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YouTuber legal updates regarding modifying content with AI

Posted by Steve Vondran | Apr 12, 2024

Vondran Legal® - YouTube Compliance Law Firm - Disclosing AI modification of content.  We represent video channel and content creators.  Call us at (877) 276-5084.

YouTube compliance attorney California


Artificial intelligence has vastly transformed the way we create and consume digital content, particularly in the realm of videos and photos. With the development of AI tools, video creators now have the ability to manipulate images and videos to create scenes and visuals that appear genuine, yet are entirely fabricated. This has led to the rise of deepfake technology, which can superimpose someone's face onto another person's body or manipulate audio to create fake conversations.

While these advancements in AI technology provide endless possibilities for creativity and storytelling, they also pose significant ethical concerns. The ability to easily deceive and mislead the public through doctored videos and images has raised alarms about the potential for misinformation and manipulation.

In response, social media platforms such as YouTube are beginning to implement AI content alteration guidelines to protect the public from deceptive practices. By setting boundaries on what types of manipulated content are allowed on their platforms, these guidelines aim to ensure that videos and images presented to viewers are authentic and accurate.

As the capabilities of AI continue to grow, it is crucial for social media platforms to stay ahead of the curve and establish clear regulations to prevent the spread of misinformation and preserve the integrity of digital content. By upholding strict guidelines for AI content alteration, these platforms can promote transparency and accountability among content creators, ultimately safeguarding the trust and well-being of their users.

For this, I applaud Google.

YouTube Guidelines

According to their website:

Disclosing use of altered or synthetic content

We encourage creators' innovative and responsible use of content editing or generation tools. At the same time, we recognize that viewers want to know if what they're watching or listening to is real.

To help keep viewers informed about the content they're viewing, we require creators to disclose content that is meaningfully altered or synthetically generated when it seems realistic.

Creators must disclose content that:

  • Makes a real person appear to say or do something they didn't do
  • Alters footage of a real event or place
  • Generates a realistic-looking scene that didn't actually occur

This could include content that is fully or partially altered or created using audio, video or image creation or editing tools.

Creators who make a YouTube Short using Dream Track or Dream Screen, YouTube's generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools, don't need to take extra steps to disclose. The tool will automatically disclose the use of AI for creators. For other AI tools, creators need to disclose their use during the upload flow.

Check your YouTube studio panel

You can find these disclosures in your creator panel.

YouTube creator studio

What needs to be disclosed?

Here is a chart YouTube offers to help you decide if disclosure is required.

YouTube video dislosures for AI modifications
To help keep viewers informed about the content they're viewing, we require creators to disclose content that is altered or synthetic when it appears realistic or meaningful.
Examples of content, edits, or video assistance that creators need to disclose:
  • Synthetically generating music (including music generated using Creator Music)
  • Voice cloning someone else's voice to use it for voiceover
  • Synthetically generating extra footage of a real place, like a video of a surfer in Maui for a promotional travel video
  • Synthetically generating a realistic video of a match between two real professional tennis players
  • Making it appear as if someone gave advice that they did not actually give
  • Digitally altering audio to make it sound as if a popular singer missed a note in their live performance
  • Showing a realistic depiction of a tornado or other weather events moving toward a real city that didn't actually happen
  • Making it appear as if hospital workers turned away sick or wounded patients
  • Depicting a public figure stealing something they did not steal, or admitting to stealing something when they did not make that admission
  • Making it look like a real person has been arrested or imprisoned

Keep in mind, the above list is not exhaustive.

What need NOT be disclosed?

According to YouTube:

Examples of content, edits, or video assistance that creators don't need to disclose:
  • Not realistic
    • Someone riding a unicorn through a fantastical world
    • Green screen used to depict someone floating in space
  • Minor
    • Color adjustment or lighting filters
    • Special effects filters, like adding background blur or vintage effects
    • Production assistance, like using generative AI tools to create or improve a video outline, script, thumbnail, title, or infographic
    • Caption creation
    • Video sharpening, upscaling or repair and voice or audio repair
    • Idea generation

Keep in mind, the above list is not exhaustive.

Penalties for non-disclosure

If you do not comply with the rules, YouTube may apply labels to your video and/or you may face account suspension, or takedown and removal from the YouTube partner program.

Contact a Video and DMCA attorney

If you are a channel creator in video sites such as Vimeo, TikTok, Instagram, Twitch, Metacafe or other video platforms, AI is here, and the rules are coming fast. If you are facing a dispute and need legal assistance, why not hire a law firm that has their own YouTube channel (43k subscribers to my Litigation Whiteboard® channel) and knows the issues you are facing.  Call us if you need a DMCA attorney, dealing with takedown or account suspension issues, or other legal issues including infringement and fair use analysis and opinion letters.

We can be reached at (877) 276-5084 or send us a message through our contact form.

About the Author

Steve Vondran

Thank you for viewing our blogs, videos and podcasts. As noted, all information on this website is Attorney Advertising. Decisions to hire an attorney should never be based on advertising alone. Any past results discussed herein do not guarantee or predict any future results. All blogs are written by Steve Vondran, Esq. unless otherwise indicated. Our firm handles a wide variety of intellectual property and entertainment law cases from music and video law, Youtube disputes, DMCA litigation, copyright infringement cases involving software licensing disputes (ex. BSA, SIIA, Siemens, Autodesk, Vero, CNC, VB Conversion and others), torrent internet file-sharing (Strike 3 and Malibu Media), California right of publicity, TV Signal Piracy, and many other types of IP, piracy, technology, and social media disputes. Call us at (877) 276-5084. AZ Bar Lic. #025911 CA. Bar Lic. #232337

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