I have several projects and inventions the development of which I would like to chronicle on YouTube, however I'm also aware of the risks in doing so as anyone viewing the videos would be able to steal the concepts shown before any formal patent is filed. Ideally I'd like to release most of my work under some sort of open source license that allows non-commercial and educational use.

My question isn't about what license would cover this, but rather: What license, if any, could I release the videos under that would immediately protect their subject/contents?

I can find many licenses that protect the videos themselves, but none that cover the subjects shown in the video. I would imagine something along those lines exists, as the videos themselves would also serve as proof of original development. I've tried finding information on this myself but can't quite seem to find exactly what I'm looking for, I hope someone here may be able to help me.

  • I don;'t think any license can protect your patent rights to the content, which may be harmed if you publish the invention or technique before filing for a patent. What country are you in, please? Jan 21, 2019 at 23:45

1 Answer 1


No license can create patent protection for the subject of your videos. Licenses apply to the copyright that is inherently created when you create the video. Patents can only be obtained by applying for them through patent offices.

Your video would act as prior art if anyone (including yourself, with some exceptions) later tries to apply for patent protection of any of the inventions shown in the video. For you, the US (and a few other countries) offers a 1 year grace period following your public disclosure, during which you are still allowed to file a patent application on the inventions without the video counting as prior art; in most other countries, the video would immediately disqualify you from protecting the subject inventions, unless you file a patent application before publishing the video.

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