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I appeared on a couple of news shows and the station sent me the videos. I'd like to put it up on Youtube, do I need to get permission from the news outlet in order to put it up?

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I think your safest bet would be to contact the news outlet, just to be sure. You have been quite vague in your question. Things like your country of residence and the topic of discussion will make a difference. – Andrew Martin Mar 5 '14 at 15:13
If you were from America, this might be of interest: – Andrew Martin Mar 5 '14 at 15:21

Yes you do need permission in most (if not all) countries. You may be the person in the picture or video - but you are most definitely not the owner of the copyright of the work.

You might judge that the chances that they would care will be small - but that is your judgement. To be totally sure, you would need to seek permission.

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I've already posted some comments showing some (fairly) outdated articles from an American perspective, but as I'm from Northern Ireland, I'll use the good old BBC guidelines to shape an answer which will likely apply to many other broadcasters.

Their advice would normally be found here: Taking Down Online Material.

However, they are currently updating that page (the link will be operational soon). Until then, they advise using their Editorial Guidelines, which state:


Unless content is specifically made available only for a limited time period, there is a presumption that material published online will become part of a permanently accessible archive and will not normally be removed.

For news stories, the archive is intended to act as a permanent public record. However, on a limited number of occasions we may decide not to add a topical link to a specific archived news page. Very exceptionally, we may require a page to be removed. Such exceptional circumstances may include legal reasons, personal safety risks, or a serious breach of editorial standards that cannot be rectified except by removal of the material.

Now, this refers to news stories including interviews published on the BBC webpage, NOT published elsewhere. But I've included it for a reason - it mentions that despite the intention to create a public record, there are times that these news items, including interviews, need to be removed.

The next place in their guidelines to look is their information on the Informed Consent of Interviewees.

This contains information on how consent is gained from interviewees - sometimes in writing, sometimes not (such as in a street interview with a member of the public). Nevertheless, ideally, the interviewee will complete a Consent Form:

Use of Standard Contributor Consent Form

Do I need to use this form?

Standard contributor consent forms have been drawn up for use when engaging a substantial contributor not covered by the standard contract procedure, regardless of the length of the contribution or fee.

These are primarily a legal matter, rather than a fulfilment of the Editorial Guidelines. Whilst they formalise consent and are often required to prove copyright before programmes can be resold (see below) they do not necessarily demonstrate that there has been properly informed consent. The forms are clear about the programme makers rights to use and re-use a contribution but contain only basic information about the programme and the nature of the contribution. Informed consent will often require more detailed information for the contributor.

This clearly states that this form is about setting out the legal rights as to who owns what after the interview.

Finally, at the bottom of that page, there are some form guidance notes, which include:

4 The BBC seeks a full assignment of Copyright to be certain it can use the contributions in all existing and future media. To ensure it is valid, an assignment of Copyright should be in writing. Without a written assignment, the BBC's rights position may be unclear. It may also be difficult to give third parties, who may be financing the programme or taking licences of it, warranties as to the rights they are being granted. Although there are statutory provisions relating to spoken word copyright which may enable broadcast use without formalities, these do not cover non-broadcast uses such as CD-ROM, showings to non-paying audiences and home video. Contributors may be reassured to know that it is only the Copyright in the particular form of words used which is being assigned in the contributor consent forms. They could, for instance, give further interviews on the same subject without infringing the Copyright they have assigned to the BBC. This paragraph also requires contributors not to use third party copyright material. This is unlikely to arise unless they read written material or show photographs, drawings etc, in which case the production team may wish to ensure that the contributor, and not a third party, is the copyright owner.

5 The authors of literary copyright works, which can include spoken word contributions to programmes, have so-called 'moral rights' in relation to their works. These rights are distinct from Copyright. Moral rights are personal to the author / contributor and cannot be assigned or licensed. They can, however, be waived in a written document. The key moral rights, which are set out in the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988, are the right of paternity (i.e. to be identified as author) and the right of integrity (i.e. the right to object to derogatory treatment of the work).

It is BBC policy to obtain waivers of these rights wherever possible.

So you can see from the BBC policies that they have a few targets in mind. You can get a copy of an interview you participate in and you can view it at home. However, in your question you mentioned YouTube. I have italicized the sections above which show your fair use. Even though YouTube is a non-paying site, it will not be authorised as you are effectively broadcasting it.

I've also highlighted how the BBC, where possible, will try and get all rights to the interview.

As stated in the first quote, this is because they can either pass the interview on to another broadcaster, they can remove it if it is no longer appropriate, poses a safety risk or some other such reason.

Therefore, under BBC guidelines, if you conducted an interview you would not have copyright permission over it. You could contact them and request permission to put something online, but it is unlikely it will be given.

I'm aware this has been a very long post and doesn't answer the question so much as provide an example of one particular broadcaster's policies. But since that broadcaster is the biggest in the world, I'm trusting this will of at least some interest/relevance to the question.

As a final note? When in any doubt whatsoever, bearing in mind this a legal issue, contact the interviewer or seek legal advice for any queries.

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It's likely that you signed some release form prior to being interviewed. In that form the details of the interview's future uses are often clearly explained. It would advisable for you to first consult this form prior to posting the interview online. If there issues with it that you failed to understand, you may wish to contact an attorney and ask them to review the release with you.

If you did NOT sign any release, then you may be able to use the interview under the "fair use" doctrine here in the US, if you are from the US. While it would be advisable to contact the station and speak someone in their legal department or the station manager, without a signed release there may be little which they could do to stop you from posting the interview.

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