Todd Standing Silences YouTube Critics Following Release of 'Discovering Bigfoot'
Certain YouTube channels have come under fire from Todd Standing and production company Reality Entertainment this week after posting analysis of Standing's recent documentary Discovering Bigfoot.
The National Cryptid Society said in an email that, in addition to Restricted Access, both Lordanarts and Mattsquatch Presents had videos removed as a result of Reality Entertainment.
Restricted Access had their video analyzing Standing's purported documentary removed after Reality Entertainment submitted a copyright infringement claim against the channel.
Restricted Access producer Mark Vondrouš received a message ostensibly from Reality Entertainment, but signed "TS," prior to that channel's video being removed.
"Referencing your video about my movie," read the message. "At 9:24 and elsewhere you are showing images that are copywritten [sic] by my distributor. I appreciate your video very much but please remove the images of the 'devil' to avoid legal issues beyond my control."
The distributor in question, Alchemy Werks LLC, which is a division of Reality Entertainment, appears to be through whom Standing sent his message to Vondrouš, which makes it unclear exactly what Standing's relationship with the production company is and why he is unable to influence their policy decisions.
Regardless, some are saying that the request to YouTube that removed the video violates the tenets of fair use under the law.
Fair use is commonly defined as any use of copyrighted material without permission for limited or transformative purposes; such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work. In this case, fair use as a tool of commentary or criticism would seem to apply.
YouTube does claim to adhere to the standards of fair use, but offers only limited protections to its content creators under its fair use policy. In this case, no warning was issued by the website to the channel prior to the video's removal.
Of note in YouTube's policy is the nature of the copyrighted work, wherein "Using material from primarily factual works is more likely to be fair than using purely fictional works."
This policy has those affected wondering if perhaps Reality Entertainment is claiming their 'documentary' is, in fact, a work of fiction.
Todd Standing did not reply to requests from Restricted Access to be contacted regarding the issue.