By Mike Broderick
May 20, 2019
A couple of months ago, I posted a video review on my YouTube channel entitled: “Audio-Technica ATH-M40x Professional Headphones – Reviewed by Mike Broderick Voice Over.”
The video was my first product review on my channel and was the culmination of a lot of work:
- I’d watched and read dozens of reviews of various headphones over several weeks, while searching for budget-friendly studio monitor headphones. I had also used the ATH-M40x headphones for about three months before deciding to film my own review.
- I recorded my review three or four times until I was happy with the content, edited and synched the sound, and uploaded it to YouTube and to the Voiceover Pros and the Voiceover Universe pages on Facebook, as well as to my Facebook business page.
- I then re-edited, re-synched, and uploaded the video again on YouTube and Facebook when I felt that everything sounded a bit too compressed when run through YouTube.
Within the first month of its publication, my video had 42 views, and I was reasonably happy with that analytic as I would like people – specifically people interested in voice-over but others as well – to benefit from my experience with these headphones.
So, I was surprised to learn last week that my video had only had seven additional views in its second month of broadcast.
In the process of trying to figure out what had happened, I did a YouTube search using the title of my video and was a bit shocked to see that another YouTube channel had uploaded it on to their channel without my permission. They’d also copied the written description I’d used verbatim, cut the open and close of my video to take out my name and the name of my voice-over website, and added an affiliate link which appears to go to Amazon USA. The affiliate link appeared to change over time as well, as one day it seemed to go to Amazon in Tonga. (This unauthorized use of affiliate links with my video is particularly galling as none of my YouTube videos is monetized, and I have yet to use any affiliate links.)
As of last week, my video on their site had 19 views. Although a few of these might have been me watching what they’d done with my video, it seems likely that their channel was syphoning away views that should have accrued to my channel.
On their channel I can see over 40 product review videos – all of which seem to have been recorded by males from various countries, even though the name of the channel in question is a female’s name.
While I cannot speculate as to permissions around the other videos, my video was certainly used without my permission.
In response, I initially wrote a comment on their upload of my video noting that they do not have my permission to use my video and demanding that they pull it down. I also filed a Copyright Infringement Complaint via YouTube and found out at the end of last week that my complaint was successful. YouTube has now taken my video off of the other channel.
The process was easy. I completed a simple online form providing the links to both videos and my contact details. After a couple of days YouTube asked me to forward one of their own emails back to them from my business email address as a way of verifying my business and my claim to the video’s copyright. A couple of days later they took the unauthorized video down. I’d filed the Complaint on Monday, and the video was removed by Friday. (If you need to go down the route of filing a Copyright Infringement Complaint, use a Mac or PC – not a phone or app – and click the flag icon on the top of the offending YouTube channel for various reporting options.)
From my initial research it doesn’t appear that there is a technical way to stop others from uploading your videos, so my best advice is to periodically do a YouTube search using the titles of your videos to determine whether others have uploaded them to their channels without your permission. Then report any offenders to YouTube.
While it’s unlikely – but not impossible – that someone might do this with YouTube videos of your voice-over Demos, my experience shows that if you have content like review videos that lend themselves to monetization and affiliate links it pays to be vigilant.
Have you had a similar issue on YouTube or another platform? Please leave a comment below to let me know what happened and how you resolved it.
p.s. If you would like to see my actual review of the Audio-Technica ATH M40x Headphones, you can find it here: