By now, all YouTube users around the world received an email from the popular video-sharing platform that it will be changing its terms of services. These terms will take effect from June 1, 2021.
Most times, we look at emails like these and do not take much notice. YouTube has assured that it will not “significantly alter your access or use of the YouTube service”. But what do these changes entail and how does it affect you?
Let’s go over each summary in the email.
Facial recognition restrictions
“Facial recognition restrictions: The terms of service already state that you cannot collect any information that might identify a person without their permission. While this has always included facial recognition information, the new terms make that explicitly clear,” said YouTube in the email.
YouTube’s terms of service prohibits the collection of any data that might identify a person without their permission.
According to YouTube, this has always been part of its policies, but the changes include updated language that explicitly calls out the use of facial recognition software aimed to collect personal data on users. It is believed that it is in response to commercialised services which have recently been using access to ad-based “free” sites to gain images or information for their own platforms.
YouTube’s right to content monetisation
“YouTube’s right to monetise: YouTube has the right to monetise all content on the platform, and ads may appear on videos from channels not in the YouTube Partner Programme.”
This means that YouTube now has the right to monetise any and all content on its platform, even the content that does not belong to the YouTube Partner Programme (YPP). The YPP is a programme where creators can copyright and make money from their original content.
Most internet users’ biggest peeve is annoying ads. With this update, YouTube will have the right to run ads on videos from providers or in channels that are too small to qualify for their partner programme.
Simply put, the full benefit of the ad sale goes to YouTube. YouTube gets the full benefit of the ad sale until the channel or content creator reaches the level to qualify for paid partner status. Once the channel or content creator reaches this level, on then can they receive a share. YouTube can also place ads on original content without giving the content creator a cut of the revenue.
New revenue taxation policies
“Royalty payments and tax withholding: For creators entitled to revenue payments, such payments will be treated as royalties from a US tax perspective, and Google will withhold taxes where required by law.“
Under the new terms of service, YouTube payments to creators who are entitled to revenue will now be considered royalties. For US channels and content creators, this means that they must comply with US tax law. Google will start to withhold taxes from these payments as is legally required.
“US creators will generally be unaffected by these withholding taxes as long as they provide valid tax documentation in Adsense,” the company said in a statement published in November.
However, creators outside of the US will be subject to the laws of their respective countries.