Plagiarism Pitfalls in the World of YouTube Content Creation

Plagiarism Pitfalls in the World of YouTube Content Creation

Have you ever tried not only to get entertainment but also look for answers to some of your questions on YouTube? Looking for particular information, you must have noticed in great surprise that there are tons of different videos which present the same opinions, contain the same content, and are obviously copies of each other. It is natural to assume that YouTubers do not have similar thoughts by chance, but they actually steal the work of others. For sure, there is enough audience for any kind of content and every channel has the right to develop and attract more and more viewers. Still, the question is about the ethics and standards of YouTube as well as present-day perception of originality versus plagiarism.

YouTube Plagiarism: Quality vs. Quality

It is a great challenge to create a YouTube video that will stand out and excite unmatched interest. There are billions of videos online and each of them strives for success and popularity. So, what can an ambitious person not caring much about right or wrong do to double the chances? Exactly! They will start with looking for a video that has an appealing format and try to copy it! It is so much tempting to gain success without much effort, isn’t it?

Does YouTube fight for authenticity of posted content? Not really. The users get bonuses not for originality, but for greater volumes of output. Stealing content, you create your video in no time and start earning at once. Producing the video from scratch, you spend a lot of resources and time, and probably get rewarded for them.

Are there any specific YouTube plagiarism rules? Can content be protected from copying in other videos with legal consequences to those who steal ideas?

First of all, what is viewed as Plagiarism?

  • Copyrighted clips
  • Sounds and music under copyright
  • Content that does not comply with the community guidelines
  • What is not viewed as Plagiarism?

  • Free images with private or public properties which require no legal permissions
  • Royalty-free music as it is not limited to a single use
  • Unique video messages

A warning and a temporary ban for the first violation are followed with the same patterns for the second one. However, the third ban leads to terminating the account.

Can Plagiarism Be Detected on YouTube?

Recently, YouTube community has been rocked with accusations in plagiarism. Hundreds of thousands of subscribers followed the controversy between James Somerton, a popular YouTuber from Canada, and Harris Brewis, who revealed the problem of plagiarism patterns and no credit given to actual authors. Having deactivated his profile and hid the videos, Somerton gave him apologies in the video which was later removed. “I know now that wasn’t enough, and that wasn’t OK,” he said.

So, the thing is that even those who plagiarize admit that it is not actually OK to have plagiarism on YouTube. Still, is it possible to address this problem and detect videos which violate the rights of others?

While students and writers of different kinds reply on such checkers as ThePlagiarism.com, YouTubers are left without any effective means of checking video content for plagiarism. The only exceptions which can be checked with this software are:

  • text descriptions
  • video transcripts
  • written content associated with the video.

The only widely available method of identifying plagiarism in YouTube videos is manual analysis of the content.

A Notorious Case of OBF Plagiarism

Have you ever heard about OBF? Most probably, the first thing that comes to your mind when you see this abbreviation is ‘online best friend’ or ‘official best friend’, but it is also a nickname of a guy who copies popular videos on YouTube and is accused of 100% YouTube plagiarism! He represents one of the content farm channels that simply borrow ideas from others without any referencing at all. The scripts to some videos take weeks of investigation and research, relying on the expertise and knowledge of their authors. What does OBF do? He analyzes the online content and plagiarizes the videos which get the most likes. It is a really tricky problem to tackle as you have to prove that someone is riffing YouTube channels although it is obvious that it is impossible to create so many quality posts without using the content of others. That is obviously very poor creativity to steal ideas and present them as one’s own, merely editing them.

In some videos @OBFYT leaves comments which state that what he is doing is imitating the style of people he admires and that all the accusations are false. “Sometimes I do make a video on a topic that other creators have covered before, that's inevitable, but why would that make it a copy?” This is the question from OBF which raises a lot of concerns and leads to heated discussions in the present-day online world.

How to Take Action against Plagiarism on YouTube?

A Google-owned platform, YouTube has made it possible to register complaints within the system. So, in case you have done investigation to trace certain plagiarism YouTube, you are supposed to report the plagiarized content to protect the work you have done.

  1. Check on the guidelines of the Copyright Help Center of YouTube.
  2. Provide all the details of infringement in a corresponding form.
  3. Make sure that you explain all the aspects of violating your rights and give all the details with relevant proofs.
  4. Attach all the evidence you can collect, including documents and links to YouTube videos you refer to.
  5. Submit the complaint and wait for the update from YouTube.

Plagiarism has broadened its scope and now it is no longer an issue only for universities and schools. Both YouTube audience and actual creators are interested in stricter regulations so that those who steal content took responsibility for plagiarizing. Apologies and explanations have become insufficient. Now the audience can decide whether the crime of stealing content is serious enough to punish someone with neglect and no further interest in their videos. However, if the allegations do not ruin the popularity of the YouTuber, the victims will keep suffering. Still those who make profit not in a fair way, will keep making benefits for themselves. If you watch videos on YouTube, it is you who decides now whether plagiarism will flourish!

Latest blog posts

Plagiarism Pitfalls in the World of YouTube Content Creation
Plagiarism Pitfalls in the World of YouTube Content Creation

Have you ever tried not only to get entertainment but also look for answers to some of your questions on YouTube? Looking for particular information, you must have noticed in great surprise that there are tons of different videos which present the same opinions, contain the same content, and are obviously copies of ...

AI Content Creation and Copyright Concerns
AI Content Creation and Copyright Concerns

Everything is crystal clear when it goes about your own article or unique image. You are the author and you own all the rights to this content. What about non-human authors and creators? If you have made a list of requirements to the text and you got it from an AI tool, whose intellectual property is it: yours or the ...

The Broad Range of AI Applications: From Chatbots to Essays
The Broad Range of AI Applications: From Chatbots to Essays

We live in the time of great fears, great hopes, and great expectations. If one tries to identify what is the best association with the present-day reality, it is probably ‘the age of AI.’ Everything changes so fast that even such stable sphere as writing requires enhancements. Doing time-consuming work ...

Striking the Balance between AI-Powered Writing Assistants, Creativity, and Plagiarism
Striking the Balance between AI-Powered Writing Assistants, Creativity, and Plagiarism

Life rarely gives simple and direct answers, especially when the questions are rather provocative. In the era of AI tools, is there place for originality? Does AI kill creativity or give it a new start? How can we define this collaboration between human brain and the latest software? Is that partnership of two ...

AI's Impact on Shaping Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty
AI's Impact on Shaping Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty

Everybody knows that there is a fine line not only between love and hate. The same can be said about using AI for inspiration and plagiarizing. Distributing tasks among the students, the professor has always expected each of them to turn in their own work. It used to be a great challenge for all schools to ensure ...

Is AI Writing Always a Good Idea?
Is AI Writing Always a Good Idea?

You are a writer and your professional dream has always been very clear and understandable. To write fast, to work better, and give bigger ideas to let the readers know that you are the one whose point of view they should always take into account – that’s it, right? The tedious tasks have always worn you ...