Copy & Paste

Posted by Cristi Gee on

Sharing is Caring...Until You Don’t Authorize the Sharing

So....this actually happened to me and I’m still not sure how to feel about it. If you’ve been around for any length of time, you know that I readily share my knowledge and experiences as it relates to soaping and self-employment. Honestly, sharing information is how I learned most of the stuff I know now. 

Last week, I was going down one of my usual Youtube rabbit holes when a soap-making video was recommended (shocking, I know.) When I read the title, I remember thinking to myself, “Hey, I have a video with that title!” It didn’t bother me, because people on any social media platform copy ideas ALL. THE. TIME. What did bother me, however, was the description box of the video. The first couple of lines were almost a VERBATIM version of my own video description. Only a couple of words had been changed. Even the title was formatted almost exactly the way mine was. Their video was uploaded in 2020, two full years after my video. My words had been plagiarized. Wait, What???

To pour salt in the wound, this is one of my favorite YouTubers, because this person has a no-nonsense approach to soap making - which I absolutely adore. None of that fancy-schmancy, over-the-top difficult soap challenges; Just good, simple soap. While I love watching a good soap challenge video every once in a while, it is not my personal approach to soap-making. Initially, I asked a question in the one soap group I’m in on Facebook about the situation, seeking guidance on how to deal with it. It was recommended that I report this person to Youtube for a copyright strike. Cool. Sounds like a plan to me.

When I began the copyright infringement report process on Youtube, I was directed to their policies about filing a takedown notice. From all my research, their process protects more of the music and video content vs video descriptions. From what I could glean, descriptions can be included only if they’ve been copied verbatim - the entire thing. So, this person was smart because a few of the words had been changed in both the title and the description. 

Once I realized that the takedown notice would most likely use up more energy than I could spare without producing the desired result, I decided to move forward in peace and love. Of course, a bit of me wanted to be petty and comment on this person’s video...something to the tune of, “Great video description. Too bad you stole it from me.” Then I had to view it from a different perspective. I’ve noticed the focus of this person’s videos has switched and taken on a more bitter and burnt out vibe than anything. If you watch my Mental Breakdown video on Youtube, you’ll know that I totally comprehend burn out. Maybe this person was tired of trying to come up with ideas and saw that my video was one with pretty good watch counts. Who knows? I don’t know what they are going through right now, but it is definitely something. Or, maybe this person just wanted to steal…

Either way, I chose to focus my energy on creating more content for my own channel and praying that this person get some respite from whatever it is they are going through right now. My initial response to this situation was an overwhelmingly emotional one. It took me a while and lots of meditating to come back to a centered place. Emotion and business don’t usually make good friends. Have a wonderful day and hopefully you’ll find something that inspires you.


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