A customer emailed me a question about one of my YouTube videos the other day, asking how I did something at a particular point in the video. I said, "send me a link to the video so I can refresh my memory." So she sent me the link. It turned out to be one of my videos, alright, but it was on someone ELSE'S channel.
I was a bit surprised. I haven't given anyone else permission to upload MY videos to YouTube. I certainly haven't given anyone else permission to MONETIZE my videos! (That's where they play ads before or over your videos and you get a piece of the revenue from the ads). I was quite shocked. After checking out this user's channel, apparently he downloaded and re-uploaded ALL of the videos from my channel into his own.
My first step was to contact the offender by YouTube email. I sent him a polite "who are you, and why are you displaying my videos on your channel?" letter. No reply. After a few days, I decided to file a copyright complaint with YouTube. They have a form on their web site where you can report an offending video. I decided to report one of his videos just to see how the process works. YouTube graciously took the video down without a problem.
I then emailed the YouTube support team to ask them if there was any way to have ALL of these videos taken down without reporting them one-at-a-time. Nope. Due to copyright law, they require a notice for EACH video you want taken down. So now because some dirtbag copied all of my videos, I have to spend a whole day reporting 90+ of my videos individually. This involves getting the URL of his video, matching it up to my video, and getting my URL, pasting those into their form, and so on.
Don't get me wrong, YouTube is a WONDERFUL site. I love them to death, but they really need an easier method for allowing content creators to issue a bulk "take down" notice for someone who does this. I've seen other people "steal" my videos before, and sometimes I don't mind if it's just one of my beginner lessons, and the other person isn't monetizing them, but this guy essentially copied my WHOLE channel.
I wonder what kind of legal action I can take against this guy, assuming he's in the United States, and assuming he's not some 14-year-old punk in his grandma's basement.