Vlogging Legalities and Best Practices: Location Permits, Music and MoreVlogging Legalities and Best Practices: Location Permits, Music and More
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Vlogging Legalities and Best Practices: Location Permits, Music and More


Vlogging balances creativity with compliance. Avoid legal issues by understanding key regulations around copyright, permitting, privacy and more that creators must follow.

This comprehensive guide covers crucial vlogging laws and best practices. We’ll review:

  • Securing location and release permits
  • Legally using music
  • Honoring privacy rights
  • Abiding by FTC endorsement rules
  • Complying with children’s media regulations
  • Managing copyright claims and disputes
  • Registering content rights
  • Disclosing when necessary
  • Optimizing content with legal in mind

Knowledge of laws empower vloggers to create freely while avoiding problematic violations. Let’s dive into core vlogging legalities!

Securing Location Permits

Many public and private spaces require permits for filming.

Research Local Shooting Laws

Check city, county and state statutes on when permits are required for location shoots.

Obtain Building Permits

Contact venues and properties in advance to ask about video rules and acquire waivers.

Secure Permits for Outdoor Spaces

Research if busy areas like parks, plazas, and transit stations mandate permits.

Carry Documentation

Keep permit documentation on hand during shoots to present if questioned by officials.

Visibly Display Permits

Place copies of permits in filming equipment in clear view to proactively show compliance.

Scout Permit-Free Options

Explore public lands, creative commons facilities and other spaces that don’t require elaborate permitting procedures.

Getting Releases from People On Camera

Get consent from anyone prominently appearing on camera.

Explain Recording Context

Verbally notify people you will be filming and intended video purpose.

Obtain Written Releases

Have subjects sign waivers permitting recording and distribution online.

Keep Copies on Hand

Maintain signed original releases for reference in case footage becomes contentious later.

Confirm Parental Approval

If filming minors, obtain explicit consent from their parent or legal guardian.

Offer Pre-Publication Review

Share videos containing people before publishing to allow objections if uncomfortable.

Anonymize Incognito

For candids and crowds, shoot wide angles and blur identifying details.

Legally Using Music and Audio

Improper music usage generates copyright strikes. Exercise caution.

License Popular Tracks

Use marketplaces like Artlist and Soundstripe to license commercial music rights legally.

Provide Attribution

Credit songs and artists properly in descriptions per terms of licenses.

Seek Direct Artist Permission

Reach out to lesser-known creators directly to request authorization to feature their music.

Use Copyright-Free Resources

Search sites like YouTube Audio Library and Bensound for freely usable songs and effects.

Compose Original Scores

Commission composers or create own compositions to avoid any licensing issues.

Dispute Invalid Claims

Challenge any incorrect copyright claims by providing proof of rights ownership or fair use exemptions.

Respecting Privacy Rights

In public or private settings, consent and ethics matter.

Avoid Unwanted Filming

Be considerate by not featuring random individuals prominently without permission.

Mask Identifying Details

Blur faces and identifiers of non-consenting people caught incidentally in the background of shots.

Inform Bystanders

If asked what you’re filming, politely explain the project and offer to avoid capture or anonymize.

Take High Roads

Respect requests not to film something rather than debating rights in the moment.

Ask Before Sharing Homes

If filming private property like homes and offices, get owner approval before posting.

Remember Expectations Vary

What’s considered reasonable privacy differs culturally. Adapt filming practices accordingly.

Abiding by FTC Endorsement Guidelines

Disclose paid or gifted products properly.

Disclose Material Connections

Warn viewers if you have any financial, employment or family ties to products endorsed.

Don’t Misrepresent Ownership

Ensure impressions given align with real experience using and purchasing products actually.

Convey Honest Opinions

Focus reviews on objective performance to avoid misleading viewers through inflated hype.

Tag Sponsors Prominently

Title sponsorships visibly within videos themselves – just descriptions insufficient.

Audit Past Videos

Double check previous videos comply with newer stricter disclosure guidance and update if needed.

Complying with Children’s Media Regulations

Special care must be taken producing kid-focused content.

Review COPPA Requirements

Understand mandated safeguards around collecting data on viewers under age 13.

Block Risky Ad Placements

Manage ad settings to disable alcohol, political and other mature ad targeting within children’s content.

Disable Social Features

Comments, forums and other interactive features pose moderation challenges with young audiences.

Obtain Parental Consents

Get express parental approval for depicting children under 13 prominently on channels.

Avoid Behavior Encouragement

Refrain from challenges or acts minors may imitate in unwise ways.

Protect Locations

Never disclose school names or locales enabling unwise real world contact.

Managing Copyright Claims and Disputes

YouTube’s copyright processes enable fair content usage – when applied properly.

Dispute Invalid Claims

Many copyright claims are automated bots wrongly flagging fair use – contest these.

Understand Fair Use

Leverage fair use protections allowing limited excerpts of copyrighted material for commentary and criticism.

