Keep this little tidbit in mind with YouTube....

38 replies
I'm sharing this little "GotCha" story so those of you out there who play in the video marketing game keep it in the back of your mind. Of course we all know that stuff can hit the fan pretty quick with YT - that is, you can build up a nice juicy channel and BLAM! - one day it's gone.

Well, that's exactly what happened to me yesterday with one of my channels. No, I don't put all my eggs into one basket and luckily I have a few other channels, BUT....wiping out this particular channel has set me back a few hundred videos and will certainly cut into my cash-flow for a minute.

Anyway....I digress. My point is, make sure that if you want to play in the Video Marketing game that you spread the risk around.

Here's how it went down (btw, I'm using a generic example)...

I optimized a video for {boston plumbing services}. No biggie right? Well apparently that's wrong, because there was actually a plumber who's business name was exactly the same = boston plumbing services.

There is no registered trademark or copyright on that name. However, the business is registered with the secretary of state. That is the only legal claim.

But, I appealed to YT that I was simply referring to plumbing services offered in a specific geographic area, not trying to infringe upon another business - but, I'm still awaiting their decision. I don't expect I will get this resolved though as YT's own TOS say that once you get 3 strikes in a 6 month period, they will not only yank down the video but your account will be suspended. And they don't get in the middle of the copyright claim, they simply comply with no questions asked.....lol...that reminds me a lot of eBay!

So....we'll see what happens.
#mind #tidbit #youtube
  • Thanks for sharing this will keep it in mind when i post my video's and be cearful with use of keyword's.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    Yeah that is a danger. You would likely win any fight but it is your fight and not Youtube's.

    Reminds me of http://www.facebook.com/alispagnola and her fight over "Power Hour"
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    • Profile picture of the author trevstar22
      What's really funny is that youtube says videos must not
      Have a commercial intent. Yet it is as clear as the nose
      On your face that it is bursting with commercial videos
      Youtube is happy to feature. All those "legitimate" videos
      For "brick and mortar" businesses are in violation of
      The terms of service.

      Trevor
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      • Profile picture of the author hometutor
        Originally Posted by trevstar22 View Post

        What's really funny is that youtube says videos must not
        Have a commercial intent. Yet it is as clear as the nose
        On your face that it is bursting with commercial videos
        Youtube is happy to feature. All those "legitimate" videos
        For "brick and mortar" businesses are in violation of
        The terms of service.

        Trevor
        I've never read that. Toyota sends people to their Youtube channel

        Rick
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        • Profile picture of the author Ken_Stone
          There's an excellent, recent WSO out from a guy named Bill Cousins all about YouTube marketing.

          Sounds like some of his tactics could probably help you.

          It has 20 or so videos in it = eat your wheaties before you grab it.

          No affiliate link here, just do an advanced search for his name in the WSO section.
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          • Profile picture of the author Ken_Stone
            Here's yet another thought.

            Why not look up the company that you suspect flagged you and tell them you are quite good?

            Offer the Olive Branch of Peace and get them as your client?

            Maybe feasible, maybe not.......Just a thought.
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            • Profile picture of the author shockwave
              Originally Posted by EdJackson View Post

              Here's yet another thought.

              Why not look up the company that you suspect flagged you and tell them you are quite good?

              Offer the Olive Branch of Peace and get them as your client?

              Maybe feasible, maybe not.......Just a thought.
              I'd prefer not to work with directly with these types of businesses. Meaning, if they are that zealous about complaining about other peoples videos, it's going to take a lot of work to explain where/how you can help them, get them to buy in, and then actually pay you.

              This particular type of business is one of those who always think they've got everything handled.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    That sucks but you do realize that using, "Plumbing services in Boston" is the same, right?
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    • Profile picture of the author shockwave
      Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

      That sucks but you do realize that using, "Plumbing services in Boston" is the same, right?
      Yeah, I know, it doesn't count the stop word. But at the time, I didn't try to stop and check every phrase, my approach was, if there's EM searches for it, I'm just gonna put it out there.

      ....it's a numbers game....and this game came to an end LOL!
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  • Profile picture of the author SirThomas
    Did youtube actually tell you the reason for removing your channel or you just suspect that to be the reason?

    To make it more interesting, I know a guy whose last name is Boston. If he was a plumber, would they yank him out as well...?
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    • Profile picture of the author shockwave
      Originally Posted by SirThomas View Post

      Did youtube actually tell you the reason for removing your channel or you just suspect that to be the reason?

      To make it more interesting, I know a guy whose last name is Boston. If he was a plumber, would they yank him out as well...?
      No, they sent me an email saying "The YouTube Community has flagged one or more of your videos as inappropriate. Once a video is flagged, it is reviewed by the YouTube Team against our Community Guidelines. Upon review, we have determined that the following video(s) contain content in violation of these guidelines, and have been disabled:"

      ....but when I go to my YT channel all it says is "This account has been terminated due to repeated or severe violations of our Community Guidelines and/or claims of copyright infringement."

