Blogging for and about Youth Work and Young People

Well, I’ve finally set up a SNS as a place for colleagues involved in developing the Social Media Strategy to discuss and share ideas. We’ve used Ning to do this and will see how it goes. It’s already been pretty active today and I think everyone who’s been invited have managed to find their way there. The discussions so far have been about what sort of areas we need to consider for the strategy.

Number one that tends to rear it’s head (as always) is safeguarding for both youth workers and young people. Mixed with this, although raising it’s own queries is the use of images and video, in particular YouTube. I have a whole heap of mixed questions / concerns / feelings / uncertainty / fear about this area and am trying to sort my way through them.

Taken by James Huenink

(Orange Question Mark Button courtesy of James Huenink)

On the whole I don’t view using images & video on the internet as scarey and then someone comes along with a strong opposite view which then leads me to question mine and think that maybe I should be more concerned. I have a number of questions which others may or may not know the answers to…..I will also post across on UK Youth Online to see if there’s any comments or pointers over there.

Firstly – postings on YouTube. Other organisations are obviously doing this, including some youth services. What sort of consent do you need to post video images of young people on here or similar sites? I’m asking because I know that individuals or groups post their own clips or clips showing other people. Is this ok if they are doing the posting? Do people advise young people what could happen to the video bites that they are posting?

It has been suggested by a colleague that if we decide to use YouTube (or something similar) as a service we might need to consider ‘locking’ the posts so that no one else can use them. If you do that then it inhibits some of the sharing that we might want to be doing with it. Potentially one of the issues with putting something on a function like YouTube (and I guess the same could be said about Flickr) is that you can’t be sure what the other users are going to use the film for. Some people think that this could mean that parents (and Young People) can’t provide ‘Informed consent’ for the film to be used in a specific way and could break international laws relating to human rights. Any other thoughts or comments on this?

Secondly – who owns what rights? For instance, we often use a third party to support making videos with young people. We pay for their expertise in this area so do we (the youth service) or they (the production company) or the young people (who are the creators) own the rights to the final product or do we? Or is it shared? This includes areas where young people are also creating music tracks and then video to go with the track. Any pointers? And then who has what authority to post it on a sharing website? (I am sure this happening in numerous settings!)


Comments on: "Using Images, video and other media online" (2)

  1. I think the second question is the simplest – as far as I know under UK copyright law whoever is the creator owns the right to images. This can be disputed if the photographer was acting under somebody elses direction eg. somebody was dictating what angles they should use etc. Theres also something about if a photo is commissioned for private use you can restrict how it can be displayed/used but I’m not so clear on this bit. I’m pretty sure that film is classed as ‘moving images’ so ownership would be the same but maybe somebody else knows more about this.

    Obviously you can get round this by agreeing ownership before commissioning photos and getting it in writing.

    For the first point the vast majority of the arguments I hear against using images seem irrational to me. Having said that there are a small number of good reasons that some parents may choose not to give consent, so the key here is to ensure that parents and young people are aware that images of them may be used (and how they may be used), and how they can opt out. We do this by drawing attention to it in our booking contract and requiring organisers to ensure parents & participants are aware of this (through a note on parental consents or letters) – its something along the lines of “we will take photos and make films which may be used in publicity material and made available online…if you are not happy for your childs image to be used this way please let us know in writing etc. etc.”

    In 8 years we’ve only had two letters requiring us not to take photos – one of these was related to a child abuse victim where there was a fear that the father may track her down, the other reason isn’t known.

    We do also work with one particular group who we have a blanket agreement with not to use images online, however we do provide them with a DVD with film and photos to use themselves. This again is for child protection reasons.

    The only other case we’ve had funnily enough was an adult who wasn’t happy with a film uploaded featuring them. In this case the film was immediately taken offline (and then later amended and reuploaded) – I mention this because this is another important point – that even where you have made an effort to get permission or allow people to ‘opt out’ you need to be prepared and capable to take images/films down quickly if somebody does complain, because even though legally you may have ownership of the image obviously its not in your interest to offend/cause distress.

    A final thought is its also worth checking when you sign up to a video hosting service on what the user agreement is. Theres at least one service I’ve come across that stipulated that once uploaded they had ownership – unfortunately I can’t remember what service this was but I suspect its one of the ones that allows other users to ‘remix’ content (like Jaycut & Jumpcut). These sites could cause you problems if you’ve uploaded films and then wish to take them down but other people have already used parts of the film in their ‘remixes’.

    Lots of groups are concerned about moderating comments on uploaded media. I tend to upload and disable comments on hosting services but then embed the film into our blog where we can easily moderate the comments (and we have full administrative control). Embedding films into your won site also means that should a particular film hosting service you use go out of business you can relatively easily reupload your film to another provider and still retain any comments you have as well as keeping your ‘url address’ which is important if others have linked to it.

    Actually thinking about it some of this is probably useful for the guidance/policy stuff ongoing on the various blogs etc. at the mo

  2. billybean said:

    Thanks for this Mas and for the other info posted over at UK Youth Online, I’ll need to make sure that we have it covered in our strategy. Some of it is quite technical so I’ll need to make sure that Ive got some folk who can cover that as I’m still learning!

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