A COMEDIAN was cheated out of a cheque for thousands of pounds after his YouTube video was stolen.
Funnyman James Alderson was shocked to find a YouTube video he uploaded in 2012 fetched millions of views under someone else’s name.
Mr Alderson’s video, You know you grew up in the 80s if..., is a light-hearted compilation of culture from the decade.
James, 42, from Horndean, learned his copyright had been infringed after the clip was downloaded from the site and uploaded to someone’s personal Facebook account without permission.
He said: ‘It was one of my mates that tagged me in the video post when it was uploaded to Facebook.
‘At first I was amazed because of how many views it had picked up, but then I noticed this guy did not credit me at all, which was frustrating to say the least.’
While it has clocked up about 18,200 views on his own YouTube channel, James’ video has picked up more than 7.4m hits since it was re-uploaded by Facebook user Gary Christian, from Warwickshire, on May 13.
This popularity, James says, could have translated into a huge wad of cash if the perpetrator instead shared the YouTube link to his video.
He said: ‘I think what happened is that someone with a big following saw the video on his Facebook, shared it and it took off from there.
‘My YouTube account is monetised, which means an advert plays during each of my videos and I get a few pennies for each person that watches it.
‘If Gary instead linked back to the video I had made – or gave me a credit in the first place – I could’ve made a few thousand pounds at the very least.
‘Not only would the credit have been useful to me as a professional, but the money wouldn’t have gone amiss either.’
Angered by the discovery, James immediately began leaving comments on the Facebook post, informing viewers it was his video and thanking them for their positive reactions.
However, he said he ‘lost it completely’ after Gary started reporting these as spam – leaving him no choice but to confront him in a Facebook message.
Following a private conversation Mr Christian agreed to caption his post with a credit to James’ social media platforms – more than two months after the video hit Facebook.
Speaking about the events that unfolded, Gary said: ‘I received the video and I forwarded it on. I was not aware of the original video on YouTube.
‘I receive many videos, should I check each one to see if there is copyright? No advisories or disclaimers were in place to protect his [James’] piece of work.
‘Maybe James could do a video on the need for copyright in relation to his work.’
While Gary says crediting James was ‘the only way to get the situation under control’, the comedian said this came ‘too late’ as the video had lost its ‘buzz’.
He said: ‘This is the first time anything I have done has gone viral – there’s nothing I can do about it now.’