How to Create a Holiday Slideshow Without Risking Copyright Strikes

Slideshows are a great way to display the images that you’ve captured on a vacation and share them with people in your social circles.

The problem is that if you aren’t careful, you could end up getting your content taken down or restricted because it contains copyrighted material.

There are a few ways to get around this, so let’s look at what you need to do to steer clear of the wrath of the often oversensitive anti-infringement algorithms.

Be careful in the files you choose to include

First and foremost, you need to check each image and video clip that you add to your slideshow to ensure that it doesn’t include material owned by a third party, especially a major business or brand.

The most common instance of this will be in the case of video clips you’ve recorded when out and about which include copyrighted music playing in the background. This could occur at a restaurant, bar, club, store, or any other public space. It could also come about if you were playing music yourself during your trip.

If you spot this issue, you’ve got two options. You could either not use the file in question in your slideshow, or you could simply turn off the audio or overdub it instead.

Share your slideshow privately

If you upload a slideshow of high-quality holiday snaps and footage to a public social media platform like Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube, then you have to be aware of the likelihood that it will be automatically scanned to see if it contains copyrighted content. This is because these sites have to take precautions to avoid being sued by copyright holders.

However, if you use a separate file-sharing service or media upload platform which does not automatically make your video available to everyone, the same restrictions may not apply.

Obviously, you may technically be breaching copyright rules by doing this, but you will at least avoid the likelihood of receiving a strike because it’s clear that your intent is not to distribute third-party IP for personal gain.

Use royalty-free music and stock footage

If you want to download royalty-free music, use a source like Videvo to access a huge library of content that isn’t copyrighted and so is yours to use as you see fit.

Earlier we mentioned overdubbing video files that contain copyrighted audio, and with the help of royalty-free clips, you’ll be able to do so without needing to come up with your own tracks at home.

The quality of stock video and audio from reputable libraries is top-notch, meaning you can add a professional sheen to your amateur holiday slideshows, and also stay on the right side of the law regarding copyright.

Understand fair use rules

The term ‘fair use’ is often bandied about in relation to copyright issues, and it’s a complex topic that boils down to a few key points.

Basically, so long as you are using copyrighted material in a transformative manner, including for things like commentary and criticism as well as parody, it’s unlikely that you’ll receive a strike that’s upheld.

It also means that you can usually avoid punishment for using copyrighted material so long as it’s only a small portion of the work, rather than including the entire thing.

In the case of music, adding under 30 seconds of a copyrighted song to a slideshow won’t land you in hot water, but using an entire track will.

Fair use also covers the accidental or incidental capturing of copyrighted material, which would be covered by the aforementioned scenario of music playing in the background of a home video. Even so, this is harder to contend with, and it’s still better to cut out any potentially problematic sections from longer clips to avoid a kerfuffle.

Don’t take unnecessary risks

The overriding message here is that in the age of online image and video sharing, it’s not worth overstepping the line where copyright is concerned.

For the most part, you have nothing to fear if you accidentally upload material that infringes on the copyright of a third party; it might be detected and flagged for demonetization, or outright deleted by the platform that’s hosting it.

Where the real issues will start if you persist in sharing copyrighted content because repeat offenders will usually be dealt with more harshly. It’s better to play it safe and double-check every slideshow before publishing it on a public forum.

The bottom line

We hope that you haven’t been put off creating slideshows of holiday snaps and clips by all this talk of copyright laws, strikes, and legal ramifications.

If you err on the side of caution and are responsible with what you share, you can still make the most of the modern tools that are available to you.

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