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5 Tips on How to Get Permission to Use Movie Clips for YouTube Videos

Do you want to put famous movie clips in your YouTube or Instagram videos? 

Are you hesitant because you know there are steep penalties for violating copyright laws?  

First things first: Do you even know what Copyright is? 


youtube lawyer

·      It is the law that protects any kind of creative content or expression in the world

·      It attaches to the work the moment it is produced in tangible form

·      It protects the work from being used or shared except by those who own the rights to the material

·      Copyright is especially important for the movie clips you want to use in your videos

·      It is important to note that there are 2 exceptions to the copyright law –2 times that you can use copyrighted work or material that is not your own.

  • Permission, and

  • Fair Use

If you still want to learn how to use movie clips in your videos, then keep reading as I discuss the exception of PERMISSION. (I will discuss the Fair Use exception in future blogs.)

Here are my 5 tips on how to get PERMISSION to use movie clips in your YouTube or Instagram videos:

  1. Hire a permission specialist

    1. For a reasonable price and a short amount of time, you can find a company online that can deliver the rights for you to use a movie clip in one of your videos

    2. Make sure to read the company reviews so you find a reputable company.

    3. I have used Greenlightrights.com and have found that they have pre-existing relationships with the movie studios which makes the request process easier.

    4.  [Disclaimer: I do not have any affiliation or get any money from mentioning or referring you to Greenlightrights. I just think they are a great company and I want to share it with you.]

  2. Do-It-Yourself

    1. Find the copyright holder on your own. 

    2. With the help of the Internet it can be relatively easy.

    3. When I wanted to use a clip from the movie Jaws, I googled “Jaws Movie Distributor” and came up with Universal Pictures.

  3. Submit a Written Request to use the movie clip 

    1. Once you identify who the copyright holder is you will need to send a request.

    2. Each movie studio is different so you will need to research exactly how the company wants you to make your request.

    3. Watch my video on YouTube lawyer for more about this

    4.  Wait 

      1. You will need to wait at least 4-8 weeks for your request to be reviewed. 

      2. Because of this delay, you will need to plan your videos several weeks in advance and then be prepared to w-a-i-t. I know it can be hard to wait when you have a great idea bursting to be finished, but if you jump the gun and add the video without permission, your great idea may go down in flames. 

      3. I would suggest submitting requests for multiple clips at the same time that will have a similar effect, so if one gets denied the other might be approved. 

      4. Bad news alert: ☹Requests for use of movie clips are routinely denied, so it’s important that you do a lot of planning and you submit early for the clips you want AND make sure you have backup plans. 

    5. Enter into a written licensing agreement.

      1. If you are lucky enough to get permission from a studio, then you will enter into a licensing agreement to use the movie clip.

      2. At this point it is wise to hire an attorney to walk through the agreement with you so you understand exactly what you are and are not allowed to do. 

There you have it!! Now you can use those famous movie clips in your videos and make your videos really stand out.