hosting a video with minimal interference
February 4, 2016 9:07 AM   Subscribe

After asking this question, I am now wrangling helpful strangers into lip-syncing to a song, and I need somewhere to host our video that won't slap an ad on top of it, or worse, block it for copyright violations. Details inside.

So, I've purchased, and I'd like to use Squarespace (or another service) to build a simple website to host a video. That video will include a pop song we don't have the rights to. Squarespace suggests hosting video on Youtube and Vimeo, but I don't want to use a site that will have a problem with the pop song. I realize that YouTube will let me run the video with a banner ad, but I'd prefer to avoid that too. What are my options here? I am willing to spend money, but would prefer to keep it under $150.

We're not trying to go viral with this. The video will probably get a few dozen views at best.
posted by roger ackroyd to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Depending on the song, YouTube may have already entered into a licensing agreement with the publisher. For instance, Warner Music Group (WMG) says:

Warner Music Group works with YouTube to enable the use of WMG content in user-created content posted on YouTube in personal, non-profit instances only. ...
With some terms about how they can still take down the video, but they won't come after you.

You can buy a legitimate mechanical license for the rights to the song itself from Songfile. You'd then have to get performance rights for the particular recording you're using from the publisher (or through BMG or ASCAP), but at that point buying bandwidth for a couple of tens of views would be pretty simple and cheap.

Also, for a few tens of views, I'd be tempted to create a YouTube throwaway account, upload the video as unlisted, and let whatever happens happen.
posted by straw at 9:30 AM on February 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I should note that this song has been used in other amateur videos on YouTube, always with a banner ad over the video, so I assume there is a content agreement. It is not the end of the world if I have to have a banner ad, I'd just like to figure out a more elegant solution because those ads are ugly.
posted by roger ackroyd at 9:48 AM on February 4, 2016

Video files can be served from any web server, you just need to have HTML pointing at the file. Here's the basics.

So if you have the file on the web server that's hosting and in the same directory, you'd just set the source value to the file name.

This will work with almost all modern browsers. If you expect older users that have IE 8 or older, there's a free Flash based mediaplayer called FlowPlayer that's a little more work to set up but not terribly difficult for someone that knows HTML and javascript. If this isn't something Squarespace will support, I bet there's a technically adept teenager in your extended social circle that would take care of it for $50-100.

I would encourage you to try to pay for a license using Songfile etc., even though it's a trivial amount of money.
posted by Candleman at 10:44 AM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

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