Legal Guide

Are You a Content Creator? Here are the Laws You Should Know

Given the most recent events – namely the pandemic we’re all facing - more and more people turned their attention to the online environment. Naturally, this had made a lot of them try content creation, especially if they were among the people who were fired when businesses closed across the world.

While content creator seems to be a cool and fairly easy job title, it does come with laws that affect how those people create content online.

As such, in the following lines, we’ll take a look at laws, rules, and regulations that fresh content creators should know – before they get in trouble!

Copyright Infringement Laws

Obviously, the most serious issue that content creators have to deal with is copyright infringement. This is also the main reason why a copyright infringement attorney is the first person you should contact once you get fairly famous on YouTube or other content creation platforms!

In short lines, copyright infringement laws work like this:

  • American content creators enjoy certain freedom when it comes to using copyrighted content. They are allowed, via the law of fair use, to use most protected content if they modify it and make it personal. This is why movie reaction videos are on the internet.
  • European content creators, on the other hand, don’t enjoy the same freedom. If, for example, you post copyrighted content – modified/altered or not –, the company that owns the copyright can simply ask YouTube, or any other platform, to take that content down. This is why European reaction videos are not as diverse as American ones – the former must react only to non-copyrighted material.

Depending on how you use copyrighted material, you may also get sued. For example, several content creators and streamers were found to post alleged reactions to full episodes of certain shows on their channel – and making money from those videos!

Naturally, the copyright holders of those shows took legal action against those content creators.

Rights Ownership – Taxes – Personal Liability

Content creators are affected by liability, personal property laws, and tax implications like any other type of content creator.

This is why they’re advised to work with lawyers and tax professionals once they reach a certain level of popularity, especially if they plan to create an entity. Labeling a brand, for example, must be done with great care, as you have to determine its appropriate type, file it under the right jurisdiction, and so on.

The same applies to rights ownership. Content creators may get themselves in deals that imply them transferring the rights to some of their content to other entities. If their content goes viral, they may not reap the full benefits if they signed some sort of contract!

The Bottom Line

Being a content creator is not as easy as it sounds. You won’t start making money right off the bat, and you’ll definitely not have it easy once you do and want to evolve as a creator.

A short look at books on how to run various types of businesses will let you know what a content creator has to deal with in terms of laws. Namely, they have to know everything about different types of income, taxes, liabilities, copyright, creation of entities/businesses, intellectual property, and so on.

References and Sources

https://businessesgrow.com/2019/05/01/eu-copyright-law/

https://www.americanbar.org/groups/intellectual_property_law/publications/landslide/2016-17/may-june/law-youtubers-next-generation-creators-legal-issues-they-face/


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