YouTube Allows Videos to Be Sampled by Default

YouTube Video creators are automatically opted-in to allow other creators to sample their content for YouTube Shorts videos.

YouTube Shorts is a relatively new form of video similar to TikTok videos. YouTube shorts allows content creators to sample original content from other YouTube videos that are automatically opted-in.

YouTube is automatically opt-in the videos of content creators and to make it difficult to opt out of giving away their content to other creators.

At this point anyone can take original content and use it for YouTube shorts.

Is YouTube Using Dark Patterns to Opt-in Content Sampling?

Dark Patterns is a form of user interface manipulation designed to force a user to take a desired action.

Dark Patterns are used by big tech companies and even politicians to manipulate users to perform unintended actions such as give away their privacy or make larger donations or purchases than intended.

For example, user interfaces on Google or Facebook products are said to take an extra five more clicks to opt-out of giving away ones privacy whereas give it all away is the default and takes zero action to do.

YouTube appears to be using Dark Patterns to make it difficult to opt-out of content sharing and easy to opt-in (by doing nothing).

A creator needs to click the “Content” link to get to the creator back end and then they need to click an edit icon on an individual video and then scroll to the bottom of the page and click a “Show All” link and then scroll again to the bottom of the page to reach the opt-out selection.

Scroll to Bottom of the Page then Click Show More link

Scroll to Bottom of Page Again to Opt-out of Content Sampling

YouTube appears to not have sent a formal notice that YouTube Creators are free to sample videos. YouTube creators are reacting with shock because they do not recall having been to opt-in to giving away their content.

One person tweeted:

“This is pretty concerning – there is new permission added to YouTube allowing other creators to sample your videos for Shorts. I naively assumed this would only apply to new videos, but it’s auto-opted in all my content.”

YouTube then hides the opt-out menu under a “Show All” link and then forces a user to literally scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to elect to opt-out of sharing original content with YouTube Shorts creators.

How to Opt-Out Thousands of Videos?

A problem with how YouTube is handling opting out is that there appears to be no way to opt out an entire channel of videos.

That means that each video must be opted out of automatic sharing one by one.

That can be problematic for users with thousands of videos. If it takes one minute to opt out one video then it will take over 16 hours to opt out one thousand videos at a pace of one video per opted out per video.

YouTube Content Sampling for YouTube Shorts

The YouTube shorts program is not currently monetizable. YouTube Shorts creators can’t show ads on them. Also the short form nature of the Shorts videos prevents a creator from using an entire video, which is probably why the use of someone else’s content is called sampling.

All of those factors might cause the sampling to be viewed as fair use.

That said there appears to be no benefit from having ones content sampled by another content creator with a huge audience.

What do you think? Is it fair?