      So, I'm pretty sure I must have hit a "3 strike rule", but that could have been from 1 person complaining 3 times. This all reminds me a lot of flaggers on Craigslist.

      As for your friend who's last name is Boston, lol, I don't know.

      What I do know is if you're doing local SEO, this is the kind of tricky spider web you have to navigate through.
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      • Profile picture of the author SirThomas
        Originally Posted by shockwave View Post

        So, I'm pretty sure I must have hit a "3 strike rule", but that could have been from 1 person complaining 3 times. This all reminds me a lot of flaggers on Craigslist.
        Interesting. If more people find out about that 3 strike rule, many channels will go down.... Is there any way you can ask your competitor about the situation? To me it's just wild. After all, each state can allow the same business name within their borders. Meaning, there could be 50 "Boston Plumbing Services' in the country. Each of them incorporated! :-)
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        • Profile picture of the author Marty S
          [DELETED]
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          • Profile picture of the author shockwave
            Originally Posted by Marty S View Post

            Thanks for sharing.

            Can I ask, how did this email:



            Lead you to believe this?:



            as it is quite a standard email for these situations. In fact, this could be about images used in the video, an audio track perhaps, or something else as yet not thought of. Just wondering how you know this is so specifically related to what you think it is, since if it is correct, there could be similar reason to delete the majority of small business youtube channels.

            :confused:




            Where do they say this? Some of the most famous channels on Youtube are all about commercial intent > Will It Blend? - YouTube
            Marty,

            I can't be 100% sure it was 1 person/business that caused the termination, but here's what I do know....(again, using Boston Plumbing Services as an example).



            Aug 30: Suspected person leaves (2) comments on my video:
            • "This is NOT a Boston Plumbing Services video. Boston Plumbing Services is a Boston, MA based locally owned company whose phone number is 555-555-5555 Please take down this video."
            • "This is not Boston Plumbing Services, a very reputable business in Boston, MA."
            Sept 3: I get the email from YT saying:

            "The YouTube Community has flagged one or more of your videos as inappropriate. Once a video is flagged, it is reviewed by the YouTube Team against our Community Guidelines. Upon review, we have determined that the following video(s) contain content in violation of these guidelines, and have been disabled:
            • {youtubeurl} Boston Plumbing Services (555) 555-5555
            Your account has received one Community Guidelines warning strike, which will expire in six months. Additional violations may result in the temporary disabling of your ability to post content to YouTube and/or the permanent termination of your account.
            Sept 4: Account is toast!

            So, either this was the final strike that put me over the top (and perhaps I previously received 2 other strikes before that I was unaware of). OR, maybe this was the 1 strike in a series that all happened during the course of a few days (but YT only sent me 1 notification).

            I believe it was the latter though because I just checked all my emails over the past year, and I see no emails from YT regarding "YouTube Video Notificati​on".

            I might also add that all the pictures in the video were purchased from iStock and the video itself was an Adobe After Effects template. It was a generic video I use to drive traffic for PPCall lead generation.

            This is why I believe this was just simply a case of a "plumber" who saw a geographically optimized Title and since it was the same as their business name, obviously perceived me as a threat - which of course I am! :-) hahahaaaa....but not really in the exact way they are perceiving it.
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            • Profile picture of the author midasman09
              Banned
              As an "entroopeneer" all my life, I have tried to stay away from any biz or person "controlling" my "payChecks"!

              Example: Rather than have my clients pay for MY programs or services to PayPal.....or any other "In-Between" service....that can....when they want, STOP re-directing monies from MY clients....thru them....then on to me (taking their "service" fee).....then....for whatever reason the "In-Between" agent chooses to stop sending monies to ME.....that goes against every fiber of my being....EVERY REASON WHY I chose to be INDEPENDENT from anyone controlling MY Paychecks!
              Thus....early on in my entroopeneerial career I chose to have MY Customers/Clients....FAX me their checks DIRECTLY TO ME! NO MIDDLE-MAN who can, for whatever reason, stop forwarding MY checks to me!

              So....I am in the "same Ball-Game" as you are....using "KeyWords" !

              I use KeyWords for my Videos...."Denver Plumber".....Toledo Roofing: as examples. So do MANY other Video Marketers.

              However....whenever I've been "Notified" by an "Attorney" saying I am "infringing" upon their client's "Trade-Marked" name and I should "Cease and Desist"!

              I've always found that to "cease" using the name they cautioned me about was far better than trying to "fight"!

              So.....even though I've spent my whole life ...."writing MY OWN checks", and being MY OWN boss..... there always seems to be SOME entity that says, "Hey Guy....STOP THIS or STOP THAT....otherwise.....!

