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YouTube – A Summary of the TOS


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This is a summary of the Terms of Service that one must agree to when using YouTube.

  • Hi Josh,

    I like your informative and attractive YouTube Primer (Wright, 2013). You use colours and text formatting very effectively.

    As the biggest player amongst the video sharing sites (“Video Sites,” 2013), YouTube sets a standard. The very first thing I found interesting was that visitors to YouTube were deemed to have automatically agreed to the YouTube TOS (“YouTube TOS,” 2013)and related policies. That seems arbitrary and unenforceable unless visitors agree to the terms in some way.

    You note that YouTube doesn’t “guarantee confidentiality” (Wright, 2013, slide 6). Google, who own YouTube, were embarrassed by the Gmail reading fiasco, as described in Kylie Murphy’s primer (Murphy, 2013). Google wound up in court and tried unsuccessfully to justify their actions (Rushe, 2013) claiming that email users can’t expect privacy. YouTube may have acted pre-emptively to avoid something similar regarding their own site and content.

    The licence users provide to YouTube (Wright, 2013, slide 7) gives away more than is required by Vimeo (“Vimeo TOS,” 2013), but both sites rely heavily on users taking little interest in site terms and conditions (Smithers, 2011) and trading privacy for benefits (Brown & Muchira, 2004). Francesca Radice describes that naiveté in her primer as “no free lunch”(Radice, 2013, slide 2) for users relative to Google accounts, even when a significant extra inducement is provided.

    Katrina Comyns’ primer (Comyns, 2013) reveals that the Behance site – similar to YouTube in that it is a creative community – requires the use of real identities and in some circumstances shares user email details, taking away the shield of anonymity and opening up risks such as SPAM (“SPAM,” 2003), cyberbullying (Patchin & Hinduja, 2006) and even fingerprinting (Tanner, 2013). YouTube doesn’t go that far, which is a plus.

    Well done, and thank you.


    Brown, M., & Muchira, R. (2004). Investigating the Relationship between Internet Privacy Concern and Online Purchase Behavior. Journal of Electronic Commerce Research, 591, 62–70.
    Comyns, K. (2013, October 20). Behance by Katrina Comyns on Prezi. Prezi. Online presentation. Retrieved October 30, 2013, from
    Murphy, K. (2013). Google Policy Primer 2013. Slideshare. Online slideshow. Retrieved from
    Patchin, J. W., & Hinduja, S. (2006). Bullies Move Beyond the Schoolyard: A Preliminary Look at Cyberbullying. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 4(2), 148–169.
    Radice, F. (2013, October 25). Net303 a2a radice. Slideshare. Online slideshow. Retrieved from
    Rushe, D. (2013, August 15). Google: don’t expect privacy when sending to Gmail | Technology | The Guardian. The Guardian. Online newspaper. Retrieved from
    Smithers, R. (2011, May 11). Terms and conditions: not reading the small print can mean big problems | Money | the guardian. Online newspaper. Retrieved from
    Tanner, A. (2013, June 17). The Web Cookie Is Dying. Here’s The Creepier Technology That Comes Next - Forbes. Forbes Magazine. Retrieved from
    Terms of Service - YouTube. (2013). YouTube. Online video. Retrieved November 2, 2013, from
    Terms of Service on Vimeo. (2013, October 15). Vimeo. Online video. Retrieved October 20, 2013, from
    Top 15 Most Popular Video Websites. (2013). eBizMBA. Retrieved November 2, 2013, from
    Why Am I Getting All This Spam? (2003, March). Center for Democracy & Technology. Retrieved from
    Wright, J. (2013, October 20). YouTube – A Summary of the TOS. Slideshare. Online slideshow. Retrieved from
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  • Thanks for your great presentation Joshua.

    Firstly, among the many common factors within both YouTube and Instagram’s Terms, there is one that stuck out for me. Your presentation outlined how Google uses the information that YouTube extracts from us to tailor our search results or create some sort of “filter bubble” (Pariser, 2011). This is also the case with Facebook and Instagram. The content we provide Instagram, now owned by Facebook, also results in a somewhat ‘personified’ news feed on each person’s Facebook account (Pariser, 2011).
    This demonstrates that we not only have to watch what we sign up for within these particular online platforms, but also think about who owns them and what their Terms of Use stipulate. This makes it hard for people to trust in the service they are signing up for.

    In contrast, YouTube, unlike Instagram, seem to be happy for people to promote their businesses. Instagram appears to discourage business promotion as their Terms of Use specifies that they don’t want Instagram usernames being used in any Uniform Resource Indicators (URLs) or domains names “without prior written consent” (Instagram, 2013, para. 16).

    I found your presentation easy to read, clear, and I found your use of bold fonts throughout the slideshow very effective. Most importantly you have outlined on two slides the concerns that should be taken into consideration rather than just plainly summarizing information that was already available.

