YouTube's Copyright System Isn't Broken. The World's Is.
Tom Scott
No copyright infringement intended. | Watch Money, my new Nebula Original series, with a 30-day free trial of CuriosityStream:
CAMERA: Jamie Drew
CAMERA: Joe Stone
AUDIO MIX: Graham Haerther
EDITOR: Isla McTear
CAPTIONS: Caption+
1901 Arts Club
The Camera Museum, Soho
Evan Edinger
The Lexi Cinema, Kensal Green
Mandy Celine
Oliver Thorn
Tim Bunn
Leonard French
Devin Stone
Jay Foreman
Joel "Smallishbeans"
Epidemic Sound
Canon in D solo piano recording courtesy of ProstoRecords and Envato Market
Canon in D rock recording courtesy of Kora3000 and Envato Market
Images used under license from
Reb Day
© Pad 26 Limited MMXX

  • Tom Scott
    Tom Scott

    Yep, 42 minutes of video. This was a big project. Plus: I've got an all-new five-part original series called Money over on Nebula, which you can watch as a bundle with CuriosityStream!

    • Ray Bromano
      Ray Bromano

      Seems like 42 minutes of encouraging greedy lawyers to sue more for frivolous technicalities because "they could get away with it".

    • Amine Z.
      Amine Z.

      Tom Scott can you make a Video about Secure passwords in 256 bit and so on and the difference to random generated one

    • Obsidian 999
      Obsidian 999

      Is there a "bundle" deals interface where FIsoftsrs and so on to establish more of an ease of use development kit such that platforms act like an in-between?

    • N4w4k

      The design of those street furniture and buildings may be protected by copyrights, did you get a license to show them in your commercial video?

    • Nodus Technologies
      Nodus Technologies

      you could have taken a couple of minutes more and made it one take ;-)

  • Daniel G
    Daniel G

    Ah jay foreman, how I miss your videos.

  • Ramel

    Honestly? I think 50 years is still insanely long, The idea that people should be recieving decades of income from a few days, or weeks of work seems flatly ridiculous to this wage slave.

  • Jokey Carrot
    Jokey Carrot

    <a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="179">2:59</a> me when my mum shouts my full name

  • TemplarOnHigh

    Terrific video Tom. I want to point out that software is also subject to this insane copyright fiasco. With hardware limitations being what they are as we cannot emulate exactly what this or that console could do, the great library of historically significant software (especially for obscure platforms) is slowly burning or being preserved by reverse engineering in some "semi-legal" state.

  • JMLawson80

    My Jr. High and High School years are history? Ouch. Get back to me when you are your mid 60s and tell me if you still think that.

  • Legendinis Žaidėjas
    Legendinis Žaidėjas

    how did this video feel so short

  • Cody Nemo
    Cody Nemo

    The different baseline young people have is why we need copyright law reform. Old men in suits making profit are not what the world needs

  • Cody Nemo
    Cody Nemo

    The solution to this is ironically enough provided by Andras Arato's hone country: Hungary. People pay a general copyright tax on all data storage and transmission media and in return illegal copying is not a legally recognized thing unless it is done for profit and leads to more than a couple thousand dollars in damages. FIsofts can still kick me off, but i can legally take any content and copy it for myself and my friends and even distribute it, and unless they can prove that it directly cost them revenue i'm legally in the right. The entire EU fair use policy was also explicitly designed to allow profiting from copied content if it is transformative at all and applies the double standard between small creators and big companies really well. Tell me were you not among the people who protested the new strengthening of the copyright law because it would end memes and link embedding? Anyone who thinks that individual creators bottom line is above the cultural progress of mankind as you expressed at some points in the video is literal scum of the earth.

  • ragmondead

    Lawyer here, this is almost all accurate, with the one exception that a company has to protect its copyright. A company cannot simple allow its copyright to go out into the greater world, see mass use, and then arbitrarily decide, 'ok now I am going to sue everyone.' No you have to actually treat the thing as a copy right. So to sue for a meme, the company would have to sue upon learning that their image is now a meme and not years later. So you are allowed to use the image, not because of fair use, but because the copy right will have likely lapsed. 1

  • M M
    M M

    Short story: Blame Universal Music Group for destroying FIsofts.

