With an eye on the food allergy community as a unique group of consumers since 2008, we're on a quest to find and share ways to continue enjoying the good things in life allergen-free.


15 July 2009

A Word to the Wise Food Allergy Bloggers and Readers

The other day, I visited a relatively new food allergy blog/website from Toronto, Canada, and was surprised to spot a familiar picture in their media kit. It was a still from one of the Food Allergy Buzz video interviews Jen Trammell did with Sweet Alexis during the THRIVE Expo in Chicago months ago! Anyone who saw the video on Jen Trammell's YouTube channel would have seen the words "Food Allergy Buzz" listed among the keywords or tags for the video. In the video, Jen also mentions Food Allergy Buzz and it's very clear that the video was an interview for Food Allergy Buzz.

We did not fully realize that if you post a video on YouTube, there is no way to ensure that you will have a chance to grant permission for the video's use elsewhere or even receive credit for content you upload onto YouTube. It's a total free-for-all! As long as you permit your video to have the embed code so it can be added to other blogs or websites, you've essentially given up control over your video. My advice to bloggers and others dipping their toes into posting videos on YouTube and elsewhere is to be prepared for this! Even though it is customary for others to link back or give credit to a source, this does not always occur. Needless to say, we were disappointed to see that another allergy website used our content in this manner. Neither Jen nor I had been asked for permission to use the videos or stills from the videos. It was a disheartening and eye-opening experience.

What to do? We have removed the video interviews made during the THRIVE Expo with Sweet Alexis and disabled the embed option on all of the other videos Jen has done for Food Allergy Buzz. I also have asked the other allergy website/blog to remove the video and still from their media kit and website/blog. I was comforted to discover that YouTube does try to encourage its users and visitors to respect others and to be courteous in the use of videos from and on YouTube. I have cut and pasted it below, along with a link to that page on the YouTube website.

From the Youtube community guidelines:
"When you create something original, you own the copyright for it. Likewise, when other people create content, they may have a copyright to it. As a creative community, it’s essential that everyone on YouTube respect the copyrights of others. If you’re not sure if something will violate someone’s copyright, the safest thing to do is to create something completely original, with images and audio you’ve created. If it’s all yours you never have to worry about copyright—you own it. If you’ve recorded something from a DVD, videotaped your TV screen, or downloaded a video online, don’t post it unless you have permission."


UPDATE: In the end, it took THREE (3) days from the date of my original request for my content to be removed from the other website/blog's media kit. Only after we removed the Food Allergy Buzz videos from YouTube, reiterated the request for the content to be removed from the media kit, and published this post did the other website finally take action to remove the Food Allergy Buzz content. All Food Allergy Buzz content has been removed from the media kit and the problem has been resolved.
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