Since my last blog post about the issues I’ve had with the TicTocPop Popping channel there has been some communication with us about the issues raised both in this blog and in the community. Otis and I had some civil and productive messaging about the clips. Since then, he has posted a new version of the clip and given both Studio G in the DMV and Electrosoul a shoutout. He has also included a link to our jam footage. It seems that he has also been doing that to all the other clips he’s been posting. Those are good things!
It is important that I give credit where credit is due. Regarding the tone of his clips, Otis has explained he did not intend for things to become mean spirited. If you watch this new clip I think you’ll probably agree.
I think in terms of the popping community, it is important to stay positive. We have entirely too much shit talking these days in my opinion. Some of my friends thrive on this sort of drama but I’m definitively not in that camp. I shared these sentiments with Otis and he seems to be on the same page. I believe in the heat of the moment we sometimes say things we don’t really mean to be permanently archived and played over and over again.
For my part, I removed the initial copyright claim on the YouTube clip(s) that I filed 2 weeks ago. I decided to do so before we had actually chat. I think I need to be very clear here that while this particular set of clips from Electrosoul 7’s battles may have been the catalyst for this process…it was the larger issue of copyright that got my attention. It could have been any clip that triggered my response. I don’t monetize dance clips. I do monetize others. Who knows I might have to fight for one of those some day.
The bottom line is regarding the Electrosoul 7 video clips I was prepared to just let this go anyway. If I had to fight for them it would have taken more effort in the long run than it was worth. In the end I also wasn’t entirely sure that tictocpop or anyone else didn’t have the right to use the footage the way it was used. The courtesy i have asked for has now been given. My issue with tictoppop has reached its conclusion.
On that note, i believe there are other important things to think about. I’ve learned that many people out there on YouTube, Facebook, and social media in general have what they think is a good grasp of what is “right” or “wrong” with respect to digital content. They have preconceived notions about what is protected and what isn’t. Most of them are very confident in their positions. Well… I’ve learned that most people know nothing. I include myself in this. I’ve learned a lot from this process.
There is a difference between what YouTube allows and or facilitates with content claims, and what is defined in the law. There is a difference between what people do routinely with digital content, vs what they have a right to do. There is a difference between knowing your rights vs defending your rights. Many of my friends even think of themselves as knowledgeable on this. Well, with the exception of a couple attorneys I know..they are not. For the most part, as content creators and consumers, we are all out in the wild.
If you create something and you feel it is infringed upon then you must defend yourself vigorously if you want anything done about it. youTube will not do that for you. They get 3 million content id claims a year (at least) and it is for the most part automated. Any dispute that is truly worth fighting for between the two parties will in the end be decided in a courtroom or between a lawyers. None of what happened here rose to that level for me. I just don’t have the time to defend a clip and/or photograph that makes no money.
This is a fascinating subject. The more I read on it, the more I respect both sides of the argument when it comes to what is called “transformative” use of copyrighted material. That is the key issue that has consumed my brain for a couple of weeks. Some people believe that parody/commentary by their very nature are transformative. Take Honest Trailer’s for example. That is one of my favorite youtube channels. It is absolutely using copyrighted material. Now, ask yourself, are those clips up because ScreenRant has a 1) right to do it and it is legally permissible or 2) did they have permission to do so? Why don’t we see entire movies uploaded with commentary? How does the famous “Phantom Edit” of the prequels for star wars exist? It is transformative I guess…but how much so? Does it completely replace the original?
The answer? It’s complicated.
I would just leave you with one thought. Don’t let the fact that you copy and repost photographs and/or video clips on a frequent basis erode the knowledge that content creators have rights. Just because you haven’t been confronted yet doesn’t mean there aren’t worthwhile principles you should be considering.