I see news agencies always asking for permission to use user shot videos.

Most of them go like this,

Hi, I am from the XYZ news. Could we use your footage on our website and socials? With credits to you of course.

Actual example: https://twitter.com/RTLnieuws/status/1117839658241667072

I thought that anybody could embed the videos without permission when using the embed feature, so why are they asking for permission? Or I'm I wrong?

1 Answer 1


According to the Twitter terms of use:

You retain your rights to any Content you submit, post or display on or through the Services. What’s yours is yours — you own your Content (and your incorporated audio, photos and videos are considered part of the Content).


By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed). This license authorizes us to make your Content available to the rest of the world and to let others do the same.


You represent and warrant that you have, or have obtained, all rights, licenses, consents, permissions, power and/or authority necessary to grant the rights granted herein for any Content that you submit, post or display on or through the Services. You agree that such Content will not contain material subject to copyright or other proprietary rights, unless you have necessary permission or are otherwise legally entitled to post the material and to grant Twitter the license described above.

Twitter's privacy policy says, in part:

If you update your public information on Twitter, such as by deleting a Tweet or deactivating your account, we will reflect your updated content on Twitter.com, Twitter for iOS, and Twitter for Android.

So by posting, you are granting to Twitter the right to reproduce your post, including your associated videos. Twitter may or may not choose to grant this to others. Moreover, the user's privacy settings on Twitter may limit this permission, or the circumstances under which Twitter will choose to sub-license. If a tweet is deleted, that may terminate sublicenses to the tweet or associated content.

In any case, a news organization would not want to be dependent on a license from twitter if they did not have to. It costs them nothing to ask for a separate license from the person who took the video, and who therefore owns the copy. Notice that they aren't offering to pay anything.

If only 1 in 1000 people would later sue over such use, even if the suit was tossed out early because of the twitter license, that still costs the news organization something to defend the suits, and it may make them look bad. Asking for permission seems liker a very sensible practice for any such organization. If permission is refused, they might try to go ahed anyway relaying on the twitter license, or they might not.

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