    Natalie Paine


    Instagram. (2013). Terms of Use. Retrieved from

    Pariser, E. (2011, May). Beware online 'filter bubbles' [Video file]. Retrieved from /eli_pariser_beware_online_filter_bubbles.html
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YouTube – A Summary of the TOS

  1. 1. YouTube A Summary Of the T.O.S. By Joshua Wright E: Image sourced from: YouTube (2013)
  2. 2. Did you know that “by using or visiting” the YouTube website or products, you AUTOMATICALLY agree to: YouTube Terms of Service (TOS) YouTube AND Google Privacy Policy YouTube Community Guidelines Let’s see what you have AGREED to! Image sourced from: Rossell (2008)
  3. 3. Accounts To access the majority of YouTube features, you will need an ACCOUNT If someone hacks your account, YouTube will NOT be liable for your losses, but YOU WILL be liable for any loses caused to YouTube. TOC Image sourced from: kng (2013)
  4. 4. General Use You MUST use YouTube’s software to playback and distribute content. You cannot SELL access to YouTube, but you CAN promote your business. TOC Image sourced from: Public Domain (2013)
  5. 5. Your use of content All content on YouTube is either owned or licensed to YouTube, and is subject to copyright. You cannot download ANY unauthorised content. YouTube is not responsible for content on its database. TOC Image sourced from: ZyMOS (2010)
  6. 6. Your Content and Conduct YouTube does not guarantee CONFIDENTIALITY with ANY content you submit. You are responsible for YOUR CONTENT Your content CANNOT feature any copyright materials Your content must abide by the community guidelines. TOC Image sourced from: Public Domain (2013)
  7. 7. MOST IMPORTANTLY You retain ownership of your content BUT GRANT YouTube AND ITS “AFFILIATES” AN OPEN LICENSE TO DO WHAT EVER THEY WANT WITH IT. This applies to every video, sound, image and comment you produce on the site. This extends to any conceivable use from companies like Google. TOC Image sourced from: Public Domain (2013)
  8. 8. Summary / Concerns Just by searching for a Video on YouTube, you automatically agree to the TOC. There is no warning, or notification of this until you sign up for an account. Any Content you produce, can be accessed and used in any fashion by YouTube and Google. In other words, YouTube will enforce commercial copyright laws by scanning the content you upload, but circumvent any copyright you wish to retain on your own work. TOC
  9. 9. Privacy Policy Google owns YouTube, and collects various information about you and your activities. YouTube’s Privacy Policy IS Google’s Privacy Policy. Image sourced from: Public Domain (2013)
  10. 10. Information Google collects about you. – Your profile – Your use of their products, from what browsing device you are using, to every single link you select. – Your location – Your behaviour Privacy Image sourced from: Public Domain (2013)
  11. 11. How Google use.. You Google use the information they obtain from you by: – Improving their services – Creating Targeted search results – Creating Targeted ADVERTISING Privacy Image sourced from: Public Domain (2013)
  12. 12. Summary / Concerns YouTube and Google are profiting by selling the information they obtain from you in the form of targeted advertising. Your browsing directly profits their company. You are not going to obtain genuine, unbiased search results because Google will work to display targeted results based on the information they have obtained from you. Privacy
  13. 13. Community Guidelines Community guidelines are a guide to your behaviour and content within Youtube. Follow these guidelines when viewing other content, and when creating your own.
  14. 14. Guidelines – Do not upload or contribute anything you don’t want your grandma to see! – Be polite in your comments – Block any offensive users Community Guidelines Image sourced from: Anatom5 (n.d.)
  15. 15. Repercussions Three violations of the guidelines and you’re out! YouTube review all reported video’s and will remove them. Creating a new account once you have been removed is forbidden. Community Guidelines Image sourced from: Tokyoship (2011)
  16. 16. Summary / Concerns YouTube does not detail a process for objection to content removal, or reinstatement. Nor does it specify who is able to decide on the nature of your content. While YouTube promotes free speech, the process that defines what is illegal and what is not, is not defined. Community Guidelines
  17. 17. More Information For more information and specific policies, please go to:
  18. 18. References Anatom5 (n.d) Seniors_icon.png [Image] Sourced from website: (2013) Finger [Public Domain Image] Sourced from website: (2013) Privacy Policy Retrieved from website: Kng, Hk. (2013) Lock-icon.svg [Image] Sourced from website: Rossel, J. (2008) Red_Checkmark.svg [Image] Sourced from website: Tokyoship, (2011) Simple_Prohibited.svg [Image] Sourced from website: (2013) Warning_icon.svg, Logo_2013_Google.png, Folder-saved-search.svg, System-search.svg, Aiga_cashier.gif [Public Domain Images] Sourced from website: YouTube (2013) [Image] Sourced from website: YouTube (2013) Terms of Service Sourced from website: YouTube (2013) Community Guidelines Souced from website: ZyMOS (2010) Lucense_icon-copyright-88x31.svg [Image] Sourced from website: