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Protect Your B-Roll Videos

Before the advent of the internet (and subsequently, high speed internet speeds), amusement parks would send out “b-roll” or simply put, “generic footage” of either their park or a certain ride, so that news outlets could use it in stories, most notably, to promote a new attraction that is opening up.

Fast forward to today’s “connected world” and parks continue to send out these videos, only it’s now done mostly via social media, YouTube or their own webpages.

Subsequently, many people have taken these videos and spread them via their own accounts, which helps spread the word about the new attraction or offering. (It’s also known as a “Viral Effect.”) Exactly what the park wanted, right?

Well, not quite.

You see, there’s a new epidemic going around these days, called “MONETIZATION.” That’s where users take these readily available videos and cash in on them – and it’s costing your park some serious money.

How? Check it out:

1.) Your park hires a production company to come out and professionally film and edit a good promotional video for your park or, you pay an employee to do the same on your payroll.

2.) The video is uploaded to your social media accounts and YouTube channel.

3.) The video is liked, commented on and shared by users on social media via “SHARE” buttons, thereby promoting the product / service.

Now here’s where the ecosystem turns illegal:

4.) Some users will then download (also known as “rip”) your video off of YouTube, then re-uploaded onto their personal account. The video is then is “monetized,” which means ads are shown in order to make money for the user for every view it receives.

“But it’s not that bad – at least my message is getting out there, right?”

As harmless as it may seem, the investment you made to help promote the park is in fact, now directly making money for someone else, who didn’t contribute a dime to it’s production nor asked for permission to use it for their own account.  Simply put…that’s copyright infringement, folks.

Would you feel the same if you set up a photo shoot, took a stunning photo, then had it sold repeatedly online thousands of time, without you ever being paid for it?

YouTube Terms of Service (TOS) requires that:

“Your video is not eligible for monetization if it contains content that you didn’t create or get permission from its creator to use. You need to be able to show written permission for the following video elements:

  • Audio: copyrighted sound recordings, live performances, background music, etc.
  • Visuals: images, logos, software, video game footage, etc.
  • Any other content you don’t own worldwide commercial usage rights to.”

We’re pretty sure user “CoastersCoastersCoasters” didn’t create that beautiful Six Flags new ride announcement video on their own…let alone pay for it.

Here’s some more food for thought – YouTube has many “Super Users” who actually make a living off of monetized videos. Are you comfortable with providing direct income to them, without them working for you? I didn’t think so.

So, how can you prevent this?

Start by adding a watermark to your video. It’s actually relatively simple even with rudimentary editing software – and any professional and/or legitimate production company hired by you should be able to accommodate this request without any problems. This will ensure that people know YOU own this content, not others.

Secondly, you’ll need to do some legwork on YouTube, but it’s fairly easy. Just do a search for your video every now and then, and see what pops up. Considering any illegal copies of your video will be similarly named to yours for SEO – that’s easy enough to spot.

Copyright

The reporting from for copyright infringement on YouTube is vastly streamlined compared to a DCMA takedown notice – and hits infringers in the wallet, where it hurts the most.

Thirdly, WHEN you find an offending video, report it. Ever since the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA was passed, YouTube and other social content sources have been very good at taking down content owned by others, especially when a formal complaint is filed. You can begin that process here: https://www.youtube.com/yt/copyright/copyright-complaint.html

Then, go into your media list and purge it of any contacts you’ve found to be doing more harm than good. It makes no sense to keep inviting people to press events if all they’re doing is stealing from under your nose.

As a victim of copyright infringement in the past, I can tell you that prompt, succinct action is the best course of action. While trying to be nice and extending an olive branch is always a nice thought – it’s not always the best way to end the problem permanently. Repeat offenders do just that – repeat.

Together, we can stamp out copyright infringement and eradicate the epidemic of monetization…together!

Review my prior posts about “Social Media and the Amusement Park” here.

About the Author:

Kris Rowberry has been following the amusement industry for over 15 years. He is the creator and host of both “The Lost Parks of Northern California” and “Great American Thrills®

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