YouTube creators aren’t immune from some of the same challenges facing more traditional media outlets.
By Ruth Vitale
Some people are dying to see the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens (where is Luke Skywalker?), some are hooked on The Walking Dead (can you believe what happened to Glenn?!?), and some like to watch makeup tutorials. Do NOT make fun of me, this one is fantastic! What girl doesn’t need to know how to apply make-up while drunk!?
The superstars of YouTube are as well known by their fans as any movie or TV star. Creators like Jenna Marbles, PewDiePie, Michelle Phan, and Sam Macaroni have been able to build incredible careers by speaking directly to their fans.
But these emerging creatives aren’t immune from the same problems that plague more traditional media outlets. Complaints have surfaced from video creators about their works being copied without permission from platforms like YouTube and posted directly to Facebook. The issue really took off last month when the YouTube channel Kurzgesagt (German for “In a Nutshell”) created a compelling video outlining exactly what’s going on. That video, called “How Facebook is Stealing Billions of Views” has received more than two million (legitimate) views so far.
“Freebooting” is a term used to describe the act of taking a creative work (a video or an image) and re-uploading it without giving proper credit to its creator. In the olden days, I believe we called this “stealing.”
It’s not just about who gets the creative credit. All those views on Facebook mean they are not happening on YouTube, where the original creators have an opportunity for monetization – which is infuriating!