              So....your experience shows me once again that....MY Videos on YT are not guaranteed! THEY (YT) HAS CONTROL OVER MY INCOME and....at a moment's notice....THEY can shut me down!

              So much for "Control Over My Income"!

              So....one thing I can count on....if YT ever "shuts me down"....I WILL find some other way around the problem! WHY? Because that is who WE are! "Problem-Solvers" and....INdependent Souls!

              My best to you and...."don't try an fight City Hall! Just try and appease them so they "go away"an leave you alone!

              Don Alm
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              • Profile picture of the author shockwave
                Originally Posted by midasman09 View Post

                However....whenever I've been "Notified" by an "Attorney" saying I am "infringing" upon their client's "Trade-Marked" name and I should "Cease and Desist"!

                I've always found that to "cease" using the name they cautioned me about was far better than trying to "fight"!
                I get what you're saying here Midas (and I'm no trademark attorney), but I'm pretty sure you cannot Trademark names like "Denver Plumber" or "Boston Plumbing Services". But don't take my word for it.......
                "Under U.S. trademark law, geographic terms or signs are not registrable as trademarks if they are geographically descriptive or geographically misdescriptive of where the goods/services originate." Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - (United States Patent & Trademark Office)
                And remember, we're talking about a PHRASE here, not a trademarked SYMBOL/LOGO - that's different. So, if you ever do get a Cease & Desist letter from an attorney telling you to stop using something like this in your video, I think you can pretty much tell them to go pound sand!

                The best case they would have against you is that the name of the company is registered with the Secretary of State as a business name. From there, I suppose they would have to decide if they would want to take you to court to defend it. And of course, you too, would have to decide if you want that headache.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lance K
    From the wording you've provided, it sounds to me like the 3 strike rule comes into effect after YT reviews each complaint and deems it valid. Not just a strike for each time you're flagged. Is that correct?
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    • Profile picture of the author shockwave
      Originally Posted by Lance K View Post

      From the wording you've provided, it sounds to me like the 3 strike rule comes into effect after YT reviews each complaint and deems it valid. Not just a strike for each time you're flagged. Is that correct?


      Hmmmm, not sure: Most of this is speculation, but right now, it's the best I got....
      • I don't know if this specific video was flagged 3 times or if there was some other video in the mix (at some previous point) that was flagged - but I don't see any notifications from YT that would lead me to believe that.
      • I'm also not convinced YT actually reviews each complaint. The language in their Help Forum says "Okay, this one is more about us than you. YouTube staff review flagged videos 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate our Community Guidelines. When they do, we remove them." --- But if that was true, then somebody didn't do their job correctly (again, because you can't claim infringement when it's a geographically descriptive term) - which you would think would make this claim null and void, yet my video and channel is still gone. This leads me to believe that everything gets yanked after 3 flags - regardless. (I'm sure they wouldn't want to risk any legal actions against themselves regarding copyright infringement, so they probably just pull it automatically).
      You're really kind of left to put things together on your own. Here, we see WHY your channel could be terminated https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/57391?hl=en - and of course, the email notification you receive from YT reiterates this, but they still don't tell you THE specific reason.

      Also, they might define flagging a video differently than when someone files a copyright infringement. I don't know which was actually done. Either way, I don't believe YT automatically gets involved. You have the right to dispute a copyright infringement, but that's after the damage has already been done.
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  • Profile picture of the author btyiw
    I think all it takes is one complaint for YT to pull your channel. Happened to me two weeks ago with a local competitor who reported one of my videos as spam.
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  • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
    I bet this guy will be in a for a world of hurt then too....
    Fimrack Goss - YouTube

    Don't be this guy....
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  • Profile picture of the author gg282
    I wonder if boston MA plumbing services would of made a difference? That is, by adding the state abbreviation after boston.
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  • Profile picture of the author David B.
    You should contact them to sell leads from the Plumbing Services Boston video
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  • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
    You could hit the guy back -

    Register "Boston Plumbing Service" as a business in YOUR state. Then, if he has a YT channel - or any OTHER web properties, you send documentation of your registration and start hitting him with DMCA complaints too.

    Of course, that is a little dirty. But sometimes business is war.

    In fact, are you sure this is a real business and not just another SEO who wants to take that term for their own YT channel?

    I don't know if anyone is doing that kind of things with keywords, but for someone who wants get dirty, they could hurt you badly.
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    • Profile picture of the author shockwave
      Originally Posted by Dan McCoy View Post

      Of course, that is a little dirty. But sometimes business is war.
      I agree....and I've already decided to take them down - although not in the manner you laid out. A couple of fivver gigs should do the trick.
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      • Profile picture of the author ATTENTION
        Originally Posted by shockwave View Post

        I agree....and I've already decided to take them down - although not in the manner you laid out. A couple of fivver gigs should do the trick.
        My thoughts too. Many angles to take here.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vid Yo
    Originally Posted by shockwave View Post

    I'm sharing this little "GotCha" story so those of you out there who play in the video marketing game keep it in the back of your mind. Of course we all know that stuff can hit the fan pretty quick with YT - that is, you can build up a nice juicy channel and BLAM! - one day it's gone.