  • Zyliara ASMR
    Zyliara ASMR

    Thank you.

  • Manatee Man
    Manatee Man

    This is all good information, and quite useful. Edit: hey! D. James Stone cameo

  • Cody Nemo
    Cody Nemo

    "You shouldn't do it because were not in startrek" But as you yourself admit that is how society progresses. Lets get a bit more down and dirty.... VCR recordings. You have no license to record the movies from telly or make a mixtape from the radio yet there was an entire industry around that stuff and literally everyone who could did it. At what point is your hypercapitalist idealist thinking just actively a detriment to mankind?

  • Derben Leyla
    Derben Leyla

    I would say copyright terms should be until the artist dies or a set minimum amount of years if they die young (80 for example). I can agree that death + 70 is too much but I don't see why an artist should lose their copyrights during their lifetime.

  • imicca

    thanks for a great video Tom.

  • willyolio

    It's wishful thinking to believe laws will be changed (in the USA) to help people, instead of money. Voting means nothing when it's legal to buy politicians.

  • I M
    I M

    5 years copyright i think for all forms of media.

  • Simone

    There is something larger at play here than just economics though. Freedom of information and access is essential to creating a diverse and understanding culture. What we are exposed to, growing up(mostly), forms a lot of our biases and opinions. Having a huge selection of sources and material available, cheaply, is essential for a global acceptance and understanding. Promoting curiosity and novelty seeking rather than fear and dogma.

  • StackableGold


  • Farry Entertainment
    Farry Entertainment

    Walt Disney died more than 70 years ago. I want right of Disney.

  • Levi Cochrane
    Levi Cochrane

    Imagine a Hallmark movie staring The Avengers.

  • Blueis Notgreen
    Blueis Notgreen

    there is a reason we put the onus in a centralized concentrated place "smart" guy. why dont YOU go fix the world while the rest of us keep complaining to youtube.

  • Torbax

    So I'm wondering, I do a lot of Photoshop work. Simply said people want something and then I create it, person wants a squirrel rowing in a boat under a raindbow and I'll create it, I will create it from images I take from Google. Isn't that just fair use? EDIT: I do not make any money from this, if that changes the answer in any way.

  • chillcookiedough

    everybody gangsta till tom doesn't have his red shirt on

  • Herman der German
    Herman der German

    Demonising a whole video for a snippet of music is not equitable. In case of a copyright claim where the infringing material is 10% of the whole video the amount that should be claimed should be 10% and another half of that again as a penalty. It is well documented that FIsofts was founded on infringement and came to an arrangement with the music corporations to protect its interests and revenue stream throwing the Tubers under a bus.

  • Sheikh Arif
    Sheikh Arif

    Map men map men map map map men men men

  • Prabhat CCC
    Prabhat CCC

    So.....if u had an english song....and it was remade into another language or different lyrics....and used in a movie....what would happen under copyright law? Im Indian.......and i know a bunch of Bollywood songs which are derived from slightly or much older english songs...

  • Aser

    <a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="1955">32:35</a> why are the lines on the road zig-zag? Is that an indicator of some kind, or did the person doing the lines just botch it?

  • Tyler Ramos
    Tyler Ramos

    The arguments put forth in this video don’t change the fact that FIsofts’s copyright system is fundamentally broken. When you don’t have any type of mediator to make sure the system isn’t getting abused that is broken.

  • MilesUmbrae

    FIsofts Copyright system is not like Duct-tape, it is more like a piece of old chewing gum...

    • Ask to seduce Miss
      Ask to seduce Miss

      Once content is owned by a large media company it should just be forgotten

  • ButterKing -28
    ButterKing -28

    rip Mumbo Jumbo!

    • Ask to seduce Miss
      Ask to seduce Miss

      did not expect tom scott sitting on evan edinger's bed or in his gaming chair...

  • Carl

    I have conflicting feelings about this and so I'm going to resort to a standardized response: -I don't like it, I don't know what I want and you are a stupidhead.

