Legal support is important when operating a YouTube channel, especially given the many legal issues content creators and YouTubers are exposed to. Some content creators may not find it necessary or consider it a priority at first, as many start and maintain their channels primarily as hobbies. However, legal support becomes necessary as a channel grows, gains popularity, and develops into a valuable asset.
Below are five instances in which YouTubers and content creators should consider hiring an internet lawyer to help with their channel.
1. When Negotiating Contracts
Brand deals, affiliate marketing, and partnerships with multi-channel networks (MCNs) are some ways YouTubers grow and monetize their channels. When negotiating these contracts, consider hiring an experienced YouTube lawyer. A YouTube lawyer familiar with the landscape can negotiate a contract protecting your interests.
MCNs are known for big opportunities and even bigger risks. In return for popularizing channels, MCNs are entitled to a percentage of any revenue that channels or brand deals generate. Terms vary by MCN and, depending on the agreement, can result in loss of income and other devastating drawbacks for Youtubers. Therefore, the negotiation of these contracts can benefit from the input of an internet lawyer.
2. When It’s Time to Establish an LLC
An LLC, or limited liability company, is a popular business structure available to content creators who wish to make a business of their YouTube channels. LLCs benefit small businesses by protecting business owners’ personal assets in the event of the businesses’ failure, a lawsuit, or collection from creditors. This type of structure also increases the tax options available to those businesses.
Although establishing an LLC is not difficult, it is critical that channel operators work with a knowledgeable and experienced YouTube lawyer to do so. Being familiar with the structure, a lawyer can advise on the options available to businesses and effectively manage the formation process. Forming an LLC has numerous requirements, including drafting company documents and filing these documents and other time-sensitive paperwork. A YouTube lawyer ensures that documents are legally sound and filed on time, optimizes all benefits of being an LLC, and completes the process correctly.
3. When It’s Time to Post Copyrighted Material
YouTube takes instances of copyright infringements seriously. A first offense results in a post being removed from the offending website and a copyright strike permanently logged on the account. Three copyright strikes lead to the outright termination of an account. When posting content, consult an experienced YouTube lawyer to help you prevent a violation. While Fair Use permits YouTubers’ use of copyrighted content without permission in certain cases, there is still no guarantee that there won’t be an infringement.
4. When It’s Time to Trademark a Channel
Trademarking a YouTube channel protects its name, logo, slogan, or brand. It is essential as a channel’s popularity and value increase. The process requires that content creators file and register their trademark with the United States Patent & Trademark Office. Content creators must ensure that a trademark has not already been registered, as failure to do so can lead to infringement and costly legal troubles. An experienced internet lawyer can advise on the registration process and, based on comprehensive research, a trademark’s availability.
5. When It’s Time to File a Takedown Notice
Content creators whose material has been unlawfully used on a website have redress in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown process. The process involves sending a notice to the offending website requesting the removal of the material. The early involvement of a YouTube lawyer ensures that the notice has the requisite details as outlined in the copyright law. Should matters escalate to the courts, it is helpful to have legal support already in place.
Legal Support for Your YouTube Channel
Whether you are an inexperienced content creator or you’ve been in the business for a while, your channel needs legal support. Let us at RM Warner Law work with you to define when those crucial moments are. Our qualified internet lawyers are ready to work with you as soon as you request a consultation. Complete our online contact form or call us at 1-866-570-8585.
(Check out this video on How to Protect Your Brand Through Trademarks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tw0ddsMlOY)