeakers or heard from a car radio, etc. - ALSO must be fully cleared. Since you have much less control over the environment, shooting in a third party location can often be more trouble than it’s worth. Keep in mind that some iconic locations/buildings may be landmarked and require permission for inclusion in your video (e.g. the Hollywood sign, the Chrysler Building). Please research required permissions for your locations before shooting!
- Parody and Fair Use/Fair Dealing. We highly suggest you do not rely on parody or other fair use exceptions to using copyrighted materials. These are frequently misunderstood areas of the law, and if you intend to rely on these exceptions instead of getting necessary licenses/approvals, we may require you to seek your own legal counsel for guidance. If you get the proper licenses, or even better, develop your own original content, the fewer problems you will have.
- YouTube Community Guidelines and Ad Policies. Remember that all your content must be in compliance with YouTube’s policies, including Community Guidelines and Ad Policies. Take another look to remind yourself of what type of content isn’t allowed on the YouTube Website!
We look forward to seeing your content!