Re-uploading creative commons videos to YouTube is risky idea that might make you money

; Date: Mon Apr 08 2019

Tags: YouTube »»»» Make Money Online

A trending topic on YouTube currently is videos describing how to make a ton of money on YouTube without even shooting any videos. It's a gimmick in which one finds videos that are Creative Commons, which in theory allows free reuse of the video because that's the purpose of the Creative Commons License. What one is to do is download Creative Commons videos, then either make a compilation video, or simply re-upload the entire video, claiming the videos are Creative Commons and it's all okay. In theory this is sound, but in practice there are problems.

As with anything that is too good to be true - a get-rich-quick scheme like this is probably too good to be true.

The Creative Commons license was designed with a wholesome mindset. The idea is to mark your content with the Creative Commons license, allowing others to reuse the content, and to require others to make a link back to your site. Therefore your payment is through having a link to your site which makes your site rank higher in the search engines.

On YouTube you can search for a topic, then filter the search results for videos marked with the Creative Commons license. Once you've found a video (or 10 videos) you want to re-upload, it's just a matter of downloading the video then either editing a compilation video, or re-uploading the video to YouTube. Every step of this is very easy. Given the number of YouTube channels dedicated to compilation videos this is a popular tactic.

In my mind this is not a worthy way to spend my time. Have I added anything of value to the world by creating yet another compilation video? Nope.

I have a message to share with the world, and just processing and re-uploading other peoples videos is not in line with that message.

At the risk of digressing -- there is one genre I've watched dozens of videos, which is videos compilations of historical videos of images from Bucharest and other places in Romania. I've watched a bunch of these, and have learned a lot about the country that is the birthplace of my girlfriend, and where we have spent several long trips together. It is a beautiful country, and I have gained some value from those videos, even though they're essentially a type of compilation video. It's possible to find the source images yourself and then create your own compilation videos, and perhaps that is why there are so many YouTube channels with these videos.

I have thought about creating such videos myself, but if I did I'd want to take a step beyond just regurgitating the historical pictures. Instead, I'd want to label each picture as to its location, and perhaps also find a modern picture of the same location for contrast.

To end the digression -- at the top of this, I said the idea is risky. The video attached to this post does a good job of showing the process, and explaining the risk.

How are you certain the video marked as Creative Commons is actually Creative Commons? What if it is not Creative Commons and you then get a Copyright mark against your channel?

For example a breaking news item right now is that Pres. Trump has fired Department of Homeland Security Director Kirstjen Nielsen. Doing a YouTube search for "trump nielsen" with Creative Commons shows a number of videos with commentary, plus some others that are recordings of news coverage from CNN or other major news outlets. Clearly CNN did not upload these videos with Creative Commons, and the channel in question is one of the hundreds of channels that is uploading news report videos to YouTube. An example: (

What the attached video demonstrates is that when re-uploading video, the re-uploader can set the Creative Commons flag even for videos that are not under Creative Commons. It is trivial to find videos of major TV news programs uploaded by organizations that are not those TV networks. Such channels are running a big risk of being caught and shut down over clear violations of copyright.

#FAIL | Make Money On YouTube Without Making Videos (Creative Commons Problem)

About the Author(s)

( David Herron : David Herron is a writer and software engineer focusing on the wise use of technology. He is especially interested in clean energy technologies like solar power, wind power, and electric cars. David worked for nearly 30 years in Silicon Valley on software ranging from electronic mail systems, to video streaming, to the Java programming language, and has published several books on Node.js programming and electric vehicles.