YouTube, Copyright and Piracy Concerns


I know some of you use YouTube to share videos of your work, perhaps you’ll be interested in a real life situation that Artist, Paul Taggart finds himself in with YouTube and how piracy has turned his world upside down.

Paul Taggart has been an artist for 40 years, authored a number of art instruction books, has given countless workshops all over the world and who has generously shared over 260 art tutorials via YouTube, where he earned YouTube Partner status.  I’ve watched Paul Taggart’s video’s for a number of years, they have been tremendously helpful tool in my development as an artist.

An artist friend of mine on PMP brought Paul’s situation to light, I hope that by publicizing his experiences here that perhaps some extra support may be raised for his cause.  At the very least it will alert you all to how easily your videos can be stolen and how you may not be able to get them back.

Please have a look at these short videos by Paul in which he explains how his tutorial videos were pirated and then, due to a counter-claim of copyright by the thieves, YouTube has shut down his channel and all his great work has been lost.

If you share your work freely on the internet, here is another example of how a good thing can go bad.  It’s something to keep in mind as you post  .  .  .

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About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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57 Responses to YouTube, Copyright and Piracy Concerns

  1. I can’t like this, it’s too awful! What horrible people to pirate his videos and then sue him to remove the originals. Surely he will eventually win that battle. I hope he does pursue it, we all need a good outcome to that one.

  2. timelesslady says:

    Good to know Mary, thanks for posting. Kathy

  3. timelesslady says:

    Good to know Mary…thanks for posting.

  4. Susan Scott says:

    I’m sharing the link on FB … my sons are artists, one an animator, the younger a musician … I wonder if they’re aware of this. Hopefully your post will make people more aware. Thank you.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Susan, nice to meet you. Thank you very much for sharing the situation with your sons, I think the more people know about the circumstances and voice concern perhaps it will encourage social media sites to review their piracy rules w/re to members – I know Mr. Taggart will appreciate it. Thanks again ~

  5. JSD says:

    Thank you for sharing this and bringing it to our attention. Such an unfortunate situation.

  6. ashokbhatia says:

    Terrible. Thanks for the update.

  7. Reblogged this on The English Professor at Large and commented:
    This post is from Oil Pastels by Mary, an extremely talented artist, and it is of major concern to many.

  8. Jackie says:

    Words fail me! What a despicable tragedy! Looks like it’s time for me to delete my YouTube account. I will no longer support all these social media websites because they are obviously not looking out for anyone. I hate to say it but I’m afraid the owners of the social media websites don’t care much about protecting people and never will. 😦

  9. Lorna Webber says:

    Mary, thanks very much for sharing this information, which is of interest to all creative people.
    The bizarre thing about Paul’s case is that it was Youtube that initially alerted him to the fact that his videos had been pirated!

    • Mary says:

      Oh wow, Lorna now that is just too much! Do you know if Paul is getting any sort of reaction to his situation either from Google now that this is beginning to go public?

  10. Twig says:

    Really appreciate you sharing this unfortunate story to remind us all to be aware. I agree that there should be more protection – eventually something will need to be implemented because the alternative is further restrictions that would change the way we use the Web. I feel artists need it as a resource for sharing their work but fear it will be difficult to find a solution which both keeps the internet a free resource to all while maintaining some kind of strictly enforced protection against copyright infringement / plagiarism. I wish everyone simply respected others property rights and yet it isn’t the world we live in. Thanks again for this post.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Twig – thank you for your thoughts and comments. I agree with you, it’s a commentary on how our lives has evolved, which is very sad – has made me loose confidence in others.

  11. Leanne Cole says:

    That is shocking, terrible, how on earth are you supposed to protect yourself against that, someone take a dislike to you and that’s it. I think I will need to be careful about what I put on YouTube from now on.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Leanne, thanks for commenting – you are right, pretty sad that a good thing has been turned into a nightmare. Makes you wonderful what would these people ever need rights to his material for unless they are making money off clicks & ads.

  12. Awful:-( I have viewed some of his wonderful tutorials. What a terrible loss for everyone.:-( 😦

  13. Anonymous says:

    I guess so! I actually haven’t been putting a copyright and my signature on everything I post. Sometimes they are just sketches, so I forget. But maybe I should!

    • Mary says:

      Hi thanks for your comment. I hope you start so you can have at least a little protection – even though it may not help in the end. I hope that good prevails in the end and the internet sites have a way to stop what is happening, right?

