User Video Permissions: Who's video is it?
Updated: Aug 25, 2022
Uploading a video to Stitcht is an easy process. No sign up is required; users just have to fill in their name and email address and (optionally) their social handles. But, what happens to the video once it's uploaded? Is it the users, or the companies?
Who owns the video?
When a user uploads a video it is ultimately their video. They own the content. If they want to remove it, they can notify us and we'll remove it.
However, as part of engaging with our clients through our platform at the point of uploading a video reply to a thread, they accept our Terms and Conditions which lays out what we can and can't do with their content. Our T&Cs give Stitcht and our clients licence to use it. Here's the important bit:
Permissions you give to other users
If you upload content to threads owned by others or containing other contributors, those users will be able to see and share your content as well as their own both within and outside of the Stitcht
By submitting content via Stitcht, you hereby grant us an unconditional irrevocable, non-exclusive, royalty-free, fully transferable, perpetual worldwide licence to use, modify, adapt, reproduce, make derivative works of, publish and/or transmit, and/or distribute and to authorise other users of the Services and other third-parties to view, access, use, download, modify, adapt, reproduce, make derivative works of, publish and/or transmit your content in any format and on any platform, either now known or hereinafter invented. You or the owner of your content still own the copyright in the content sent to us.
But despite this being the case we have a duty of care to our clients and their users replying to threads, to ensure everyone is happy. We refer to this as the moral side of UGC.
Legal vs moral
Even though, legally, companies and ourselves could start utilising the content for commercial benefits such as creating performance ads, we do encourage a code of practice for how to treat the user's content in a sensitive manner.
For example, consider the way you're going to use the content and decide whether it would've been obvious at the point the user was uploading their video reply. A user might legitimately expect their content to be shared on social channels the brands and be that organic or paid. BUT it is reasonable to think they might not expect to see their face on a digital billboard in Piccadilly Circus. In this situation, we'd suggest reaching out to the replier and getting explicit permission and that way you're confident you want upset anyone - it's morally the right thing to do! Oh and we can handle this for you.
Being transparent without scaring people off
You could be tempted to write the detail of our T&Cs around content sharing on the upload page but we feel the better approach is to make use of our thread intro description to enhance the user's understanding of how their video could be used. If you know great videos would appear on your social channels or in a sponsored ad, simply add something into your intro video such as "for a chance to feature in our ad and win X".
This in some ways might be seen as a benefit, many people engaging in your brand will enjoy the attention it may briefly give them. For example, we are currently working with Thomas Cook and shared one of the replies to their Instagram Stories. The tagged user shared the story adding the caption "Look Mum I'm famous!"
What does this mean for your ads?
One of the key benefits of our approach is that once a person replies to your thread we can immediately make this available to you. Because the user has already accepted our terms around video sharing, you have permission to share the content as soon as it is received. We really encourage our clients to be dynamic and agile, responding to videos that have been received quickly and pushing that content back out (where appropriate) within hours or days of it being received.
Can a user withdraw their permissions?
A user has the right to withdraw this permission at any time, by deleting their content or account. If the content is sent on to others, and they are still in possession of it, we do not have control over this. Neither do we have ultimate control if a user posts the content into threads created by others.