Is It Legal to Summarize a Book on YouTube? Take a Look!

YouTube, an online video sharing and social media platform, comprises various videos that are easily filmed with your phone, laptop, or computer. YouTube is a popular way of sharing creative content and connecting with others around the globe. But is it legal to summarize a book on YouTube? And if so, why? This blog post explores the answer to this question and other details you may be interested in knowing.

Yes, it is legal to summarize a book on YouTube since you have the freedom to summarize, comment, critique, and analyze. However, it is best to avoid a derivative work since you do not intend to replace the entire book. If you derive from the same book, you may get a copyright claim on YouTube, which may hinder your work.

Moreover, if you upload a video summary of the same book, you should include a disclaimer page that includes the original names of the author, publisher, and any third parties involved. A disclaimer page will assist you in avoiding copyright infringement. You can also email the book’s author and explain why you’re doing it in such a way that they understand it’s not for monetary gain, but rather to help sell their books.

How Can I Make Book Summaries on YouTube Without Getting Copyright Strikes?

It is possible to make book summaries on YouTube without getting copyright strikes by following these four things:

1. Avoid Copy Pasting Word by Word of the Author

Use your own words to create a summary of the book. Create something that will look like a book review rather than a derivative of the original book. If you are trying to replace the original book, you will receive copyright strikes, and you will be unable to access your YouTube money once YouTube starts paying you.

2. Adopt a Disclaimer Page

Write a disclaimer page that entails the name of the author, publisher, and any other third party involved. Also, state that you hold no rights over the book if you use the exact words to upload a summary video of the same. This will help avoid copyright strikes on YouTube.

3. Try An Unorthodox Route

This is a way of approaching the publisher via video email and requesting permission to make videos that summarize the author’s book. Ensure you state that you are not summarizing the book for money purposes but as a fan-art domain that will even help sell the book.

4. Refer to the Indian Copyright Act, 1957

Specifically, refer to sections 52(a)(i) and 52(1)(a)(ii) of the Indian Copyright Act, 1957, since they are the sections that usually come to your rescue, saving you from copyright strikes. The sections will act as your defense when copyright strikes occur against your channel, helping you come out scot-free.

Is It Legal to Monetize Videos on Book Summaries or Reviews on YouTube?

It is legal to monetize videos on book summaries or reviews on YouTube as long as you are not sharing the book’s complete contents or narrating the entire book, like in audio reading. Most monetize the videos, do reviews, and put an affiliate link in the description. You can also contact the author or publisher to let you monetize videos in your summaries to avoid copyright strikes.

Does Monetizing Book Summaries on YouTube Violate Any Copyright?

Monetizing book summaries on YouTube does not violate copyright unless you use the exact texts used in the original book or narrate it as an audio reading. Furthermore, authors are usually aware that there are people who will make reviews or summaries of their books. It is essential to note the infringement of the copyrights since they will only let you down.

Can I Summarize a Book on YouTube?

Yes, you can summarize a book on YouTube freely. However, you should be ready to use your own words rather than copy the exact words from the original book. Ensure you do not infringe copyrights to avoid having issues with YouTube regarding payment. Besides, you can also contact the publisher to permit you to summarize the book—this will also help you avoid copyright strikes.

Are Book Summaries Copyrighted?

No, book summaries are not copyrighted since they are usually summarized in your own words. Copyright is only registered if you use the same text as in the original book. Fair use does not apply in this case. Book summaries are always helpful to readers since they can cover a specific book within a short period of time.

Moreover, authors acknowledge book reviews since they indicate that their books have been noticed. Also, book reviews play a significant role in increasing book sales, which benefits the authors. Book summaries on YouTube can also earn you income when you gain a certain number of subscribers and watch hours.

How Do You Summarize a Book on YouTube?

Below are four steps on how to summarize a book on YouTube:

Read the Entire Book

This is the first step to summarizing a book on YouTube. Please go through the entire book to get the storyline. Having a clue about the main story will ease your summary writing.

Take Notes

Write down the titles, texts, websites, and resources that the author might use when writing the text. Taking notes while reading will help you remember essential clauses in your summary. Noting this down will help when it comes to quoting the exact texts.

Outline Your Summary

Summaries are always different when it comes to nonfiction and fiction books. Ensure you outline the big idea, main points, and takeaways for nonfiction books. For fiction books, outline the main character, significant events, examples, and conclusions.


Take note of the length of your summary. If you want a summary of 300 words, ensure you use brief words and short paragraphs. A summary of 500+ words is more detailed and contains many paragraphs. You should have a specific number of words you want to include in your summary.

Four Tips for Writing a Summary of a Book on YouTube

  1. Remember the audience. Assume that the audience does not have a clue about the book.
  2. Highlight the essentials.
  3. Follow the order of the book to avoid misleading the readers.
  4. Paraphrase Use your own words to write a summary to avoid infringing copyright.

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Kevin Roose

If you're looking for someone to write about technology and books, you've come to the right place. I'm a tech lover and love reading books, too. I'll keep you up-to-date on all the information you need to know in the world of technology and books. So, if you're interested in learning more about these topics, be sure to stay tuned!

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