Casey Neistat, who has 1.5 million YouTube subscribers, recently created a fun Halloween video called “Aladdin in Real Life” with his friend, Jesse Wellens, and they quickly garnered more than 10 million views. The two-minute clip took weeks to complete, as the duo spent significant cash on costumes and orchestrated a high-tech video shoot while interloping through the busy daytime streets of Manhattan, N.Y.
But then they ran into a problem known as “freebooting,” which entails republishing videos on social sites without the consent of the folks who made the clips. In essence, it’s a practice of intellectual-property theft that’s plagued Facebook more than other digital platforms—PR-wise, at least—in recent months thanks to a few whistle-blowers.
“I spent roughly a week issuing take downs on Facebook—a convoluted process,” Neistat told Adweek. “I crowdsourced the process of finding the freebooters because there is no way to search Facebook. In all, I took down well over 50 different posts—[which was] not nearly all of them. I simply gave up after a while. I anecdotally kept track of the view counts—over 20 million views on the videos I took down.”
What Is Freebooting?
Freebooting (also known as video piracy) is the act of downloading someone else’s copyrighted video (usually from YouTube) and uploading it to Facebook as your own. You need to protect your content and make sure you don’t unknowingly propagate the work of pirates.
Joe Hanson of It’s Okay to Be Smart explains that freebooting “is not the same as sharing or linking or embedding [online media] from its original source. Freebooting means downloading it without permission from the creator or copyright holder and redistributing it for your own use, often for your own monetary gain. When it comes to video piracy in 2015, Facebook is ground zero.”
What do you think? Have you had trouble with freebooting? What can you do beforehand to keep your material safe from violation?