YouTube Rewind 2018’s notoriety hasn’t even died down and the video streaming service has found itself in hot water again. The company on Wednesday was accused of exploiting the creators on its own platform after it used an edited version of a video by YouTuber Lily Hevesh to wish its Twitter followers ‘Merry Christmas’ and offered no credit to Hevesh or mentioned her channel. The YouTube’s edited version of the video had even removed the intro, which included a welcome message to Hevesh’s channel. After the backlash, the company posted another tweet acknowledging the mistake and credited Lily Hevesh in a reply to the original tweet.
While it is legal for YouTube to edit and re-upload any videos posted on the platform as the company owns a limited license to anything published on the service, it is ethically problematic, notes The Verge, which was first to report on the matter. YouTube itself condemns this type of behaviour among creators on the platform.
Lily Hevesh is a self-described professional domino artist and uses YouTube to showcase her work and solicit business around dominoes. At the time of writing this post, she had over two million subscribers.
Hevesh came to know about YouTube’s tweet after some Twitter users familiar with her work mentioned her in the replies. Although she was surprised with the omission, she was happy that YouTube found her work worth featuring.
“I’m pretty surprised they didn’t at least tag me or something. @youtube should know better than to re-upload people’s content with no credit :/ But hey, it’s cool that they featured my video and that’s a nice little Christmas present!,” Hevesh tweeted.
“Super cool stolen video!,” replied one YouTuber to the original tweet.
“You’re a site that thrives on users discovering new content creators, I’m not sure what you gain with not crediting the artist,” remarked another Twitter user.
A shout out from YouTube to its over 71 million followers on Twitter with proper credit to Hevesh would certainly have helped her a lot in getting more visibility to her work. Freebooting the video prevented her from getting the much-deserved recognition. Although YouTube did give her a shout out after the outrage, the intentional removal of credit in the first place doesn’t look good on the company.