We’ve been dealing with this particular issue for many years as creators struggle to create content with as little work as possible. This isn’t inherently a bad thing as we all work in finding a workflow that not only benefits ourselves but also allows us to create as much content as possible within less time. Streamers have a large share of contributing to the problem, as many of them stream 5 - 8 hours or more, many days a week. Streaming for so many hours a day, there is a problem in filling out all of those hours with content. We’ve seen streamers taking whole episodes or even seasons of a T.V. show to their audience, without worrying about any consequences from those copyright holders.
Many claim that what they are doing falls in line with Fair Use. Unfortunately for a lot of us is that we’re not lawyers or even have a large share of knowledge of law. We can claim to know everything to know about what constitutes fair use and even more so the transformative nature of the content being made. What we can say is that by simply placing your camera feed as a small square in the corner and occasionally saying “oh my god” “dude” “that’s crazy” over the course of an almost two hour long video that you haven’t clipped out interesting moments out of. No, you simply hit record and press play to upload to your own channel for your audience to watch. This is itself theft. You’re stealing the content that this creator has spent a large amount of time planning, producing, editing, and finally promoting it for people to watch and consume said content on their channel. The biggest creators and streamers who don’t spend much time producing content as they’ve grown past that segment of their journey are the biggest offenders in this. Not going to mention any names as this would give them the attention they crave, their egos are blinding them to the true nature of harm they are causing the creators they steal from.
This isn’t to put blame on all reaction style creators, as there are many who create some of the best reaction content out there and they’ve spent the time doing so in a fair use way. Like I mentioned at the beginning that this has been something all creators are having to deal with for many years now. It’s only recently with the introduction of TikTok and the short form video which makes creating react content even easier. These people have generated so much under 60 second videos that someone can snipe and stick ten of those videos together and offer really no meaningful content against. Making millions and garnering millions of views.
For many of us, we’re put into a difficult position. Within the YouTube system you don’t have any recourse of claiming another channel if they take your content without permission. The tools are not available to you if you’re not in the YouTube Partner Program. Already you’re placed behind that eight ball, especially if the thief is a much larger creator. You could try to bring attention via Twitter and hope that their community doesn’t brigade you and your channel. Or you can send your plea to YouTube Support on Twitter. Which will more than likely not get anywhere as you are not worthy of anything if you’re an under 1000 subscriber channel. This is a huge problem as a small creator, you’re treated less even though you are still a creator that is making copyrighted content. YouTube has to open up those tools to all channels but, I do see the problem as millions of false copyright filings will arise. To which I say that we are already dealing with this issue.
There are so many instances of channels and/or companies filing false strikes or claims. YouTube is not dissuading these problem filings which filing a false copyright strike or claim is against YouTube TOS and can be legally troubling for the filer. The problem is that no one is enforcing these problems which further embolden the bad actors. What can be done, we ask? Well, it requires money and we all know that YouTube isn’t going to spend money that’ll be more than just doing nothing. We all could make a stand and call out these creators who continue to steal claiming “you’re getting eXposure, just take it little brother”, true you will open yourself up to their community hate as they feel their streamer is above any consequence. Until we make a stand against these people and have them suffer the consequences of what they’re doing, this problem will continue to go on and possibly get worse.