Waiting On WalkerTube

According to Craig Smith, Director of Marketing at DMR (formerly Digital Marketing Ramblings), these are the facts and stats about YouTube.

  • over 1 billion people use YouTube;
  • there are over 4 billion video views on YouTube every single day of the week;
  • there are over 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every single minute of the day;
  • there are more than 325 days worth of YouTube videos viewed on Facebook every minute;
  • in 2014, it was reported that 82% of teens aged 14 to 17 used YouTube;
  • in 2015, it was reported that 81% of Millennials used YouTube;
  • in 2015, it was reported that 58% of Gen Xers used YouTube;
  • in 2015, it was reported that 43% of Baby Boomers used YouTube;
  • globally (excluding China), 85% of online adults self-reported as being regular YouTube visitors; and
  • YouTube’s estimated 2014 U.S. ad revenues were $1.13 billion USD.

It’s important to know these details as they  have an impact on the next segment of this article.

Doug Walker (aka The Guy With The Glasses aka The Nostalgia Critic) of Channel Awesome recently posted a rant (in two parts) on YouTube complaining about YouTube.  For reasons that he claims are unknown to him (although he does mention that he receive notification of a claim of copyright infringement from an anime copyright owner in Japan), the Channel Awesome channel had their channel monetization temporarily suspended.

Did he infringe on copyright?  I’m not privy to the details so I can’t say if he did or didn’t.  But I do know a few things about Doug Walker.

He’s a smart guy.

He understands his audience incredibly well.

He knows that a great many of them are of the opinion that if they see or hear something from their latest internet sensation hero on YouTube or other social media platforms, that internet sensation MUST be telling the truth.  What that internet sensation is saying MUST be real!

He knows that if he creates a biased video that skews the facts, he can manipulate his followers and fans into believing that he is being unfairly imposed upon.

It’s a great way to play the role of victim, and if things aren’t as purported to be, he knows that the mea culpa defense will cover him — at least among his followers and fans.

In Part I of the Doug Walker / Channel Awesome rant, he created a false sense of alarm for his followers and fans who have uploaded their family videos to YouTube by insisting that what happened to Channel Awesome can happen to them as well.   He alleged that YouTube could delete their memories forever unless they re-downloaded said videos immediately to safeguard them from the clutches of YouTube.   He prophesized the demise of his followers’ and fans’ precious home videos, all at the whim of YouTube.

Except that the copyright for home movies and videos rests with the creators of those home movies and videos, which means the threat he reveals is no threat at all … unless, of course, the home movie and video creators have used copyright protected music or other copyright protected images without permission in their home movies and videos.

However, most people these days know enough to make back-up copies of all their media if for no other reason than for safekeeping.  Why?  Because you never know when a glitch could cause permanent damage to a file, regardless of whether it’s uploaded to a social media platform.

It’s a strange approach for someone to take in light of the fact that the reasons he states were given to him (by YouTube) for the channel’s restricted access (and suspended revenues) have nothing to do with home movies or videos.  It has to do with a certain anime series that he incorporated into a video that resulted in the problem.

Why would Doug Walker purposely mix two separate issues with each other, and serve them up piping hot with a side order of righteous indignation?

Four hours after uploading Part I, he was back with Part II to let his followers and fans know that YouTube had reinstated their revenues.  He thanked his followers and fans for their support in sharing Part I of his rant (in other words, he manipulated his followers and fans into believing that they were responsible for scaring YouTube into returning their share of revenues that were previously suspended).

Except that it’s just as likely — and my guess is that it’s far more likely — that between the time Part I of the rant was posted and when Part II was posted, YouTube (having investigated the claim further) made a determination on the matter.

Another point Doug Walker tried to make in Part I of his rant was that YouTube owed him an explanation for what happened (which he already admitted was due to a DMCA Takedown Notice being filed against Channel Awesome).

Actually, Doug, they don’t.

YouTube is FREE to use, and it’s FREE to not use (or leave as the case may be).  It’s the same with most social media platforms.  If you don’t like the way the FREE service does business, you’re just as FREE to leave as you are to stay.

Nothing stops you from creating your own social media platform, and inviting all of your 370,000 plus subscribers to start posting on WalkerTube at no cost to them — FREE!  All you have to do is make sure that you have the framework in place to provide seamless service with no glitches.  And when a DMCA Takedown Notice is filed against one of the Walkerites, your subscribers will be pleased to know that WalkerTube will immediately address the situation without interfering with the monetization of their WalkerTube channels at the expense of copyright owners protecting their copyrights.

You know, maybe it’s time for YouTube to put the responsibility of proving permission or the right to use copyrighted materials in YouTube videos on the shoulders of content creators.  Maybe every time a video is uploaded, content creators should be forced to file a form identifying what copyrighted materials are being used in their video, and under what right said copyright materials are being used.  Then YouTube will have paperwork to share with copyright owners who challenge the content creators’ claims of having the right to use the copyrighted  materials in question in their videos.

Of course, in a perfect world, copyright infringement wouldn’t even be a problem as all law-abiding content creators would ensure that nobody ever infringed on copyrights.  Why, they’d even make certain that the community was self-policing to help keep people from accidentally going astray.

Elyse Bruce


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