As I’m certain you’ve noticed, by now, I’ve begun to take a bit of a shift away from review-oriented content. The last several things I’ve posted were test episodes of a show set to premiere in May. Before that there was a brief article about the Deadpool movie, but even that wasn’t really a “review.” Frankly, I don’t really enjoy article reviews, seeing as they’re purely text so it can be easy to misinterpret tone. Tone is rather important when it comes to someone as snarky as me. But I digress. The reason I’ve been steering a bit away from reviews is honestly quite simple, and something to be expected – YouTube’s content ID system. Yeah, we’re tackling that bear, today.
For those of you who may not know what I’m referring to, YouTube enforces a content ID system that helps creators weed out copyright infringement. It’s a system created with a noble goal in mind, but it is quite horrendously flawed. Setting aside that the system is dominantly automated and can flag you for things that are within the boundaries of Fair Use, there are other problems. You see, content creators possess the ability to manually hit your video with a DMCA Takedown Strike… at literally any time. This leaves your channel with a Copyright Strike until the claim is disproved or the time to act on the strike has passed. If you dispute the strike and lose, that strike isn’t going away. While you have a strike, you’re unable to upload videos over 15 minutes and all of the revenue on the video goes to the claimant. Three strikes, you’re out. Your channel gets shut down and all of your videos go away with it. Can you find the flaw in this yet?
The system is woefully unequipped to handle issues with tyrants who issue false copyright strikes. If you dispute the strike, it will still act as if the strike is on your channel until the claimant decides to act on the dispute or the aforementioned dispute period runs out, at which point the strike is removed. The issue with that is that for that entire 30-day period, the claimant can feel free to just sit on their hands and sponge up the revenue for your content in that time. So let’s ignore that, statistically, YouTubers make most the money on any video within the first month of its being released, thus screwing over anyone who runs into this situation. The bigger problem is that there is no immediate solution to these people who issue false claims. There is no penalty. There is nothing to prevent people from committing what should very clearly be an illegal act. There is no protection in place for content creators who may be reviewers, making sure to practice Fair Use to the letter.
I’m less concerned about the money. My active channel is tiny and not updated too frequently for me to really make any money on YouTube. My concern is that someone just won’t like my review of their property and will deal with the problem by issuing a strike to my channel. It’s already happened to many individuals. Brad “The Cinema Snob” Jones is a very recent one. Then more famously, of course, were the issues had by Dough “The Nostalgia Critic” Walker, who helped start the WTFU YouTube movement, and Jim Sterling, who went far more in depth than I will, here, with his own video on the subject.
Let me be clear. I have no intention of quitting reviewing wholesale. I enjoy it too much. But the format in which I do so isn’t safe while this problem exists in its current state. This is one of the reasons by the Batman v Superman review was handled by the Bulletoon Twins. It’s safer in that format because I needn’t use any footage. The sisters handled it by riffing off of one another, as opposed to clips or images and it manages to keep the review entertaining. I expect future reviews will be in that format. Meanwhile, I’ll likely repurpose Iconic Assembly into a show designed to just talk about comics in general, rather than reviewing them.
That’s all, everyone. Make sure to keep an eye out. There are some real goodies headed your way in the next couple weeks. As always, thanks for reading. Keep up the awesome, and take care.