I'm creating a video for my institution.

It's a scientific institution, so I suppose that the video can be considered no-profit (we don't make it to sell our products but to show our scientific project).

I already searched around for explanations about the youtube standard license, but it seems there is not much clear information on that: only vague posts ( google groups or yahoo answers ) in which there is not a clear reference to the term of use (which I'm not able to read as I'm not a lawyer), while there is much documentation on the CC BY license.

So my questions are:

  1. can I use the videos marked as "youtube standard license" for this video, of course citing the source?

  2. In case I can't, do you know any other place where I can take video I can use for this non commercial purpose of makning a scientific video to show the project?

  • 2
    Your best bet is to talk to a lawyer. We aren't lawyers and don't know the details of your particular jurisdiction and what might be or might not be classified as a not-for-profit organization in your jurisdiction. This is really a legal question rather than an A/V question.
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 14:35

3 Answers 3


I know you probably already found this link, but according to Yahoo, you will want to contact the Uploader before you try to use it. Thats what I would try. I don't think I would want my youtube videos just used by anyone who wanted to. Seems this person ran into that problem.

If a video is only using the Creative Commons License you may use it, but otherwise contact the YouTube user before you use it.

Good luck.


You can restrict YouTube to search only those videos who have a CC licence. Just click "Filters" under the search bar, then "Creative Commons".

The concrete details of reuse are described here: http://www.youtube.com/yt/copyright/creative-commons.html

If a video is not marked as CC, then the standard YouTube license applies. To reuse such a video you have to ask the owner first.


I am a little late in this topic.

With a Creative Commons license, the Author wishing to use work of another author is typically permitted to use portions of the work, change, edit, recompile, or any other alteration except for specific items listed in the license document, with the caveats that; they include a clear path for the end user to obtain the included work in its original form including copyright notice, indicate clearly that it is a derivative work indicating and holding the author of the original work free from accountability for damages caused by the derivative work. The Author of the original work included in the new package retains minimal authority over the use of their work within the new work, and is typically not entitled to residual payment from benefits gained from the work that also includes their work.

With a Standard Copyright License, a Derivative Author is entitled to perform the work either in a comparable manner to the original, incorporated into their own work, or in their own style, with the caveat that the original author is clearly identified and there is no attempt to claim the creation is your own, where only the your unique performance of that work would be your own. The original author retains "some" right to decline the works use by some people or prevent its use for topics that would be contrary to the opinions of the original author or would otherwise diminish the reputation of the work or its original creator. The Author of the original work is entitled to be financially compensated by any benefits realized from the performance of the derivative performer. Once the original work has been published, broadcast, or otherwise shared with the public, they no longer have complete control over who can perform their work, but to retain the right to reject the license to use from a specific individual, as alluded to above. To be clear, they can specifically deny an individual from performing their work, but they do not have a blanket license to deny that license to everyone, only the right to be compensated for it's use.

In the case of Audio or Video performances, a parody of an original work is considered an original work in itself by virtue that it includes primarily new content yet clearly indicates its original author and does not pretend to be an original work. As such it does not in itself constitute a performance of an original work and in many cases would serve as a mechanism to increase the fair use of the original work as well.

I will not comment on how YouTube views the difference between a Creative Commons license and a Standard Copyright license, but wanted to point out that Copyright is not an assurance of the right to completely prevent the use of your work by others, it is simply a mechanism to ensure the creator is compensated for any gains made on the use of their work by others. Simply, if you want to ensure that nobody else can perform your work, do not publish, broadcast, or otherwise share it with anyone else.

  • This answer is misleading since it refers to Creative Commons licenses as a fixed set of granted rights, which is not only false, but the contrary is the case. With a CC license, the author decides which rights he or she grants people. that's the main reason creative Commons was established in the first place. Creative Commons licenses can cover everything, from a public domain license up to a standard copyright license in terms of use limitations. For example it is NOT uncommon that a CC license states "No derivative work"... Commented Apr 10, 2016 at 19:57
  • Additionally, as mentioned in another answer, giving advice in terms of copyright is a complex thing, since copyrights vary extremely from country to country. The "fair use" case, which is pretty common in the US can easily get you sued in Germany, so I'd be extremely careful with these kind of advice. Commented Apr 10, 2016 at 20:01

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