    Well, that's exactly what happened to me yesterday with one of my channels. No, I don't put all my eggs into one basket and luckily I have a few other channels, BUT....wiping out this particular channel has set me back a few hundred videos and will certainly cut into my cash-flow for a minute.

    Anyway....I digress. My point is, make sure that if you want to play in the Video Marketing game that you spread the risk around.

    Here's how it went down (btw, I'm using a generic example)...

    I optimized a video for {boston plumbing services}. No biggie right? Well apparently that's wrong, because there was actually a plumber who's business name was exactly the same = boston plumbing services.

    There is no registered trademark or copyright on that name. However, the business is registered with the secretary of state. That is the only legal claim.

    But, I appealed to YT that I was simply referring to plumbing services offered in a specific geographic area, not trying to infringe upon another business - but, I'm still awaiting their decision. I don't expect I will get this resolved though as YT's own TOS say that once you get 3 strikes in a 6 month period, they will not only yank down the video but your account will be suspended. And they don't get in the middle of the copyright claim, they simply comply with no questions asked.....lol...that reminds me a lot of eBay!

    So....we'll see what happens.
    Sorry that happened to ya...it sure doesn't seem like malice was intentional.
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  • Profile picture of the author pplicon
    You would think that if YT didn't want local businesses promoting their services, that the Yellow Pages channel should have been shut down a long time ago.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hugh Dixon
    That's really tough. I wouldn't have seen that coming.

    I wonder now that you are allowed more than 1 channel per account whether they would suspend all your channels too?
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  • Profile picture of the author shockwave
    Oh sweet......more awesome news...., just had another channel shut down (apparently the other day - lol...I didn't even realize it). Oh well....back to the drawing board. Btw, neither of these channels were linked, had the same videos, used the same email, or even the same IP address.

    What I find interesting is that they are saying I appealed the suspension of this particular channel, when in fact it was a completely different channel.

    YouTube's Response:
    Thank you for submitting your video appeal to YouTube.
    After further review of the content, we've determined that your video does violate our Community Guidelines and have upheld our original decision. We appreciate your understanding.

    Sincerely,
    — The YouTube Team
    I think it's clear, they are not going to take any time to explain WHAT specifically violated their terms.

    Again, I'm pretty sure this is just a simple case of a competitor flagging a video. Hmmmmm....maybe YT will turn into Craigslist pretty soon.
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  • Profile picture of the author SirThomas
    Have several of your friends flag the other guy and see what happens.
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  • Profile picture of the author Langeani
    Wow, this is an eye opener.

    The thing here is clear.. NEVER have all of your videos on 1 channel... and also, backup your videos!

    It sounds so stupid, man.. optimize for a general term and get screwed.. wow

    Would you mind telling what's the other channel that got suspended about?
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    • Profile picture of the author shockwave
      Originally Posted by Langeani View Post

      Wow, this is an eye opener.

      The thing here is clear.. NEVER have all of your videos on 1 channel... and also, backup your videos!

      It sounds so stupid, man.. optimize for a general term and get screwed.. wow

      Would you mind telling what's the other channel that got suspended about?
      My other channel that got whacked was just a bunch of other "local" business videos too. Again, only speculation here, but on this particular channel (which had been up over a 2 years), I've had no problems up until recently......when I did a few videos on Carpet Cleaning.

      It really seems like the same crap you have to expect to put up with on Craigslist - flaggers.
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  • Profile picture of the author ATTENTION
    I'm still having trouble comprehending this. So Plumber 'A' can complain about Plumber 'B's video and possibly have it yanked, just like that? How many complaint reviews does Youtube process in a day? Are the reviews real? Holy Jeeeeeeeez.
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  • Profile picture of the author Drakuul
    I'm curious... I know that you just used the Boston Plumbing as a generic example... but have you entered the actual phrase into Google's keyword tool? If you were to use that phrase in adwords, would you still get slapped?
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    • Profile picture of the author shockwave
      Originally Posted by Drakuul View Post

      I'm curious... I know that you just used the Boston Plumbing as a generic example... but have you entered the actual phrase into Google's keyword tool? If you were to use that phrase in adwords, would you still get slapped?
      I don't use adwords and don't really know how you would be able to tell if it would get whacked, but this brings up a good point. I don't think individuals have any ability or process to flag adwords like they do with videos.
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  • Profile picture of the author InternetExpertMarketer
    Banned
    Great advice
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  • Profile picture of the author Moneymaker2012
    Thanks for sharing your story,
    It is really very nice, interesting and useful to read.
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