The clip above and three others is what this post is all about. This will probably be a rare occurrence in my blog. I’m taking an opportunity to complain about something that I feel was a transgression on my rights, and my #Electrosoul Team’s rights as a content creator(s). Forgive me if this is a little long, but Otis and I as it turns out have mutual friends. Some of them needed a good explanation of why I’m angry about this subject.
This is essentially about actions taken by Otis Funkmeyer, the man behind TICTOCPOP on YouTube. This is not a huge deal. No one died. What it is at the least for me is extremely irritating. At the worst, I believe it is copyright infringement. In the middle? I think he did something wrong. I’ll get back to this. First let me give you a context.
We held the 7th iteration of our local jam Electrosoul on July 30, 2016. It was overall, a good experience. As always we have things to learn and intend to get better each year. For those who are unfamiliar with our jam, it is a dance competition we hold every year which thanks to a lot of teamwork and goodwill has been growing. We get more and more participation every year from both locals and guests from out of town. Our visitors and participants have come from all over the world. We are still what I’d consider to be a medium size event in the grand scheme of things.
Throwing a jam is a lot of work. It takes a long time to plan. We have to line up potential judges, djs, battle guest(s), venue(s) all of which take time and money. There is the fee for each vendor, the prize money, the travel costs, food…yada yada yada. You can fill in the blanks. We get ready all year by having fundraising events and also spend money out of our pockets. We line up a team of about 12 volunteers as well. Then of course we have all the networking and marketing we need to do to get people to the jam. At best, we hope to break even somehow. That doesn’t happen much. Not yet. It is completely ok with us we know it takes time to get a local scene large enough to fund the type of jam we like. We throw this jam because we love doing it.
At the end of the day, the only evidence of our jam every year is our youtube presence. It is a critical part of our outreach. I think it is the same for every promoter. We have great tools, but there only a few. Nowadays it is Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.We take the time to capture the jam on video. I personally own all of the equipment so it is yet another expense to throw on the pile. We then make sure to categorize the clips and upload them with a jam trailer in the beginning. This jam trailer is critical because it identifies who we are and it also gives a shout out to our key sponsors. That is a big deal. We could not function without them. We do a similar thing in the jam description. We repeat the jam and sponsor info and we add references to our judges, battle guests, djs, and anything else that is relevant. They deserve a credit. Here is what it looks like. Notice the view count at the time of this blog. This is our original upload from #Electrosoul.
What tictocpop did, was take 4 clips from our battle and copy them without our permission. The clips were shown almost in their entirety and joined into one clip about 30 minutes long for use in Otis Funkmeyer’s commentary. They were critical clips in our collection since they were of the battles lead up to the final. From a promoter’s perspective they are the highlight of our years worth of work and preparation. I don’t like his commentary because I find him to be rude at times. This is not why I take issue with tictocpop. Frankly, other people are making that case far better than I could and it will resolve itself.
No, for me it is different. I take issue with him not approaching me for permission to use our jam footage. I had just finished putting trailers on almost 50 clips and uploaded them all. Not even 48 hours later, he had done the following with the 4 clips he hijacked.
- TICTOCPOP Removed our intro trailer. This is significant because using a trailer days who we and our sponsors are. It is a common practice used by most jams( that have the time to do so) today.
- Next he made his commentary and embedded our video(s) in his frame. The frame which includes advertising of his own brand.
- He added a closing trailer for his own business. The word production seems a bit of a stretch to me.
- He added ANOTHER closing trailer for his own business.
- He had his own YouTube description for the video which had none of our information or credits.
Other than the obvious issue of him removing all the original shout outs and replacing them with his social media platforms and his book and his businesses..notice something else. The view count. The new compiled video has 1099 and the original final battle has 1026. Look, I’m not one who obsesses over hit counts. In the end, I think our video will showcase the jam, the competitors, the djs, the venue, and the guests just fine. I’m irritated by the principle of the thing. His channel is siphoning off activity from ours without giving credit back to any of the participants.
TICTOPPOP is not a part of our team and should not be using the results of our hard work at #Electrosoul to promote his brand without our permission. There are arrangements that can be made for this sort of cross promotion. GR818ers already reposted our clips with our blessing! They made sure to refer back to the original source and shout out the jam. Everyone is happy. Unfortunately, for this case, we just don’t like TICTOCPOP’s channel. That is not personal. We just don’t. We should have the right to decline to have our footage that we capture of an event that we organized and financed to not be used in such a way. This is not unheard of at all. There is a reason people can’t just hijack JusteDebut footage and use it anywhere they please. I’m not saying we are that large. We shouldn’t have to be.
To make matters worse, I am fairly sure Otis Funkmeyer knows I don’t want our footage used by now. Nothing has changed. The video is still up. I don’t know if that will be the case forever. I’m just making my case for those who are interested.
Who do I think will be interested? Other promoters. Just look at this thumbnail list of uploaded videos on tictocpop. Maybe it is an assumption on my part but I don’t think he got permission to use any of these clips. Not all of them are from jams so I have no idea what total metrics are here for clips from other promoters. It does look like a substantial number. You know what? Whether there is infringement or not, it is nice to be asked.