Technology.  YouTube.

You Tube and Technology. I love technology. It’s a wonderful tool, which makes our lives easy, fun, and more efficient. We use technology to communicate, to market, to create, to learn, and to share with others. It’s hard to imagine what we would do without it. Yet, with all the many advantages that come with our use of technology, there are a plethora of challenges, and terms and conditions that must be followed.
Whether driving your car on the freeway, negotiating traffic on a local street, or knowing what’s yours for the taking and what’s not, there are terms and conditions—rules that must be followed. You can choose not to follow those rules. You can choose to outright break them. But regardless of your reasons, if you break the rules, if you don’t abide by the terms and conditions, you’ll have to pay. Look at it this way, if you are adult enough to do whatever you feel like doing, then be adult enough to accept the consequences.

Technology. YouTube. Miley Cyrus.

Like it or not, those rules also apply on the Internet, especially social media venues, such as Second Life, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.  Not everyone uses technology in the same way. Nor does everyone have the same value system when it comes to the use of cool technology devices and platforms. For example, what’s one person’s porn is another person’s art. And while we all have our own opinion as to where the line gets crossed, there are rules we must follow, at least on the Internet. Regardless of our personal views, we all have to follow the rules or pay the price.

YouTube. Miley Cyrus.

I recently got a call from someone who wants to sue YouTube. He’s mad because YouTube added an age restriction to his highly provocative and sexual video series. The YouTube music age restriction limits who can see his videos. The YouTube music restriction also limits how viral his videos can go. He says, “If Miley Cyrus can do it, why can’t I?” Well while that thinking might make sense, he’s not Miley Cyrus.
Miley gets paid to be outrageous, and she’s a superstar. And yes, superstars in our culture are afforded special privileges. They can do anything they want, and not pay a price. And even if Miley Cyrus had to pay a price, she can afford that price.
This leads me to another point, everyone wants to sue, UNTIL they know how much it will cost. Miley can afford to be in court—forever! She loves the attention, but mostly she’s got the money to pay for the attention. Litigation is expensive and there are never any guarantees. If Miley Cyrus gets sued, she can afford the battery of attorneys it will take to help her win (or not).
The person who called me believes there should be no restrictions on what he does. He feels that neither YouTube, nor anyone else has a right to tell him what to do. Ironically he seems to have forgotten that he has a choice whether to access YouTube or any other website.  And while the YouTube music space is a great venue for becoming known, we all have a choice.  It’s like if you go to someone’s house, but don’t like the rules of the house, you can choose not to visit them or follow the rules.
So my advice, if you want to fight and can afford litigation—go at it!  On the other hand, as always, my suggestion is think preventatively. READ and UNDERSTAND everything BEFORE you sign (or agree to the contractual Terms of Use). Once you sign, you are bound. And while you absolutely have the right to fight, you will have to pay to play.
Until next time, I’m Attorney Francine Ward helping you make better choices. Join the conversation on Facebook Fan page, Twitter Legal Page, Google+, or in one of my LinkedIn Groups.

Skip to content