Copyright issues on YouTube have plagued the video platform for years, but in the last few months it’s been particularly problematic for creators do to YouTube’s “shoot first, ask questions later” approach to copyright issues.
Now, YouTube’s biggest creator, PewDiePie has been hit with copyright strikes on his most recent videos – all seemingly from a company called AlfDigital, YouTube says.
YouTuber James Charles has also been hit by claims from the same entity today.
A YouTube copyright claim is part of the copyright policing system used by YouTube for the purpose of managing copyright infringement and complying with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). However, the system is flawed and, as many YouTubers have pointed out, it’s often abused by people and companies who don’t hold the copyright to the works they’re claiming.
When visting one of PewDiePie’s last few videos, the videos have been blocked and there’s no way to interact with the video.
“Video Unavailable,” is the message visitors to the channel are met with. “This video contains content from AlfDigital, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.”
YouTube has long been criticized for the way it allows any company or entity to make a claim on a video, without any prior checks that the entity making the claim actually owns the copyright to the content they’re claiming or striking.
The way YouTube’s system works leaves it open to false claims being made by copyright trolls, causing havoc for YouTubers and often with no repercussion for those making false claims.