A couple of weeks ago, I found out that a certain YT user who had the username “GodAimighty” had had their account closed down. I had never seen this person’s work for more than a few seconds, but I knew they were an Acharya S brand lunatic – and as it turns out, they were pretty free in cribbing copyrighted material from other people. What really got them in trouble, though, was that they frequently used an image from Monty Python and the Holy Grail as a speaking character (see side picture).
I mean frequently – as I found out, from someone who reposted their material, up to 4/5 of their vids were nothing but this character pictured and their own voice (apparently) speaking. That’s not only dull and uncreative, it’s plain disrespectful and stupid.
Here’s their own posting on the matter from one of Acharya’s forum threads:
Well... it appears I procrastinated for too long about getting someone to design an original image for the god face in my videos(Johnson1010 of Booktalk.org has been working on a design for me, though it is still unfinished last I heard from him).
Somehow, the Python Office was made aware of my usage of their image in several of my videos. I don't know if this was the real deal or one of those false flagging type of things, either way, apparently Youtube has found it to be just cause for termination.(I had already gotten one strike some months back for trying to upload Religulous when testing out the new no-timelimit privilege) ...
And it's weird, you'd think my channel was small enough to still fly under the radar, which is what leads me to suspect it was definitely a butthurt troll who either tipped off TPTB or false flagged or something. ..
But in the end, I guess I only have myself to blame for being careless enough to use the image in the first place and then waiting so long to get someone to make a replacement. So now I gotta go back and re-edit and re-upload and rebuild up my subscriber base, on top of everything else I had wanted to do. This really sucks. I'm going to take a break and rethink the direction I want to take with video making and such.
Aw. Poor baby.
Copyright is one of my specialties as a researcher, and because of it, I’m very careful about how much of other people’s material I use in my vids. Fair use allows a very limited amount of such usage – a few seconds of a popular song, a few seconds of an image – a good measure is what you find on Amazon Books when they give you samples of a song to listen to. Just now I picked one at random and Amazon featured only about 28 seconds of a song that lasted in total 3 minutes and 41 seconds. More than that, and you’re probably in trouble.
Here’s an example of how cautious I am with this. In one of my vids, I needed for characters to spend about 7 minutes in front of the same background, which would have been somewhere in Galatia. (Paul was one of the characters.) I had found a picture of a nice hillside in the region and figured I could use that – but wait, no. That might be a violation for that long. So instead, I drew the hillside myself, based on the picture. No copyright issues. End of story.
The sorrowful thing is that even someone as dumb as this “GodAimighty” should have known better, especially after being called down for it before. He could also have drawn the stinkin’ thing himself – it just required two drawings of a figure, one with its mouth open, one with its mouth closed. (Or one more with the mouth open even wider, if he really wanted to work hard.) With that sort of lack of creativity and that sort of laziness, what makes you think they do research any better?
One of Acharya’s other groupies sympathized in their rather stupid way:
Sounds fishy to me. I seriously doubt that the Python Office would care that much so many years later.
WHAT! You’re darned RIGHT they would care; Monty Python spent millions of dollars producing that movie, and continues to make money off of it even today. The animator– Terry Gilliam – worked very hard on his material, and established a reputation for himself in the field. A two-bit hack is making such extended use of HIS work, for free, and you think he and MP wouldn’t care? (This is aside from the fact that such extended use might be misconstrued as MP itself endorsing the findings of the film, which is another issue – I doubt MP would want either side of the debate doing that.)
Then, it got funnier as one of Acharya’s hacks whined about “censorship”.
WHAT! It’s “censorship” to stop someone from using YOUR intellectual property – or for YouTube to stop you doing it? Are these idiots serious?
“GodAimighty” didn’t stop there with the intellectual theft. I watched several of his vids, and there was also sufficient theft of karaoke versions of several popular songs (such as Walk Like and Egyptian and Like A Virgin) that the creators of those products could have called him down as well. The one credit is that the idiot tried to cite “educational” fair use at the beginning of his vid. Well, aside from the questionable categorization of Acharya’s garbage as “educational,” even THAT has its limits. Using the same pic for nearly 4/5 of your video is way over that limit.
I do my best to respect the work of others. When I use music in my vids for any period of more than a few seconds, I give credit to the author. Kevin MacLeod of incompetech.com, for example, has a host of musical scores he lets people freely use, asking only for credit – which I duly give at the end of each vid. I have already found one atheist using one of the same scores from MacLeod I do – and he did NOT give any credit. And really – how hard is that to do?
The only explanation here, really, is a combination of gross laziness and uncreativity, coupled with substantial arrogance. There is no excuse for assuming to just steal from the hard work of others in such a blatant way. Fair use is not a hard concept to understand – and I advocate it as both an information professional AND as an artist.
Not unrelatedly, it’s much like I said in the last entry in this series: These people have almost no creativity, and little ability to come up with anything on their own. Apart from the use of that Python picture, “GodAimighty” mostly offered cribbed screenshots of Wikipedia pages, book pages, and online articles.
Of course, I’m not saying some Christians aren’t producing equally dull material. I wish everyone could do better, and admittedly, some people have good ideas that deserve a hearing while not having the time, ability, or means to express those ideas in a creative way. However, if you DO lack that means, then extended theft of the work of others isn’t the answer.
What makes it even more pathetic is what this creep admitted elsewhere on that forum:
As you have seen, it takes me a week of my free time to complete just 15 minutes of video, to make one several hours long, takes several weeks to months.
A week of free time? For 15 minutes of cribbed screenshots?