Over the years, I have had more videos stolen by individuals that I can count. An optimist would say that if a video is worth stealing, it must be pretty good.
But I have never had videos used by major media outlets without my permission before. I'm not hard to contact. If a producer is interested in using a clip of mine, they know the first place to go to is the Youtube messaging system. I always reply to them with either a yes or a no. If I ignore them, there's always a chance they'd just use the content.
When a few of my videos were shown on NBC Dateline, I was a little "miffed" since they never bothered to contact me. The story was about a murder case and an old rat trap video I posted 4 years ago was part of the evidence. In one of the shots from the video it showed my "watch page" (the page you watch video on) and it revealed how many videos I had posted at the time they shot the footage. That was done in mid-June. The TV show aired July 18.
I posted a video showing the videos they used, and noted that they had cropped out my watermark from a video I posted 8 months ago. They not only showed the video from the trial, but showed several other of my rat trap videos as well, that were not related to the murder case. I have used watermarks on all my videos I have posted for the last 3 years or so. My early uploads often do not have them.
Much to my surprise, the video rant gained a LOT of views in a day. Tay Zonday, the guy that sang "Chocolate Rain" even chimed in. Shortly after I uploaded the video, someone has posted it over at Reddit.com. The fire-storm started.
Later that day, I got a phone call from a producer from NBC Dateline, Joe Delmonaco.
He tried to convince me that they had "fair use" rights for using the rat trap video that was shown on the show, but also part of the circumstantial evidences for the murder trial. I understood that and did not have a problem with that. But I asked him about the usage of my other videos and why my watermarks were cropped out. He didn't give me any reasons why but shifted the conversation back to fair-use.
I was very amazed by the power of social media, and how quickly this story went from a simple rant to being the subject of several other news stories. But I was really surprised that I didn't have to contact NBC- they contacted me.
Who else contacted me? A whole lot of law firms.
(to be continued)