Creative Commons

In addition to being the biggest streaming video site in the world, YouTube is also the largest host of videos licensed under creative commons, the site revealed today in a blog post.

The Creative Commons licensing allows others to use a piece of media within their own content as long as they give attribution (to a certain degree). For example, a music video could splice in news clips from C-SPAN as long as C-SPAN was credited as providing the clips. And since there are various degrees of Creative Commons (free for non-commercial use, commercial use, free to use if unaltered, etc.), identifying the exact licensing type can be difficult.

YouTube first added enhanced abilities to mark uploaded videos under Creative Commons to its video editor a little over a year ago. It also forged partnerships with several major content partners, such as C-SPAN, Al Jazeera, Voice of America, and to provide over 10,000 clips to users. Yahoo-owned Flickr also offers users its enhanced ability to mark photos under Creative Commons licensing.

Since then, the number of Creative Commons licensed (CC BY) videos on YouTube has increased to over 4 million, or 40 years’ worth of videos, according to the site.

“Thanks to CC BY, it’s easy to borrow footage from other people’s videos and insert it into your own, because the license grants you the specific permissions to do so as long as you give credit to the original creator,” wrote Creative Commons CEO Cathy Casserly in the YouTube blog post.

Top image via CreativeCommons/YouTube