In 2009 I created and uploaded a video called “Hey, Baby!” to You Tube. It’s just a series of short shots of me around the house smiling at the camera. That’s it. I didn’t use content created by another party, nor did I use music created by any other party. In fact, my video didn’t contain any kind of music at all. The last time I checked, my video had up around 5.8 million views. Which is just incredible. And so unexpected.
People made their own versions of the video, and some of them even used my video and added music and other things. That was done without my permission, but that’s OK. That’s the nature of viral videos on the Internet.
Because the video became so popular, TV shows started showing it in viral video themed programs. Some of them asked for permission, but most of them didn’t.
Tosh.0 was one such case. This show used my video a lot as a punchline to jokes. I didn’t mind it too much. They didn’t ask for permission to use it nor did they compensate me for it. They linked to my channel, but they spelled my channel incorrectly.
A couple of weeks ago You Tube took my video down citing copyright infringement on a complaint from Viacom. They were waving a big ass finger in front of my face, saying I shouldn’t upload content created by other people, threatening me with the closure of my channel if I had another copyright strike. And I’m like, what the fuck are they talking about?
Hey, Baby is owned 100% by ME, and no one else. I think what happened is this: Tosh.0 used my video without permission and compensation. Tosh.0 is owned by Viacom and now Viacom thinks my video belongs to them. Screwed up right?
This is not the first time it happened. ABS-CBN here in the Philippines used my video as well in one of their programs. Later, they tried to claim ownership of my video on You Tube. So for a while there was a notice that this video was owned by them.
Of course I went berserk. I filed a counter copyright infringement notice and got in touch with the Viacom contact person “Brad” cited in the copyright strike notice. I was angry, but I tried to keep it in control. Times like this logic over anger wins out. But I gotta admit, there’s nothing more infuriating than a big media corporation trying to grab something you own, threatening legal action.
A week or so later, my video is back online, without any note or even an apology from You Tube OR Viacom. Figures.
First, a word with You Tube: You Tube…. I spent years creating original content for my Komikero channel, working hard on each video. Do you understand this? YEARS. Couldn’t one employee spend one God damned minute verifying if some greedy media corporation actually have grounds to cite me for infringement? ONE GOD DAMNED FUCKING MINUTE.
Viacom… couldn’t you have “Brad” have less of a copyright infringement trigger finger and ask him to actually LOOK at the video and see if it’s actually owned by them? When you create viral video shows like Tosh.0, you are going to be using content NOT CREATED BY YOU. And as in my case, you most likely DIDN’T EVEN ASK FOR PERMISSION. How many copyright infringement strikes have you given original content creators on You Tube just because their videos appeared on shows that you own?
Arghh… I wish I could…. but I’ll just move on.