Regarding the recent changes on YouTube, I began to wonder about the legalness of uploading and sharing commercials and viral clips. In my humble opinion, a commercial’s sole purpose is to create awareness through visibility and creativity. A commercial becomes remarkable if it’s funny to see or has an original script or idea to promote a brand or a service. I understand that commercials are created by a creative agency and that they are made for a brand, often registered and trademarked. However, what’s the use of commercial if it cannot be seen or discussed in public?
The ad agency surely made some expenses and paid actors, copywriters, scripters etc to generate the remarkable result. I understand this ad agency has ‘the rights’ to this commercial and so does the brand or company which ordered the commercial to be made. But what sane company would complain if the commercial is uploaded to a social network in order to increase visibility? Beats me. Still, YouTube makes it very clear in their disclaimer:
Max file size: 100 MB. Max length: 10 minutes.
Do not upload any TV shows, music videos, music concerts, or commercials without permission unless they consist entirely of content you created yourself.
What they are saying is very clear. No commercials can be uploaded unless you created it yourself or have permission from the brand or company that created the ad. I’m not going to write letters or send email to any company, begging for the right to upload a clip and talk about it, to put the clip on my site and generate visibility for it, which they don’t have to pay for. It’s free publicity, and very often it’s positive feedback.
I see the sharing and uploading of commercials as a reward for the company that created it, as a favor to generate some extra visibility, as an extension of their campaign into the third mass media channel next to tv and print. I fail to see the negative point in that.
I’ve asked YouTube via email what I should do with the commercials in my archive, and why they could be violating any copyrights. The answer I got was (bottom line) : the actors in the clips might sue for a loss of income.
Could somebody fill me in here? What exactly are ‘the rights’ for commercials, and why can’t we share them? What happens when an ad agency wants to create a viral? Do they pay the actor per viewer? I think any actor in any commercial knows that a commercial has a second life on the internet. Who didn’t forward a funny ad he got in his email yet? Isn’t that practically the same thing? If we keep being this protective when it comes to ads, blogs like mine and many others are living on the edge of termination. I feed on ads. I love marketing. I love great commercials. Don’t take away my right to express & illustrate my fondness for a great idea, please.