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Media Archiving – YouTube

Video killed the radio star. And newspapers, magazines and press releases. Not really, of course; all those media still exist. But, many people would rather get their information online, in video format. Cat videos (of course), but also instructional how-to’s, corporate profiles, tips and tricks and the whole gamut of possible content.


There’s one name synonymous with online video, YouTube. It has over 1 Billion users. Incredibly, every minute over 300 HOURS of online video is uploaded to YouTube. If your organization is not there yet, it probably should be; YouTube is the second largest search engine on the internet. It’s vital to getting your message out, educating potential customers and building your brand.

Media Archiving and Retention Policy

If you are there, the question is what is your media archiving and retention policy? How are you ensuring these valuable records are kept accurately and securely? Just like any other communication, your YouTube videos are considered business records and must be preserved.

For example, if you’re a US financial firm, YouTube compliance is mandatory. While not explicitly mentioned by name it falls under Rule 17a-3:

Rule 17a-3

The SEC rules in question require that an authority must approve any advertisements, sales text, electronic or other communications by the firm with the public.

A wide variety of content is subject to this provision; paper, electronic and online. Marketing materials, sales scripts, audio or visual records, or any electronic or social media used by broker-dealers to communicate with the public must be retained and examined.

For government agencies, open records requirements vary by jurisdiction. However, the overarching philosophy is that materials meant for the public, whatever the format, needs to be retained. For example, the State of Florida:

Public Records

Public records means all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, films, sound recordings, data processing software, or other material, regardless of the physical form, characteristics, or means of transmission, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any agency. 2014 Florida Statutes, 119.011.

Beyond the legal requirements, it’s a question of litigation preparedness. Is your organization going to be able to easily and affordably protect itself against false claims, infringements and other civil and criminal actions that use YouTube as evidence?

Once you determine that yes, you should protect your YouTube records, then it becomes a question of how; how do you properly archive YouTube videos?

Can you just create a YouTube channel and use that as your records? Unfortunately, no. First of all, there’s a question of authenticity. A proper record means that it will comply with the FRE (Federal Rules of Evidence), that it can be verified that it is what it says it is. This media record requires a digital signature and time-stamp, which YouTube does not offer. Second, YouTube offers no guarantee that it’ll keep your content online. It can remove content due to 3rd party requests or just because it decides to.

How about your file or CMS version backup? There are technical factors to consider; will the actual video file be properly archived? And again, there’s the issue of admissibility; do your backups have timestamps and digital signatures? Probably not.

Archiving YouTube

How then, can you properly archive YouTube media content? Well, I’m glad you asked!

PageFreezer has been archiving web and social media content since 2010, and we archive YouTube. We archive the actual MP4 video as well as the supporting metadata: id, title, description, channel_name, published_time, duration, comments, thumbnail, category. Along with that information, we also archive the About information (id, name, link, description, created_time, cover, avatar) and the video comments and likes. All the information has the digital signature and timestamps for legal authentication, and all of it is saved to the cloud for secure long-term storage.

Best of all, it’s all done automatically! Just feed in your YouTube Channel URL and we’ll monitor it, and anytime a new video is uploaded our archiving system will go to work.

Archive your YouTube content just like any other content. Set up a time for a personal demo and we’ll walk you through archiving for YouTube and all your other web and social media content.