Facebook has a problem with "freebooting", says YouTuber after Bauer Media steals his video

Facebook has a problem with "freebooting", says YouTuber after Bauer Media steals his video


A popular YouTube creator has attacked Facebook for profiting from “freebooting”, after one of his video was posted without his permission on the social network by German media publishing company Bauer Media.

Destin Sandlin, the person behind Smarter Every Day, uploaded a video in September about getting a tattoo in slow motion. Zoo Magazine – owned by Bauer – then downloaded the video; removed all the education content, sponsors for the channel and links to Smarter Every Day; and then reuploaded it on their Facebook page.

After exhausting every option to get Bauer and Facebook to remove the video and getting his fans to complain on Twitter, they finally did. When it was removed, it was viewed over 17 million times. He says that if he received that many views for that video on YouTube, it would have been “serious, serious college fund money.”

Both Bauer Media and Facebook have refused to compensate him for the theft.

Sandlin says he made the video to highlight this growing problem, especially on those who don’t have millions of subscribers and have no voice. He also notes that if his children can understand that it is wrong, how can global media organisations continue to do it?

What is freebooting?

“Freebooting”, or the act of downloading someone else’s online media and reupload the video as if it was your own, is a common problem for many YouTubers – especially on Facebook. The term was coined by two popular YouTubers – Brady Haran and CGP Grey – on their podcast after seeing many of their videos being ripped and reuploaded.

For example, one of Haran’s videos of his dog playing with bubbles was downloaded and reuploaded by Perth radio station Mix 94.5 – owned by Southern Cross Austereo. The video has since been removed, not before it reached nearly 155,000 views on Facebook.

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While Facebook does take down content, it doesn’t share its advertising revenue on pirated content to the actual creators – unlike YouTube. It also doesn’t have a Content ID system that automatically scans to see if the content is pirated or not. There is also no consequences for constant freebooting, unlike YouTube with its three-strikes policy.

However, Sandlin has a solution – well, until Facebook decides to fix the freebooting problem. If you spot someone’s video being “freebooted”, take a screencap of it and comment on the video where the original source was. Then you contact the original creator with the evidence, so they can decide if they want to take legal action.

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