It’s been a rough, stressful week for DTB. After five peaceful years free from the copyright issues that plague other highlight channels on YouTube, many things have happened rather quickly:
On June 5th, my 2016-17 Giannis Antetokounmpo dunkilation was taken down and I was given a copyright strike. The takedown was issued by an entity called “Aiplex Software Pvt Ltd”. Nothing I can find indicates they are in partnership with the NBA.
On June 6th, part three of my 2016-17 Stephen Curry three-ilation was also taken down, also by Aiplex. That was my second strike. If you get three strikes, your channel is deleted.
On June 10th, today, I received a copyright infringement notice from “Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt. Ltd.” via Aiplex, who I now know is acting as Sony India’s middleman. This email listed fourteen videos that Sony India found to be infringing – the fourteen videos in my “2016-17 Season Compilations” playlist that had not already been deleted. This email warned of legal action and other dire consequences for failure to comply, so those videos have been completely removed from my channel.
For reference, those compilations were for Zach Lavine, parts 1-2 of Stephen Curry (part 3 was already deleted), LeBron James, JaVale McGee, Marquese Chriss, DeAndre Jordan, Aaron Gordon, Rudy Gobert, Jabari Parker, Thon Maker, parts 1-2 of Klay Thompson, Kyle Korver, and Giannis Antetokounmpo (already deleted).
There will be no more compilations this year. There might not be any more compilations ever again. It’s not worth the risk. My copyright strikes will expire in September, and my account will be clean at that point – assuming it makes it that long – so I hope to continue uploading individual highlight videos for the 2017-18 season.
This is very disappointing for me. There were many, many compilations waiting to be edited and waiting for descriptions to be written: Steven Adams, Ryan Anderson, Luke Babbitt, Bradley Beal, Davis Bertans, Clint Capela, Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, Joel Embiid, Eric Gordon, James Harden, Buddy Hield, Richaun Holmes, Dwight Howard, Joe Ingles, Derrick Jones, Skal Labissiere, Damian Lillard, Brook Lopez, C.J. McCollum, Jamal Murray, Kristaps Porzingis, J.J. Redick, Seth Curry, Isaiah Thomas, Karl-Anthony Towns, Kemba Walker, and Russell Westbrook. Those are just the ones that were already in production. I had more planned that were not yet started. That’s at least a hundred hours of my work will never see the light of day.
Nobody will ever read my funny story of how Kent Bazemore prank-calls Dwight Howard pretending to be a lawyer representing one of his numerous baby mamas. That story doesn’t seem so funny now.
I have never made any money from my work. The NBA partners with a company called BroadbandTV to enforce their copyright interests on YouTube; every video I upload – every single video, except for perhaps this one – is claimed by BroadbandTV. If you see ads on my videos, the money is going to BroadbandTV (and from there, presumably the NBA). It is this way for every other highlight channel on YouTube. None of us make money except by other means (ads, promotions, and the like). For our purposes, the videos we upload are not monetized.
The NBA has made it clear that they don’t wish to destroy the thriving highlight community on YouTube. They make money off of it, so they let it continue, even though every NBA highlight video is technically infringing on their copyright.
But it isn’t the NBA who is forcing me to take these actions. It’s Sony India, operators of Sony ESPN, who have forced my hand. It seems to me that they somehow stumbled upon one of my videos, then my playlist of this year’s compilations, and decided to go after me. Who knows if other highlight channels will be next?
My number one priority is to prevent my channel, and the 6000+ videos on it, from getting deleted. A significant amount of NBA history resides here, and it is history that resides nowhere else except for box-scores. The prospect of losing it all makes me slightly sick. That is why there will be no more videos this year. If I deem it necessary to move to a new channel in order to preserve this one, I will do that.
I want to personally thank every person who has ever watched one of my videos. Together we enjoyed the performances of the unheralded role-players of the NBA, the scrubs, the rookies, the aged vets. It fills me with so much pride knowing that I’ve brought joy to so many lives. Hopefully I can continue to provide that joy to you guys. I’m trying not to cry while I’m typing this but it’s not working.