This article is going to be fun. I have been adding content to the site now for a little over two months, Progress has been slow but I feel confident that we are heading in the right direction. The podcast hasn't yet missed an episode, I'm uploading blogs/news articles on a regular time-table and I've locked Tengu Arts away and told her she isn't allowed out until the first comic is ready. All in all, pretty good, right? I've even released more videos than scheduled on our YouTube channel, one of which (Fortnite related, go figure) seemed to get more traction than expected...BUT WAIT!
I woke up, bright eyed and bushy tailed, the day after uploading a video where I went through six characters I really wanted to see in the new Super Smash Bros coming to the Nintendo Switch. It was a goofy video I just threw together as I don't expect any of these characters to EVER be in a Smash Bros game (but a boy can dream). If you're interested in that kind of thing you can see the video here.
The video was made with inter-cut footage, I freely admit, I have no ownership of (which is why I wouldn't have monetised it even if I could (and thanks to the change in goal posts for small channels last year that's not even an option I can choose right now anyway; thanks YouTube)). The video I put up was made from the corpse of about eight other videos and spliced together, with my monotone voice draped over the top. I gave credit where I thought it belonged, paying respects to Black Plasma Studios for their kick-ass animation of Steve from Minecraft fighting Herobrine. The other bits of footage were from games, a film and a TV show. Seeing 'YouTube Copyright Claim' in my inbox brought a sigh and shrug but wasn't totally unexpected. I didn't own the footage I used, probably the animator people, right? WRONG. Back when I was recording for Ghoulish Geeks, the forerunner of this little home away from home, I received a copyright strike for a charity stream I did for Stand Up 2 Cancer. I was playing the original Star Wars Battlefront, you know, the one that wasn't a steaming pile of...anyway, I had forgotten to silence the in-game music and the composer dropped the ban hammer on my ass. An important lesson when uploading video game footage was learned that day.
I kind of assumed the same thing had happened here. I had footage from Halo 2 Remastered and the cut-scenes that had been redone by Blur Studios. Probably these guys and girls, right? WRONG. I checked the time stamp that the claim had been made against on the video. There, staring back at me, was the janky purple hair cut of Trunks from Dragon Ball Z. So it turns out the claim was made against me by Toei Animation JP. Okay, that I'm kinda cool with. I'm a big fan of the Japanese animation studio, clearly, I put one of their characters in my video as one of my favourite of all time. They've got every right to squat my video, not sure what they expect to get monetising my video with ads for the twentyish people that will see it, but still...OR SO I THOUGHT.
Turns out that the official channel for Toei Animation is called 東映アニメーション公式YouTubeチャンネル and can be found here. There is, however, another channel called Toei Animation JP, who has just 61 subscribers (don't look at my count). A quick search through YouTube flagged this guy as a copyright troll that goes around slapping claims on small channels, pretending to be the actual Toei Animation. I can dispute the claim of course but are you sure this claim is from a genuine channel, Youtube? strangely isn't an option and there isn't a space to write a reply to YouTube for clarity. None of the options were relevant. No, I don't hold a license for Dragon Ball. No, I didn't make Dragon Ball. A quick search pointed me to a way to contact YouTube...ONLY if I'm in the Partner Program. So, I can't contact YouTube unless my channel is bigger and more important. Cool. I've filled out a contact form that I'm sure won't go straight into the abyss.
In fairness, the real Toei Animation are on the ball with copyrighting their intellectual property, and as long as it is the real deal I'll be happy to take my lumps. Some cretin pretending to be Toei is not something I'll take on the chin though. So, it's official. We've received our first strike! Congrats everyone, same time again next week.
Founder and Writer