  • cuthalionxvi

    I lol'd irl at the literal fact->opinion switch.

  • Some random guy
    Some random guy

    intellectual property disputes have more to do with money and power than actual discussion and reasoning... thats twisted...

  • Creepy Gaming
    Creepy Gaming

    This is an amazing informative video!!

  • rajavlitra

    Abolish Intellectual Property and Kill CEOs

  • Rosie Strawberry
    Rosie Strawberry

    So the big question is: was this video copyright striked?

  • Dustin Rodriguez
    Dustin Rodriguez

    Game videos are a little more complicated than described. They involve performance of the player. If someone streamed the game with the player not actively manipulating the controller or keyboard/mouse.... who would watch? THAT would be just streaming the game. But that's not what anyone ever does. The performance of the players actions is not necessarily 'transformative' or whatnot, I'm not getting into that, but, it is an additional complication that would have to be factored in and balanced in any court review. Then you have the fact that because of the very unwise way game publishers have chosen to conduct their business, the vast majority of streamers don't own their games. They have a license to USE the game. That will complicate things for the publishers if this ever gets to a courtroom. They're not very specific (yet) about limiting or even defining what rights the licensee has or what obligations the publisher has. Given how widespread streaming is, an argument that streaming your performance in the game is implicit in the granted license would, I think, have a good chance of a win. IANAL. A change to copyright law that I would personally very much like to see and which I think has proper protections for all involved would be an official legal definition of "canon" versus "fan" works. Only the original creator would be authorized to create any "canon" works, and it would be illegal to label any fan creation as 'official' or otherwise intend to create the impression that it has the blessing of the original creator. But, it would permit fan creations to use the characters, ideas, world, etc of a "canon" work. When a person publishes something, their goal is to enter it into our culture. When a thing becomes part of our culture, we have implicit rights. These need to be protected by law. One of those should be making up stories, fan fiction, using the same ideas and worlds and characters, with the understanding that nothing contained within is 'canon'.

  • Infinite Fretboard
    Infinite Fretboard

    It always cracks me up when I see "No Copyright Infringement Intended." It's like committing any crime. "I didn't intend to break into your house."

  • Elephants Never Forget
    Elephants Never Forget

    Your Video is fundamentally flawed because a certain group of people can play music in the background and not get copy-write claimed and not have to pay anything or even list the protected in the description while another group of people can be claimed for creating content that vaguely resembles copy-written material.

  • JJFLIP101

    This is *great* thank you for making it

  • Patrick Earthridge
    Patrick Earthridge

    Something ive thought about, is that most video game publishers actually LOVE it when youtubers play their games, because it's free advertisement. Untitled Goose Game would not have had the enormous sales they got, if it wasnt for youtubers. Most people wouldnt even take the time to learn how to play Escape from Tarkov, if it werent for youtubers showing how much fun it is once you get over the learning curve, and how to get over it faster. Probably 3/4 of the games ive bought on steam, I would have never bought if I hadnt seen youtubers playing them.

  • timelike01

    Star Trek IS NOT space communism! It's a resource based economy! There is a DIFFERENCE!

  • naruciakk

    If you were on Tube with Geoff Marshall in this video, you would have all the cool guys here

  • Henry Piggott
    Henry Piggott

    I would love a video on all the legal troubles Tom has had with his videos.

  • Josh Powell
    Josh Powell

    did not expect tom scott sitting on evan edinger's bed or in his gaming chair...

  • Raz Taz
    Raz Taz

    Once content is owned by a large media company it should just be forgotten

  • fillemptytummy

    If i pick a random picuture from the internet and make it my profile picuter does it break the law?

  • NotVeryMoe

    <a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="915">15:15</a> Preaching to the choir on that front.

  • Clasher Sports
    Clasher Sports

    WOW. I did not think I would sit through this entire video but I did as per someones recommendation. Very informative. I currently have issues with fair use at times on my sports channel.

  • jocax188723
    jocax188723 Tom going to be targeted by Disney snipers now?


    wow, this is just AMAZING

  • Portik Tamas
    Portik Tamas

    What is the thing with dj's?

