Jukin Media, one of several media companies that acquires rights to viral video clips, has managed unlicensed use of such clips by monetizing them through YouTube's contentID system. But Jukin has now reportedly threatened to use copyright strikes to shut down a channel while privately demanding money from its operator. It's extortion, says the target, hit with a $6000 "bill" over brief snippets of media.
They email us with a bill and they charge us fifteen hundred dollars per clip that was in our videos. And so today we got hit with a huge bill of six thousand dollars. I think it's because in the past we've we've paid them this amount of money, so they just they're like hey this guy's willing to pay this money, let's keep you know charging him for it, he'll just pay us. So we've paid about two thousand dollars in total and now we have another six thousand dollars to pay and if you don't pay then basically they'll start striking your channel.
To publish on YouTube, you agree to let YouTube define and enforce a private regime far more expansive than copyright law provides, with no effective provisions for fair use beyond a lengthy process likely to end with your channel shut down. YouTube claims not to arbitrate copyright, but no-one is fooled: it immediately enforces claims on the basis of a promiscuous algorithmic matching system designed from the ground up to serve claimants, while burdening targets with legal process and its own opaque policy-enforcement bureacracy.
If you include anything that already exists, even a moment of footage or audio, even so much as whistling a tune, you're vulnerable to YouTube's enforcement regime and the corporate parasites exploiting it.
There is change afoot, from an improved user interface for dealing with claims to union organizing. But if you don't want to put up with it, the only short-term solution is not to make a living on YouTube.
UPDATE: Jukin posted a statement to Twitter, embedded below.