Thursday, July 19, 2012

Know the Law: Face blurring available at YouTube

YouTube recently released a new feature that allows the uploader to "blur" faces in a similar manner to many reality or hidden camera shows. This feature is a huge advantage to both an amateur or professional videographer.You now have the option to censor faces of people you catch in your videos that you did not receive releases from. Hence, you can avoid lawsuits, or even more serious consequences, like possible retaliation for activist activities in places like Egypt and Syria.

In the good ol' days, when people stepped out in front of a camera and that image was displayed to the public, fair use could be argued. Especially if that artist or hobbyist did not expect to make money from the image. Nowadays, when Johnny-Come-Sue-You slaps you with a lawsuit, you will need all common usage laws at your disposal to fight the suit. Because of the invent of viral videos, memes, and the like, even a cat pretending to play the piano can make money. Blurring faces in your videos can save money and lives. If you are planning to promote your video and wish to not censor the background faces, it might be worthwhile to draft a standard release. If you neglect to do that, good luck....

Happy Filmmaking!

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