Seaborn Hall

A Message To Site Viewers: On You Tube, Posted and Edited Videos, and ‘Stealing’, updated

Some people believe that editing part of an original You Tube or other video and posting it is ‘stealing.’

We can understand why they feel this way, particularly in the case of prophetic voices that speak messages that they know or believe are directly from the Lord. In this case, it may be particularly grievous to them to think of the message being altered in any way. They may be right. We share another perspective below.

This Page will only feature full videos from the original site in most cases. We will also not change the titles to at least some of those messages – even though there is no copyright on titles. Where we leave titles alone we will compensate by offering an alternative title in the CS Commentary on the video if we feel that it is needed.

This site does not make any money from posted videos and we have no affiliation with any videos that we post – unless noted. This site has also never recorded and posted, or edited and posted, original videos – though we have posted some edited videos from other sites.

Our personal view is that sites that edit original videos may be doing the original author a service. How? Several ways. They shorten the message and make it more accessible to a larger body of people. By doing this they expose the speaker and the original website to a much larger audience. They also drive at least a percentage of viewers to the original site that would never have been exposed to the speaker or gone to the original site in the first place. Further, to the extent that editors are pastors, teachers, or leaders in their own communities they are able to offer appropriate commentary and aids to understanding to those communities.

Additionally, if any organization does not wish their videos to be shared or embedded on other sites all it has to do is turn off the ‘Share’ button on its You Tube site. This prevents anyone from embedding or sharing the content.

Because of all of the above, we believe that whether ‘reproducers’ or, especially, ‘editors’ are ‘stealing’ or not, is a much more gray area. They could be seen as ‘marketers’ that help the original sites spread their message and increase revenue, as well as future ministry donations. But, we see the other perspective as well.

Regardless, the choice to be edited or not should be left to the original creator and permission should be obtained.

The original sites would do themselves a service by self-editing and shortening messages in a contextual manner. Most people are so busy with their own relationship with the Lord, spouses, families, jobs, churches and other commitments that they do not have time each week to listen to several – or even one – message that is more than one and a half hours in length. Videos of 15 minutes or less, substantially increase the ability of the average person to sit down and listen. In this way, viewers would then be driven to the longer videos that have particular application to them.

This does not in any way contradict or lessen what we said in the first paragraphs above. We will do our best to respect the integrity of original site videos that are available for sharing.