Youtube Copyright Fights - Owning a Channel Isn't Easy


Anyone out there have a favorite "Youtuber" personality? No? That's ok - it's mostly for the younger kids these days. But the business behind the scenes of owning and monteizing a Youtube channel certainly isn't - it's a dark, grim, cut-throat world.

This is a recent example of a Youtube copyright battle. It's in two parts - that's the first one and this is the second one. First part is more about what happened, second is about how it was resolved. These videos tell the story.

Here's an article from ReadWrite that will give you more context about how Youtube content creators make money and run their channels. Here's a quote:

YouTube and its roughly 200 or so networks may be the new “new media,” but their way of doing business is very “old Hollywood” - meaning young talent is scooped up, and more often than not, taken advantage of because they don’t know enough to read the fine print or hire a lawyer... YouTubers are eager to join networks for a variety of reasons, either because the network promises production assistance, management, agents and other resources, help contacting YouTube over site issues or securing higher advertising rates. In return, networks take anywhere from 30% to 50% of revenue generated by the video content. If that cut seems high to you, you’re not alone.

Let's also talk about copyright claims. Youtube has a terrible reputation for not giving due dilligence when investigating copyright claims. Big Youtube networks or outside businesses like Sony or Microsoft can file dozens of false claims - akin to copyright trolling. For smaller Youtube channels, being bogged down in claims shuts off your revenue streams. And because Youtube favors the big and powerful, the process for escaping an unjust claim is Sisyphean at worst, Herculean at best.

Read this for an adventure into the Kafkaesque world of getting Google and Youtube to reverse course and fix your shit. SEOs might find this to be a familiar sounding process.

When claims are reversed and justice gets done, it's usually only because of one thing - mob outrage. Fans side with the content creators and bombard copyright trolls with angry Tweets and bad PR, and usually the trolls fold in the end. But what kind of broken system is that? If you ask me, it only further enforces the internet mob mentality. Youtube is broken - why is no one invested in fixing it?