I recently decided to start a website (still under development) with the objective of inspiring others. My model is similar to that of www.worldstarhiphop.com, without all the negativity. The focus will be on aggregating positive, and inspiring content, across the web to share with others in hopes of providing inspiration.
While generally researching online video aggregation, I noticed that depending on certain variables, a site that aggregates video content (and places it on the site), may result in copyright infringement
violations. Thus, I wanted to reach out to someone knowledgeable in IP law to ask a few questions for clarity.
My questions are as follows:
Can I legally have a site, that aggregates video content across the web, and run ads on the site to generate revenue?
- www.Worldstarhiphop.com has been doing this since 2003
- If not, how is it that Worldstarhiphop.com conducts business?
- Here is a note from their terms of service: "WSHH is for your general information, entertainment and non-commercial use only. The website is subject to change without notice."
- It says "non-commercial" use, but they run multiple ads for revenue generation. Does this mean there is a way to do this? Can I do the same?
Possible options IF the aforementioned isn't feasible:
- If I can't legally have a video aggregation site, and collect ad revenue from ads placed on pages with videos I don't own, would I be able to remove the ads (across the entire site) and rather collect revenue from those that pay me directly to list their directly owned content (e.g. conference video, public speaker, etc.)?
- Would this be considered "Fair Use
- If I can't collect ad/content (paid video postings) revenue at all, and I choose to conduct the site without generating revenue at first, if I chose to create my own custom content/videos in the future, could I then use the platform to start generating revenue with ONLY my custom content?
- If I choose to not collect any revenue from the site AT ALL (under any case), and another opportunity presents itself, outside of directly using the website (e.g. create another site/idea - and leverage this sites user base to drive traffic to the new site, tell my own personal story for speaking engagements (marketing to the audience on this site, etc.). Would that be a conflict of interest, and thus deem this site for "commercial use" and open to copyright infringement?
At the end of the day, I really just want to inspire others, but to be able to generate revenue doing something I love would be nice. So whether I make money or not, I just want to make sure I continue this project without worry of lawsuits.