Down the tubes

A couple of weeks ago, I uploaded my first video to Youtube – a montage of photographs taken at the Glencolmcille Agricultural Show, set to a music soundtrack by Eunan McIntyre, a local musician.

Being a journalist, and living with copyright issues, I first checked with everyone that it was okay to use their work. Everyone consented.

To date, the video has been viewed over 800 times by people in Ireland, Britain, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.

In fact, it did so well, Youtube invited me to take part in their revenue sharing programme. Youtube puts advertising next to the video, and I get a cut. I won’t get rich, if I’m lucky I’ll make a few cents. But a few cents times millions of videos makes Youtube (and Google) rich.

I signed up, explained that I held the relevant copyright permissions, and forgot about it.

Until this evening, when Youtube got back to me, explaining revenue sharing was disabled because I had not shown I held the necessary rights.

You can still watch the video. Just without advertising.

So Google only cares about copyright when their own interests are at stake, otherwise they’re happy to host material without clearance?

By Gerard Cunningham

Gerard Cunningham occupies his time working as a journalist, writer, sub-editor, blogger and podcaster, yet still finds himself underemployed.


  1. It’s a great montage – nice work. Such a shame about the revenue sharing thing. I wonder what exactly one has to do to pass the Google/Youtube test?

  2. Thanks for the compliments, I think it’s the song that makes it. For the record (sic!) you can check out more of his work at

    @Elaine, I think I’ll live without 20c/year from Google. My guess is that unless I’d sent them a statement saying everything is all my Own Work, they’d have got nervous. in a way, it’s nice to know IP rights still make them nervous. They’re not quite too big yet.

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