There are situations where it might be necessary to find the original source of a video.

  • Rebroadcasting – credit to the original owner will be needed if you intend on reusing a video in a new work. 
  • Referencing – if a video is being mentioned in academic work, for example, full reference to the source file may be required. 
  • Remixing – found the ultimate meme video, but it’s covered in someone else’s tacky captions? Find the original source to start with the raw content to create new memes, and more.

These kinds of instances will be familiar to people across the media industry, including: journalists, vloggers, political commentators, podcasters, academics, artists, animators, documentary, and filmmakers.

We’ve outlined the process of reverse video searching to find an original source, but there are also other ways of finding what you’re looking for, depending on how much info you have available to you. 

Try Googling what you see and hear in the video. This could mean words, phrases, or lyrics that the narrator or actors mention in the video, which could then link to an online script or music video lyrics page, revealing the full work. Or, in the case of news reports and coverage, maybe there’s some on screen information relating to the channel, time and date of the original broadcast. 

Google Image search a frame of the video to see if there are related images online. This may reveal the original video, or other websites with more information about the source.