Can Forming a YouTube Company protect me from statements I make in my videos (YouTuber Law)?
Can a Corporation or LLC protect me from statements I make or elements I use on my YouTube Channel (Youtube Law Series)?
Lior Leser, Esq.
Technology, Internet and Software Law
Unfortunately Not. In reality, both you and your company can be held liable for statements you make on a YouTube video.
The use of company forms in running your YouTube business— like LLCs, and corporations — has many important purposes, but avoiding personal tort liability for your own conduct is not one of them
A properly formed and operated company offers you limited liability for the debts of your YouTube business.
Many people have heard that Courts are not keen on “piercing the corporate veil”.
… and there is a list of justifications for piercing the corporate veil … for example, when the company is a mere “alter-ego” of its shareholders, where the company is undercapitalized, and where the company is used to promote fraud.
That being said, the use of a corporate forms — like LLCs and corporations — does not allow you to avoid personal tort liability for your own conduct.
What does that mean?
A “tort” is is a wrongful act or action that causes harm to another.
and defamation is a Tort.
and so if Copyright infringement
so any statement that hurts someone’s reputation, in other words “Defamation”, is a tort and therefore not subject to corporate limited liability.
and your usage of infringing copyrighted elements, such as music, in your videos is also a tort.
That means that both you and your company can be held liable for defamatory statements you make and infringing elements you use in a YouTube video ad as part of your YouTube business.
That’s just part of the business!