Facebook is proud to announce that their video views are skyrocketing. However, this growth has bred a serious copyright infringement problem, and rights holders complain that the company is not doing much to stop it.
Celebrities are the biggest culprits
A number of big celebrities have been sharing viral videos created by others, sharing them with their fans online and profiting off these videos when they earn money through clicks linked to their own work elsewhere in the internet.
Rights holders say that even when the videos get eventually deleted, the damage has already been done when illegally uploaded viral videos generally get tens of millions of views and hundreds of thousands of shares within days, making serious money for the thieves. “The scale is massive,” says Jukin Media’s director of communications.
Successful vloggers and YouTube stars earn enough money from advert revenues to make video creation their full-time job. On the other hand, an accidental viral video star can earn six figures from the unexpected payday. Yet, their videos are being exploited on Facebook by celebrities hoping to get more followers and money by sharing them.
Rapper Ludacris, Gossip blogger Perez Hilton, Dane Cook and Tyrese Gibson are among the celebrities who were called out for infringing copyrighted material.
For celebrities like them, they’re both building a fan following and actively profiting off other people’s content – viral videos that are the livelihoods of full-time video creators like Jay Lichtenberger, best known for his “scary snowman” videos on YouTube.