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The crimes on YouTube that can lead you to jail (or cost a large fine)

The crimes on YouTube that can lead you to jail (or cost a large fine)

The camera of a mobile, an internet connection and a Google account: just need to upload a video to YouTube, the video platform of the Mountain View that already has more than 1 billion users, according to own Company. Since its launch back in 2005 , international success stories such as the Swedish PewDiePie or those of the Spanish VEGETTA777 and elrubiusOMG have led users from all over the world to launch themselves into the arena of audiovisual content creation in the hope of achieving that dream 'Millennial' which is to become 'youtuber'.

On the other side of the balance there are cases not very distant in time that serve to remind that, as in more traditional platforms like television, not everything is worth to attract the public: MrGranBomba and his already well-known "caranchoa" , ReSet Humiliating a beggar or the even more scabrous incident provoked by the young man who recorded kissing women without his consent have shown that the line separating entertainment from controversy has been getting more and more thin on the video platform.

"They have very large audiences and they are very popular, but the fact that they are young often makes them paw," analyzes the jurist Jorge Morell , responsible for a legal guide that aims to help content creators overcome with Success (or, at least, without infringing any rule or law) what he calls the "youtuber life cycle" : from the creation of a channel until its closure, through the first recordings, the use of content owned by Third parties or the desired monetization of the videos.

For the guide to be attractive to its target audience - audiovisual content creators, with or without claims that videos become their way of life - it was decided that the format was just that, that of the video. So 90 minutes of recording in 11 chapters ( all uploaded to YouTube ) and starring two fake 'youtubers', lawyers Bárbara Román and José Manuel Sendín , provide all the necessary advice to upload videos without messing up.

"A first block is all the legal conditions of the platform itself," Morell says, referring to those details in the long and difficult to understand legal texts that YouTube users should read before accepting. And the truth is that, as Morell himself explains, in that labyrinth of terms and conditions there is some other stone with which any creator of content can be found. "If you want to do a promotional campaign for which you are paid, YouTube has a system to warn that it is advertising, which is what it touches legally, but I have not seen anyone do it," explains the lawyer.

However, despite the fact that most of the users of YouTube go "both against the conditions of the platform and against the General Advertising Law ", this infringement is usually without penalty. At least, to this day.

Intellectual Property and Crimes

Beyond advertising issues, audiovisual content creators who host their videos on YouTube can have serious problems depending on what happens in the videos themselves. After all, this is what happened in the cases of MrGranBomba and the other 'youtubers' mentioned above: obviously, there are no crimes exclusive and exclusive to YouTube, but the possibility of recording any criminal action and uploading it to the internet On the Google platform can be more than one.

"The easiest are the crimes of slander and slander, " explains Morell, referring to false accusations and insults through a YouTube video whose sentences can range from 6 to 14 months in jail in the first case and from 6 months to 2 years in the second (or fines during that same time).

"As criminal offenses, those are the simplest," recalls Morell. But they are not the only ones: you can use YouTube to infringe another person's image or, depending on what is counted in the videos, a crime of secrecy may be committed ( punishable by between 3 months and a year in prison Or the fine of 6 to 12 months). " According to how you did the video you could enter a case of threats", also points out the coordinator of this guide, remembering that in that case, the penalty can go from 3 months to a year in prison (or a fine of 6 to 24 months ).

"In the end, what you express is what is most likely to constitute a crime," Morell summarizes. But things can go further: ReSet was charged with a crime against moral integrity by giving biscuits with toothpaste to an indigent, punished with between 6 months and 2 years in prison. Finally, he achieved freedom with the payment of a deposit of 2,000 euros . "In the case of the one who was kissing the girls on a boat soon, they accuse him of harassment, " recalls the lawyer.

It is much more common that YouTube infringes on intellectual property . This is another of those points crumbled in the legal guide for 'youtubers'. These types of infringements are usually related to music: if the creator of the video has no rights to the songs that appear on it, the YouTube Content ID tool will identify them and block the content in question.

The protection of copyright reaches unsuspected limits in the case of YouTube. Morell himself tells the situation lived by a user who usually records videos showing how he makes jewelry. "In one of the videos, I had the radio on and, at that moment, it was a Shakira song," he recalls. The YouTube tool identified the melody and, finally, the platform itself temporarily blocked the video for intellectual property infringement, although the appearance of the subject was casual and merely anecdotal.

The same thing happens when using a video of own images owned by a third party, whether recorded by another 'youtuber', from series and movies or simply from events such as football matches: the rights owner can claim that the Video is deleted.

The most confusing case (and to which more space is dedicated in the guide itself) is that of video games , a raw material used by a large number of YouTube users. "In the subject of video games, it depends on the company and depends on the game; Depending on all that give more or less freedom to use images and videos, "explains Morell. "It's a pretty funny gimmick."

In any case, these copyright-related infringements do not usually cause blood to flow into the river. As Morell explains, "they usually stay at the platform level: they block the video or you are prohibited from monetizing it. The logical thing is that it does not go to more". Even if a crime is committed against intellectual property, YouTube prefers to wash these dirty rags at home.

As if all this were not enough, any video can overlook the protection of personal data. It is enough that you focus directly on someone and the images are published without your consent. Contrary to what is usually believed, it is the same as being in a public space: if it is part of the content, it is necessary that you agree, otherwise, you will be violating the right to the person's own image.

Other infringements

The guide, which also has a text version of more than 10,000 words for those who want to go deeper into the legal aspects of YouTube, also remembers that other actions that are almost a tradition in the platform are not allowed, although not Are illegal: buying subscribers or reproductions, for example, can end the closure of the channel.

Throughout those eleven videos, the lawyers responsible for the project interview youtubers like Gata Meow or Nocturnella so that they are the ones guiding the audience on that legal rollercoaster that can become the 'youtuber life cycle' '", Demonstrating, at the same time, that on some issues there is quite a lack of knowledge.

Beyond the details of partnering with a network or signing contracts to make bowling, the truth is that YouTube's terms and conditions regulate every detail, however small, affecting each uploader a video. Thus, the guide reminds that in order to monetize them you must be of legal age, since before the age of 18 it is theoretically forbidden to open a Google AdSense account.

It is precisely with regard to the age of users who most often share content on YouTube (and more often than not), Morell emphatically remarks: "The market is ripe, but these people are not so mature for legal issues" . Without proper precaution, the 'millennial' dream can turn into a nightmare.

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