from pew-pew-pew! department

We had just talked about how Mark Fitzpatrick, a YouTube personality who focuses on reviews and raffles for anime properties, had been targeted by Toei Animation for the removal of over 150 of his videos due to of copyright claims. Toei is the home of animation for several popular animes, including the Dragon ball series. While Fitzpatrick’s videos fall squarely into the fair use category, as they are mostly commentaries and reviews that use clips from the anime in question in order to illustrate the points, due to how expensive YouTube applies such claims, its videos were removed first and are still down at the time of writing.

Well, if Toei was hoping all of this would go unnoticed, it sure isn’t. Fitzpatrick’s own video complaining about how Toei is behaving has over 700,000 views. And now the Pewdiepie streaming icon fits into all of this, squarely on Fitzpatrick’s side.

On December 9, PewDiePie uploaded a video reacting to Toei’s apparent massive copyright strike against Fitzpatrick, calling the studio “a big company that doesn’t give a damn about random YouTuber anime.”

“Japan is notoriously stupid when it comes to copyright,” he said. “Thinking backwards or just grossly missing what most people agree is fair dealing and not. They don’t care. It’s a big business. That’s it.”

Now, I’m not in love with Pewdiepie’s wording in all of this, but he’s certainly right that the way Japan has constructed its copyright laws is very problematic. There is a reason that many countries have built fair use provisions into their copyright laws and they are intended for situations like this. Nothing in the use in Fitzpatrick’s videos in any way threatens Toei Animation‘s business. There can certainly be comments in his videos that Toei doesn’t like, but that’s another thing. Copyright laws in general were not created to give content creators the ability to remove comments; they were meant to be a way to protect the business interests of creators. Instead, there are several exclusions in Japanese copyright law that have been added specifically to grant more control over how content is used for the anime and manga industries.

Pewdiepie isn’t a model on this stuff, either. That’s his business, after all, and he knows enough about it to cite past examples of how it all goes wrong when it comes to properties from Japan.

Kjellberg then compared Toei’s copyright claims to Nintendo’s failed Creator Program, which allowed creators to use gameplay footage and music, as long as they shared their earnings.

“I think it’s important that we call these things out, so they can hopefully listen,” PewDiePie continued. “What happened to Mark really highlights a huge problem with YouTube.”

And he then took to YouTube entirely, claiming that the way the platform enforces copyright claims is extremely unfavorable to the creators of YouTube.

“Any day, your YouTube livelihood could be deleted, because a big company suddenly decided, ‘No, no. Stop it, ”he added.

To be fair to YouTube, as I said in the previous post on Fitzpatrick’s Tribulations, this is not an easy problem to resolve. But he is a problem and YouTube honestly doesn’t seem to do much about it. If this continues, there’s no reason that the struggles Twitch has in retaining its creative community can’t happen on YouTube as well.

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Filed Under: anime, copyright, copyright strikes, dmca, fair use, mark fitzpatrick, pewdiepie, review
Companies: toei animation