If you ever wondered why the unions should organize YouTube, it’s finally raised its ugly head: scumbag anti-artist agreements at the shadowy Maker Studios and Machinima. Read “YouTube Stars Fight Back” in the LA Weekly and you’ll get the idea.
And this doesn’t even count the problems these people have created for themselves by ignoring the rights of songwriters.
Here’s a taste:
On Dec. 10, Ray William Johnson, whose channel boasts more than 6 million subscribers — more than any other on YouTube — couldn’t keep quiet any longer. A little after 7 p.m., he fired off a pair of tweets heard ’round the world.
“Yo @MakerStudios I left your company two months ago. **ANY TIME** would be good to sign my AdSense account back over to me.” AdSense is the account into which YouTube ad revenue is deposited — the way in which YouTube stars receive compensation for their work.
The tweet was followed by another, two minutes later: “@MakerStudios holding a YouTuber’s AdSense account hostage after you promised to sign it back over is bad for your business.”
The public spat was particularly ironic since Maker Studios positions itself publicly as the network for YouTube stars, founded by YouTube stars. Among them is LisaNova (Lisa Donovan), who parlayed her YouTube fame into a brief stint on MadTV before starting the network with fellow YouTube stars Danny Diamond (her fiancé, Danny Zappin) and Thebdonski (her brother, Ben Donovan).
The trio has said that it sees Maker as the United Artists of YouTube — akin to the studio founded by Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and other Hollywood stars in defiance of the controlling studio system. Zappin is fond of telling the story of how Maker helped move YouTube star ShayCarl and his family to Southern California from Idaho so he could be part of their fledgling company.
The “United Artists of YouTube”?
These people need to go back to the hole they crawled out of.