YouTube isn’t making it easy to opt-out, either.
Update, May 5 (3:40 pm ET): Google announced updates to its Shorts permissions
What you need to know
- YouTube is automatically opting-in videos to be sampled for Shorts.
- Some see the move as problematic as there was no prior notice to creators about the option.
- Not all videos can opt-out of the Shorts permission, but it’s not clear which.
Users are discovering that YouTube is automatically opting in their content without their consent to be used by others in YouTube Shorts, the platform that imitates TikTok. The permissions box found in a video edit screen reads that when checked, it „allows people to create Shorts using parts of this video.“ Users are finding that this box is automatically checked:
YouTube suddenly automatically checked „Yes“ on EVERY YouTube video to allow them to be re-uploaded as Shorts on OTHER channels ???
Please let your YouTuber friends know that they have to go through and uncheck this setting on every video or risk stolen content… pic.twitter.com/b4rjiwmE2c
— Mysticat #Mysty200k (@MysticatLive) April 30, 2021
Users also find that the option is only available on each individual video; there’s no channel-wide option to opt-out of being sampled for YouTube Shorts. That means creators that don’t want their content to be used in Shorts have to go through each video to disable the setting. Additionally, not all videos are eligible to opt-out, although it’s not exactly clear to creators what this means.
The main concern that many have is that it appears like YouTube is permitting users to take others‘ content to fuel its Shorts platform. However, litigation lawyer Ian Corzine notes in a YouTube video that the platform’s terms already grant others the ability to use any content on the platform. Corzine told Android Central that it’s good that YouTube is at least giving creators the option to control how their content is used and that the problem lies with YouTube’s lack of notice as far as Shorts is concerned:
The one concern is the sneaky way they rolled it out. No express notice. A magical appearance of the Shorts permission box in our upload screens. Further, the policy is almost surplusage because the terms of service already allow other YouTube users to use other YouTube users‘ contact.
I think a lot of Creators just want you to be upfront with them. No doubt exists that it’s YouTube’s platform. Just be clear on the rules with creators that make a lot of money for YouTube.
If you select a video you’ve uploaded to YouTube, the setting can be found on the details page. Navigate to the bottom and select „show more,“ and the setting will be there under „Shorts permission.“
The YouTube Shorts beta expanded to the U.S. in March as the platform’s answer to compete with TikTok on the best Android phones. The service is still in beta, allowing users to create short video clips with music from the platform. It has also been testing a „create“ button directly underneath select music videos, but the button doesn’t appear to have rolled out in the U.S. just yet.
Let us know what you think of the move. Should YouTube be more upfront about its policy with certain features? Are you okay with YouTube allowing people to use others‘ content for Shorts to better compete with TikTok?
Update, May 5 (3:40 pm ET) ― Google will soon roll out with more options for creators
With the official expansion of YouTube Shorts, Google has introduced upcoming updates to Shorts permissions in a support page that will make it easier for creators to keep their content from being used.
In the coming weeks, we’ll also add the option to bulk opt out all videos, as well as set default upload settings.
The new setting will be welcome additions for creators who would prefer their content not to be used in Shorts made by others. Until they roll out, creators will have to individually opt each video out of being included for Shorts.
Shorts created from videos will be associated with the original video, which Google highlights as „a great way for new audiences to discover and engage with your content.“
Google also notes that audio from a Short can’t be opted out from being used in other Shorts, although if the original video is deleted, then the Shorts using the same audio will be muted.
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