Effective June 1, YouTube has updated their Terms of Service and some major changes have been made for people outside the US in regards to earning money, but also the collection of data.
YouTube’s right to monetise.
YouTube changed their terms of service so they can monetize videos outside of the YouTube partner program. This was US only, but is now rolling out to the rest of the world. What does this mean? YouTube is going to place ads in front of videos of people who cannot monetize their videos. Didn’t they already do that? Yes they did, however with this new rule, there is no revenue-sharing component, meaning that YouTube can place ads on original content without giving the content creator a cut of the revenue.
Ban on collecting personal data via facial recognition.
In the new terms of service YouTube prohibits the collection of ‘any information’ that might identify a person without their permission. Although this has always been a part of their policies not all languages contained this information and now it explicitly calls out the use of facial recognition software for the purpose of gathering personal data of users.
Although it is unclear why YouTube has made this more clear, Branda Leong, senior counsel and director of artificial intelligence and ethics at the Future of Privacy Forum at the Washington DC-based privacy-focused think tank, says; ‘This clarification is reasonably assumed to be at least in part a response to commercialized services which have recently been using access to ad-based ‘free’ sites to gain images or information for their own platforms.’
In the last couple of years Clearview AI, which matches ‘images against an enrolled database’ and PimEyes ‘which is more like a search engine, and uses spiders to crawl the web, have garnered significant concern. It may be one of the reasons why YouTube has explicitly mentioned now that the collection of such data is prohibited without their permission.
New revenue taxation policies.
Under the new terms of service, YouTube payments to creators who are entitled to revenue will now be considered royalties, and therefore must comply with US tax law. As such, Google will now withhold taxes from these payments as is legally required.
US creators will generally be unaffected by these changes, withholding taxes as long as they provide valid tax documentation in Adsense. If you can’t provide any tax documentation you will be subject to the laws of their respective countries.
However, Foreign corporations may be subject to tax in the United States if they have business activities in the United States or if they receive income from U.S.-sources. It is our advice to approach a tax professional to determine what laws and regulations apply to your business.