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In 2009 I created and uploaded a video called \”Hey, Baby!\” to You Tube. It\’s just a series of short shots of me around the house smiling at the camera. That\’s it. I didn\’t use content created by another party, nor did I use music created by any other party. In fact, my video didn\’t contain any kind of music at all. The last time I checked, my video had up around 5.8 million views. Which is just incredible. And so unexpected.

People made their own versions of the video, and some of them even used my video and added music and other things. That was done without my permission, but that\’s OK. That\’s the nature of viral videos on the Internet.

Because the video became so popular, TV shows started showing it in viral video themed programs. Some of them asked for permission, but most of them didn\’t.

Tosh.0 was one such case. This show used my video a lot as a punchline to jokes. I didn\’t mind it too much. They didn\’t ask for permission to use it nor did they compensate me for it. They linked to my channel, but they spelled my channel incorrectly.

A couple of weeks ago You Tube took my video down citing copyright infringement on a complaint from Viacom. They were waving a big ass finger in front of my face, saying I shouldn\’t upload content created by other people, threatening me with the closure of my channel if I had another copyright strike. And I\’m like, what the fuck are they talking about?

Hey, Baby is owned 100% by ME, and no one else. I think what happened is this: Tosh.0 used my video without permission and compensation. Tosh.0 is owned by Viacom and now Viacom thinks my video belongs to them. Screwed up right?

This is not the first time it happened. ABS-CBN here in the Philippines used my video as well in one of their programs. Later, they tried to claim ownership of my video on You Tube. So for a while there was a notice that this video was owned by them.

Of course I went berserk. I filed a counter copyright infringement notice and got in touch with the Viacom contact person \”Brad\” cited in the copyright strike notice. I was angry, but I tried to keep it in control. Times like this logic over anger wins out. But I gotta admit, there\’s nothing more infuriating than a big media corporation trying to grab something you own, threatening legal action.

A week or so later, my video is back online, without any note or even an apology from You Tube OR Viacom. Figures.

First, a word with You Tube: You Tube…. I spent years creating original content for my Komikero channel, working hard on each video. Do you understand this? YEARS. Couldn\’t one employee spend one God damned minute verifying if some greedy media corporation actually have grounds to cite me for infringement? ONE GOD DAMNED FUCKING MINUTE.

Viacom… couldn\’t you have \”Brad\” have less of a copyright infringement trigger finger and ask him to actually LOOK at the video and see if it\’s actually owned by you? When you create viral video shows like Tosh.0, you are going to be using content NOT CREATED BY YOU. And as in my case, you most likely DIDN\’T EVEN ASK FOR PERMISSION. How many copyright infringement strikes have you given original content creators on You Tube just because their videos appeared on shows that you own?

Arghh… I wish I could…. but I\’ll just move on.


5 Responses to “An Open Letter to You Tube and Viacom”

  1. Arvin on April 25th, 2015 5:14 pm

    Hello, Sir Gerry!

    I have seen that particular video a long time ago and it really made me laugh.

    About the copyright issues you are dealing with now, all I can say is that how can anyone claim your video? Anyone who views it will automatically see that it is you in the video smiling consecutively for a couple of times. I think those company’s who claims they have the right to your video should really have some sort of common sense knocked into their noggins because like what I’ve said anyone who views your video will recognize that it is you who’s in the video making all those smiles and will say that if you are in the video, people will think that ostensibly, he’s in the video and he most probably created that video and of course, if you created the video, you instantly have the copyright to it or at least you know who made the video and you have gotten acquainted to whoever made the video if in case other people, a friend of yours for example created the video and that you know who really owns the copyright to your video. But seriously, though if a person sees that particular youtube video, they would also most probably browse your other videos in youtube and common sense should tell them that you are the creator of all your vids in your youtube account or channel and that makes you the owner of all the copyrights for all of them. I know you get what I mean sir Gerry. I am having a hard time articulating my thoughts about this but I know you get my drift.

    Sir, if this is your open letter to Viacom and Youtube, I think you should ask those company’s to give you some sort of monetary compensation for having that mistake. heh heh.

    Your friend,

  2. Ligayadiwata@Twitter / Joy on May 6th, 2015 1:46 am

    Taena, really?! Anyone with EYES can see it’s you you made that video and it’s you who originally posted it.

    People in general, and people working online/social media management in large corporations in particular, should research more and troll/porn less. Honestly.

  3. Tatong Jurolan on May 6th, 2015 2:45 pm

    I watched it in it’s infancy as a viral vid, it was a phenomenon. Since that day I’ve been trying to find my inner “hey baby” especially when you said to me na “Lagyan ng konting malisya”. Youtube is such a dreaded place, not just for it’s “comments” but also when it comes to stealing videos and leaving the owner stripped with their original content (I’ve seen some cases. some have been resolved, all in all… it’s a big hassle indeed.) I do hope they hear you out, sir Gerry…

    Btw, why don’t you make another Hey Baby vid? with a twist perhaps? :D

  4. Chez Love on May 27th, 2015 5:55 am

    Hassle sila sa muscle.

  5. Joel Techloban on June 11th, 2015 6:09 pm

    You should have sued. The legal battle, however, would have been too much of a hassle and a pain to go through. I feel your anger, frustration, and pain, boss Gerry.

    Pero sabi nga nila, may araw din ang mga yan.