H3H3 Productions Raises Over $100,000 On Indiegogo, Creating 'YouTuber's Union'

bold guy
Matt from H3H3 tweeted this after the original Bold Guy video was taken down. Twitter

YouTube has become the battleground for figuring out Fair Use on the internet. According to Rich Stim, an attorney and blogger affiliated with Stanford University, Fair Use is: “ any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work.” On the internet, there is no clear line between what exactly is protected under Fair Use. Is a video combining a voice-over with someone else’s images considered fair play, or is it blatant stealing?

H3H3Productions, a reaction channel that seems to constantly be on the forefront of YouTube drama, released a video on Tuesday called “ We’re Getting Sued.” H3H3 likes to mock weird things they find on YouTube, combining clips of someone else's video and their own commentary. One of their targets, Matt Hosseinzadeh aka Bold Guy, a YouTuber who makes videos about himself trying to pick up women, is suing H3H3.

In the video, Matt and Hila of H3H3, talk about how Bold Guy’s lawyer kept sending them emails asking them to “take down the video” and give BG a small settlement. H3H3 said they aren’t backing down though, they plan to take this to court with the help of Ryan Morrison, better known as the Videogame Attorney. Matt and Hila could just give in to BG’s demands, but then it would set a precedent for anyone else who wanted their videos taken down. They said the lawsuit would cost them over $100,000, but “feel bad asking the community for more money, since they have already given so much.”

Philip Defranco, another popular YouTuber, created an IndieGoGo for the pair at H3H3Productions that, in a little over a day, has raised more than $140,000. Huge movers and shakers from all over the internet have donated to the cause, including Notch, the creator of Minecraft, Pewdiepie, Keemstar, Markiplier and so many others. Even YouTubers that H3H3 have gone after are donating, including the Fine Bros and LeafyisHere.

Matt and Hila don’t plan on using all of the money collected. In a new video called “A New Chapter For Fair Use On YouTube,” they say they are setting up an escrow account under the protection of the Videogame Attorney. This means that YouTubers who feel that their work is being taken down or attacked even though it’s protected under fair use have someone to stand up for them without acquiring thousands of dollars in debt. It’s called the Fair Use Protection Account, or FUPA. To contact FUPA about protection, email fupa@morrisonlee.com or follow the official FUPA twitter.

It’s amazing that it took this long for YouTubers to get together and create what Matt calls “a YouTuber’s union.” YouTube is big money now, and is where the future of entertainment is going. Big corporations have no problem taking down content creator’s videos; they issue automatic strikes that can damage a channel’s reputation and ability to make money. People make a living off of YouTube now, and the fact that your channel can be taken down even though your videos were protected under Fair Use is absurd.

The Where’s The Fair Use campaign started by the Nostalgia Critic has been gaining some traction, but it’s still not enough. YouTube needs to do more to protect their content creators if they want to continue having these guys make more ad revenue for the company. Until that happens, YouTubers are going to have to protect themselves anyway they can.

 

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