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Public comment on 2020 Implementation of COPPA

Submitted by catmin on 19 November, 2019 - 13:36

The decision to mark all YouTube videos as "for kids" or "not for kids" concerns me. I have a YouTube channel with cat videos on it.

My videos have a watermark. There are two purposes of the watermark. One is for brand recognition, so that those who know my brand can recognize the video as part of it. The logo is part of my website as well as my twitter and facebook accounts. Yes, there is a chance that Internauts would go to my website and make a purchase from the ads there.

The other purpose, and the original purpose of branding cattle, is to claim it as my property. Many social media posts are stolen, or shared in objection to the will of the copyright owner. One defense against such rampant sharing would be to put a watermark on the picture, and YouTube currently allows a watermark logo on the videos I upload.

However, since the content of my videos consists primarily of cats (which COPPA considers "safe for kids"), marking my videos as "safe for kids" would prevent me from putting my watermark on the videos I display on YouTube, making it a little harder to deter unauthorized copying, or even to defend my claim of infringement.

I can only assume this aspect of the policy would also apply to PBS Kids and similar programs on network or independent television stations. Those logos are often present when the programs are broadcast. Does this mean that those production companies (or nonprofits) will have to update a version without their logo to use YouTube? They have more lawyers and more widely recognized and recognizable characters than I do. They could probably defend their infringement claim more easily than I can.

I am so currently small (22 subscribers) that YouTube will not let me have any ads on my videos. At this stage, I would not be losing money by not being able to monetize them if they were to fall under the "made for kids" side of this regulation. I would be at risk of losing intellectual property and having someone slightly larger make money off my videos. Because my video subject is of potential interest to children, I am at potential risk of content theft.

In addition, since the videos for children could not be recommended to people who have just watched some other cat video, it would be less likely for my content to be found. They could not be added to a playlist, either -- not even my playlist. How would anyone be able to find my videos?