Greetings from the management of MuppetHub.com.
Muppet Hub has temporarily withheld content from YouTube, and listeners of Muppet Hub’s podcast productions may have noticed that outtakes and bloopers from Let’s Talk Muppets have been without a home for the past few months. Both of Muppet Hub’s YouTube channels have been dormant during this time because of issues that have intensified with YouTube’s system for managing copyright strikes. Its system has negatively affected Muppet Hub’s content inappropriately in the past, and now various channels across YouTube have had more severe problems than we could have ever imagined.
Because YouTube is a source of income for many producers of video content around the world, it is very important that those who rely on YouTube can be sure that they are being paid appropriately when they make content that is completely acceptable and legal. However, the current system for handling copyright strikes allows for content producers to have their monetization removed illegally without consequence for the accuser, while the producer receives no compensation. YouTube has recently been found pulling videos, monetization, and even whole channels without offering a reason, and without giving the producers an opportunity to defend themselves. The YouTubers who have overcome these issues have done so by urging their audiences to speak up until the public outcry got YouTube’s attention.
Furthermore, YouTube’s “guilty until proven innocent” approach to copyright strikes violates the laws established concerning fair use in Lenz v. Universal Music Corp. Due to the sensitive language in this video, viewer discretion is advised, but this does reveal the dangerous extent to which copyright claimants have the freedom to break the law without consequence:
This is a serious issue. If people can have their source of income stripped without notice due to illegal lies, and no one is being held responsible, YouTube needs to make some changes. So do the corporations making these claims. Maybe there needs to be more action in terms of federal law. While we at Muppet Hub do not pretend to know a solution to these problems, what we do know is that being able to use preexisting works as a basis for new artwork is very important to arts, media, and freedom of speech, and fans of Jim Henson know that his earliest sparks of genius came from this exact artwork that is being censored.
In conclusion, although we are not being directly affected by these problems with the system at this time, and while we do not wish to remove our channels, we are slightly distancing ourselves from YouTube because of a matter of morality. While it must be understood that this is not entirely YouTube’s fault, as they have been pressured by larger companies to make things as claimant-friendly as they have been, this is still an issue that we cannot let them ignore.
Here is the video that brought this to the attention of Muppet Hub, which we highly recommend sharing with friends as much as possible:
To spread the word about the importance of bringing fair use to YouTube, please spread the hashtag #WTFU – “Where’s the fair use?” – and help us in our efforts to make a space for content creators that Jim Henson would love.