We were pointed to what appears to be a recent addition to the YouTube Web site: a page on copyright tips.
As a general matter, we at YouTube respect the rights of artists and creators, and hope you will work with us to keep our community a creative, legal and positive experience for everyone, including artists and creators.
And, interestingly, a section on “How To Make Sure Your Video Does Not Infringe Someone Else’s Copyrights.”
It doesn’t matter how long or short the clip is, or exactly how it got to YouTube. If you taped it off cable, videotaped your TV screen, or downloaded it from some other website, it is still copyrighted, and requires the copyright owner’s permission to distribute. It doesn’t matter whether or not you give credit to the owner/author/songwriter it is still copyrighted. It doesn’t matter that you are not selling the video for money it is still copyrighted. It doesn’t matter whether or not the video contains a copyright notice it is still copyrighted. It doesn’t matter whether other similar videos appear on our site it is still copyrighted.