  14. Pingback: Slaying Dragons – The Copyright Demon Strikes Again | Zeebra Designs & Destinations

  15. Thank you for sharing this, Mary. What’s happening with copyright in social media is really appalling. I realize it can be sometimes difficult to check whether someone uploading a video is not a ‘thief’ however there are some cases -and P.T. is one of those- where it is evident the videos belong to him! He shouldn’t have to prove he is not an elephant and even more so be obliged to disclose private information to the thieves themselves! I fear though that even the legal department of most social media is automated, meaning that they have made it so only they are covered legally and really don’t care about their users. Shame. Especially for people like P.T. with such a great background – career and recognition.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Marina. I agree with you, and what bothers me is there lacks a “serve customer first” attitude with these companies. Users or members posts are what drives customers to their social media sites, without these posts and associated traffic they wouldn’t receive ad revenue, etc. Years ago users/members would be #1 to protect and serve, today they serve “their” company first and everyone else becomes equal status no matter whether they are the owner of their posts or someone pirating.

  16. niasunset says:

    This is so sad dear mary,

  17. ĽAdelaide says:

    I cannot load any of the links … I worry about this all the time and always shrink my images, pasting my name all over them! Still it makes no real difference. I’ve been plagiarized on a medical site regarding depression! Horrid to see your words taken by another! I cannot imagine this poor man’s regret!

    • Mary says:

      Sorry Linda – hopefully you can upload the link at some point. I continue to load my images, imbedding words within the photographs – knowing it’s not enough. I’m thinking of perhaps cutting back what I post – we’ll see.

  18. Painting for Joy says:

    Very sad. As artists we are all vulnerable to having our work stolen. It’s a sad commentary on the times we live in.

    I had a run in with some copyright issues on something I created a few years ago and when I filed a complaint with the web site where this happened, (a book company) it went nowhere. They made ME jump through the hoops and passed the buck so much that I finally got sick of it all and took my intellectual property off their website. Meanwhile, the person who stole my intellectual property got to keep their stolen work and make money off of it. 😦

    Thanks for bringing this to light Mary.

    • Mary says:

      And that is a really disturbing story Rhonda! I’m so sorry for what happened to your work – it raises the flag once again that not enough is taking place to protect property that’s placed on the internet. As owners, there is no protection for us – that’s very sad.

  19. I went to the site you suggested..what a lovely man..what animal would rob him of his talented work and livelihood? I’ve an old friend, a lawyer, who works with “intellectual property'” suits. It’s very thorny now, with the internet to control all of that. The protections have not caught up with the possible infractions. (Lucky for poets….nobody wants to pay for, or even steal, poems!)

    • Mary says:

      Sad right Cynthia? It’s maddening and some of my blogging friends here on WordPress have had run-ins with this kind of stuff. I don’t think there is enough of an outcry, as well as “known” voices – think about when the musicians raised their voices because people were downloading/sharing their music w/o paying for it. This is a problem for artists.

  20. Soo tricky! Copy write protection can be a gray and troublesome area. This poor artist is unfortunately, not the first to find himself in such a mess. Thank you Mary, for this cautionary tale. Again, unfortunately, we should educate ourselves re:the worst possible outcome.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Elena, you are so right – it’s a mess, but sad that this goes on. Unless society changes, which I don’t think will happen, this kind of stuff will continue for the long haul.

  21. oh my! i first thought this was going to warn that we shouldn’t be inserting youtubes made by others into our posts.. i am having trouble closing my mouth, which dropped open with surprise when i read your warning!

    that’s horrible! thank you so much for sharing this!

    z

  22. What a sad story, it’s outrageous, how can this be?! I feel so sorry for him and other people in the same situation. Thanks for sharing the message, Mary!

  23. Wow, thanks for sharing that Mary! I wouldn’t even begin to try to do instructional videos, but I have feared sharing my work all this time on my blog. How do I know whether someone will copy it and claim it for their own? And how would I ever find out, you know what I mean?

    • Mary says:

      Hi and I do know what you mean. It’s very difficult to protect and control – some imbed signatures/initials within the photograph they post, others limit the pieces posted, others copyright every piece posted for added protection, and some get their attorneys after them. I think that the owners of these social media websites (facebook, youtube, etc.) need to take more stringent steps to protect their members, because their members are what drives traffic to these sites. I guess it’s post with this awareness.

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