Don’t Monetize Disputed Videos

Avoid earning ad revenues during disputes – this can weaken fair use defenses.

Formally Appeal Rejections

If disputes rejected incorrectly, file formal appeals to elevate reviews.

Contact Claimants Directly

Reach out to individuals and companies submitting claims to resolve misunderstandings quickly.

Worst Case, Remove Content

If disputes fail, remove infringing content and absorb the learnings for next time.

Registering Your Own Original Content

Protect your intellectual property by officially registering rights.

Submit DMCA Notices

Request removal of stolen content using DMCA takedown procedures.

File Copyrights

Register key original videos, characters and media with the U.S. copyright office for legal protections.

Use Watermarks

Overlay channel logos visibly on footage to deter theft and assert ownership.

Run Copyright Checks

Use tools like Copyleaks to scan for unauthorized usage by others.

Join CMS Platform

Monetization and rights management platforms like Jukin can identify and claim usages.

Disclosing When Necessary

Overt transparency solves many issues. Err on the side of caution.

Disclose Gifts

Verbally and visually tag any products or perks received for free to review.

Confirm Licenses

Provide attribution to tools, templates and resources utilized under Creative Commons licenses.

Cite Sources

Credit research sources, interviews, footage clips and facts included through on-screen text and descriptions.

Flag Affiliate Links

Warn viewers when links earn commissions to avoid deceptive hidden advertising allegations.

Call Out Sponsors

Conspicuously identify paid sponsorships and brand deals at the start of videos, both verbally and with text.

Optimizing Content with Legal in Mind

Adjust creative approaches to steer clear of violations.

Balance Commentary and Excerpts

Limit copyrighted clip usage to reasonable durations supplemental to original commentary.

Avoid Scraping Full Articles

Don’t narrate or repost full text content – add your own unique takes.

Mask Incidental People

Strategically frame shots and blur individuals in the background lacking releases.

Seek Consent Upfront

Plan ahead to obtain the proper location permits, licenses, and releases before major shoots.

Vet Brand Usage

Refrain from featuring trademarked logos and brands prominently without authorization.

Research First

Thoroughly investigate the legality of ideas that seem questionable rather than taking chances.


Vlogging creatively without legal troubles simply takes education and preparation. Remember to:

  • Acquire location permits and subject releases where required
  • License popular music properly or use originals
  • Respect privacy and securely handle personal data
  • Disclose paid endorsements and gifts transparently
  • Follow heightened regulations for children’s content
  • Dispute inaccurate copyright claims aggressively
  • Register your own IP rights formally
  • Overcommunicate disclosures throughout videos
  • Adjust approaches to avoid issues in the first place

The law provides helpful protections when navigated properly. Keep creating fearlessly by staying informed!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What are some key legal considerations for vloggers?
Vloggers should be aware of regulations around securing location permits, legally using music, respecting privacy rights, abiding by FTC endorsement rules, complying with children’s media regulations, managing copyright claims and disputes, registering content rights, disclosing when necessary, and optimizing content with legal considerations in mind.

2. How can I secure location permits for filming?
To secure location permits, research local shooting laws, obtain building permits from venues and properties, secure permits for outdoor spaces like parks and plazas, carry documentation during shoots, visibly display permits, explore permit-free options, and get written releases from people appearing on camera.

3. What are some tips for legally using music in vlogs?
Legally using music in vlogs involves licensing popular tracks from marketplaces like Artlist and Soundstripe, providing proper attribution per license terms, seeking direct permission from lesser-known creators, using copyright-free resources like YouTube Audio Library and Bensound, composing original scores, and disputing incorrect copyright claims.

4. How should vloggers respect privacy rights when filming?
Vloggers should avoid filming individuals without their consent, mask identifying details of non-consenting people, inform bystanders about the filming project and offer to avoid capture or anonymize, respect requests not to film private property, and adapt filming practices according to cultural expectations of privacy.

5. What are the FTC endorsement guidelines for vloggers?
According to FTC endorsement guidelines, vloggers must disclose material connections to products endorsed, avoid misrepresenting ownership or experiences with products, convey honest opinions, tag sponsors prominently within videos, audit past videos for compliance, and disclose paid sponsorships and brand deals at the start of videos both verbally and with text.

6. How can vloggers optimize their content with legal considerations in mind?
Vloggers can optimize their content with legal considerations in mind by balancing commentary and excerpts of copyrighted material, avoiding scraping full articles, masking incidental people in shots, seeking consent upfront for filming and subject releases, vetting brand usage, researching the legality of questionable ideas, and overcommunicating disclosures throughout videos.

Remember to stay informed about legal regulations and best practices to ensure a smooth and compliant vlogging experience. If you have more questions, feel free to ask!


By Dani Davis

Dani Davis is the pen name of the writer of this blog with more 15 years of constant experience in Content marketing and informatics product, e-commerce niche.

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