Demaestro - 10:34 pm on Apr 28, 2010 (gmt 0)
Regardless of why you make a video, when you do, you own the copyright on it.
Syz, if you write a joke and utter it in public you still hold the copyright on it. If you wrote a book with 1 joke, and you uttered that joke in public people would be allowed to repeat it to their friends, making it viral, but they aren't allowed to make a copy of it and publish that copy. Not on their website, not in a book, not in a school newsletter.
When something is emailed to a bunch of people making it viral isn't the same as making a copy and publicly publishing it, that is what copyright deals with, the right to create and publish copies.
There is no infringement because the creator relinquishes their rights to control or restrict its distribution
It doesn't work like that, you have to relinquish your rights explicitly, you don't relinquish your rights just because your content went viral, if that were true then most Simpson's and John Stewart clips would fall into this category of having gone viral and so are no longer protected by copyright law because people email that stuff around too.
All copyright law does is give content creators the sole right to create copies and publish those copies. Having your content viral doesn't undo this right.