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Some content on YouTube is clearly legal; excluding the independent stuff, there are official pages for Disney, Pixar, the Muppets, and so on. (Yes, generally I only see anything on YouTube when my kid is using it).

There's also content that was illegally posted, but the content rights owner has chosen to use YouTube's system to monetize the content rather than have it pulled. I presume this is roughly equivalent to saying that they are ok with people viewing the content on that page.

I would prefer to only link to YouTube content of this type - where the content rights owner has given permission. I'm not concerned with the legality of the linking; it's about wanting to respect the creator's rights (whoever might currently own them...).

Is there some way to look at a YouTube page and determine whether it's official or whether it's part of the monetization scheme? Is there a way to search for this content specifically?

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The head of YouTube user experience gave a TED talk about copyright issues, and how they work with the rights owners.

Some companies are suing YouTube over this very issue. It seems that if YouTube can argue that they do everything they can to stop copyright violations, and pull down everything they know is illegal, i would think the same concept would hold for you. Avoid everything that looks sketchy, or has only been on the site a very short time.

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