YouTube Updates Contest Policies AGAIN
In March we published a post about YouTube’s changing contest policies. The changes at that time outlined specific age and platform guidelines. These changes have since been revised again, but no official date that the changes went into effect was published by YouTube.
As of 8/7/15 these are the new guidelines:
They can also be found here.
Basically they have done away with three of the requirement we last warned you about:
1. The age 18+ requirement for your entrants is gone.
2. The restriction on not using video views or thumbs up/down for voting is gone.
3. The restriction on using an embedded link or YouTube API on your own site has disappeared from the guidelines.
Still intact are our 2 warnings about using the YouTube platform for your next contest:
- YouTube can shut you down — at any time and at their discretion – even if your contest is in full swing. If you are not in compliance, YouTube can turn off your account or your brand channel without any warning. They have removed the language from the guidelines specifying that they will take no responsibility for the financial or legal or PR costs if this happens, but as a brand you should take into account the risk of using a platform that can change without notice and could shut you down at their discretion.
- Videos can stay up after your contest is over (and even if you don’t approve them). Remember, videos on YouTube can stay up forever. And the user controls the content – not you. If you are a highly regulated brand, or want to control the content for a contest, YouTube is not the place for your contest.
Some new additions to these new guidelines:
1. Similar to the Twitter and Facebook guidelines, YouTube now requires you to: “have a set of “Official Rules” which: a. include links to the YouTube Community Guidelines and indicate entries which don’t comply will be disqualified. b. state all disclosures required by all applicable federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations, including U.S. sanctions. c. are wholly compliant and consistent with the YouTube Terms of Service.” They also, like other social channels, ask that you put in the rules that YouTube is not a sponsor of your contest and that you require users to release YouTube from any and all liability related to your contest.
2. They added a section regarding fraud which states: “You may not pay a third party or parties to manipulate metrics on the YouTube Service, including numbers of views, likes, dislikes, or subscribers such that those metrics fail to reflect genuine user engagement with the YouTube Service.” This means don’t use a service that pays for views or likes or dislikes or allow your entrants to do it either.
3. And finally, and this might be the most important change, they say that “You cannot ask the user to give all rights for, or transfer the ownership of, their entry to you.” This could be problematic if the goal of your contest is to solicit content that you can use freely for your brand. Negotiation of rights to videos for their use after a contest is completed may be in order if this is your goal.
Confused yet? Contact us! We can take the guesswork out of planning a social video contest that works for your brand — and is in compliance with YouTube guidelines.
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