  • John Ludlow
    John Ludlow

    The Akilah Obviously / Sargon of Akkad ruling makes this even more interesting

  • Hodgey Hodge
    Hodgey Hodge

    Woah woah woah incongruity between subject matter and style can be a powerful narrative tool.

  • UnitedMuhim

    Not gonna lie if you are struggling to make ends meet due to you trying to be a full time photographer, then you are doing something deadass wrong in life.

  • Thedosius Dreamtwister
    Thedosius Dreamtwister

    "Either Shelly" - Nice :D

  • KnuckleHunkybuck

    How to advortice cumpuny: Sue Giphy. Tell them "taek down all the pikchures" Cumpuny: stonks

  • Diggy

    feels weird hearing mumbo be called his real name though mumbo jumbo sounds like well.. it's sounds like mumbo jumbo... it's gibberish .

  • G-Rated

    <a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="177">2:57</a> So that's what happened to part of the Map Men

  • yvrelna

    Rather than talking about copyrights as a whole thing, how about a gradual decrease in rights over years? So maybe copyright owners have the right for everything for 3 years, to claim against transformative and derivative works for 20 years, then they have the right against partial reproduction (sampling) for 40 years, and after 70 years it's completely public domain. (the years here are just for illustrative purpose, but you see where I'm going with this).

  • Janne Jacobs
    Janne Jacobs

    <a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="2309">38:29</a> the art of the bodge?

  • imicca

    I love Bloopers! Just how jackie chan does

  • imicca

    Oi mate you got a license for that opinion?

  • BossSpaz

    <a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="2024">33:44</a> theres some memes to be made here

  • Double Dongle
    Double Dongle

    Double dongle

  • Preston Miles
    Preston Miles

    Where does no profit land me

  • imicca

    <a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="1064">17:44</a> say that to peediepie

  • GunShip03

    The Federations Government is Democratic not Communist.

  • Nyal Burns
    Nyal Burns

    I think it should be for life not for 50 years.

  • Jonathan Odude
    Jonathan Odude

    the song sounds like A LOT of modern songs put together tbh

  • Ricardo Alvarado
    Ricardo Alvarado

    How about copying a cooking recipe?

  • satyris410

    Are those cameras in the middle? I totally remember having one of them and thinking I was James Bond

  • Kotone

    Copy right and Plagiarism are tricky. I mean is there really going to be all that much difference in say a photo of the grand canyon taken by someone who say makes professional calendars, or a hobbyist with a really good camera posting their vacation shots, assuming they are both shooting in the same popular area? This could easily apply to music as well. There are only so many ways notes and sounds can be arranged and you can't expect a musician to know every song ever made in the last 100 years so they can avoid making something that might sound similar. If a teacher assigns a paper on the themes in To Kill a Mockingbird to a 9th grade class, I guarantee, even if you isolate the kids for a day while they write it, you are going to get quite a few papers that focus on the same themes, even in the same order. Even more so if the teacher already went over the main themes with the class like they usually do. Math is even harder, as there is only one right answer. Did the C student copy from the A student next to them? Or did they just spend more time studying this time? Or maybe they just understand geometry better than algebra? 100% agree copyright should be 50 years.

  • poisednoise

    It used to be 50 years in the UK until we homogenised with the EU. Which isn’t an argument against the EU mind: as you point out, what this needs is international agreement, not greater fragmentation. But yes, 50 years sounds about right: when Rachmaninov came out of copyright in 93 it felt about right (before it went back in due to the aforementioned EU homogenisation). 2013 was way too late.

  • Nezalu

    I agree with all you say BUT adapting this line of thinking is tricky, you could follow it down to the line, "world isn't broken, people are"

  • Raspberry Jam
    Raspberry Jam

    Tom: calls Mumbo Ozzy and Baby Yoda The Child Me: o h m y g o d

  • Akari Insko
    Akari Insko

    Look at the description. No copyright infringment intended.

  • Contrast Bright
    Contrast Bright

    should try to make a bundle subscription option like monthly/yearly with curiosity stream and nebula or a single app with both.