I found out about this by way of a GardenFork fan, who sent me a link to our copyrighted footage being used on Bing.com without our permission.
I called Eyeboogie, and below I outline what happened.
I first talked to Dean Carpentier, Supervising Producer at Eyeboogie. I explained that they had used GardenFork video footage without our permission, and Eyeboogie had to remove the GF footage from the Bing video, and compensate GardenFork for the time the video was live.
Made aware of how Eyeboogie was in violation of GardenFork's copyright, Mr Carpentier said that he didn't think whoever at his company had done this did it with any malicious intent.
I wasn't thinking about maliciousness, I was thinking that they thought they could get away with it.
I sent Mr Carpentier the link to the Microsoft Bing video that contained the footage taken from GardenFork's YouTube channel, and a dollar amount that we felt was a fair price for the copyright violation. By this time the offending video had thousands of views.
I then received the following email from Chris Frisina, CFO of Eyeboogie:
I've been notified by Dean Carpentier that you are seeking compensation for an element of video attributed to you in a Trendspotting video that we produced, and, was subsequently published on the internet by MSN. He informs me that your video was taken down voluntarily by us at your request. As you may know, Trendspotting is an editorial news show that makes use of timely information and news items to inform viewers of the latest hot trends. Thank you for bringing your objection to our using your content to our attention as we were happy to comply as soon as we could. As you have acknowledged below, the take down has been completed. We are not open to any further communications with you on the matter.
Claiming editorial license doesn't work here. To me, it was clearly a case of a much larger company telling GardenFork to go away.
According to their own website, Eyeboogie isn't in the editorial news business:
Eyeboogie is the leading producer of branded content on the web with over 3,000 episodes of sponsored programming produced and distributed.
Over the next few months I went over this with our Intellectual Property lawyer, who was ready to go after these guys. I had a lot on my plate with my parent's health issues, and while Eyeboogie was clearly in the wrong here, I didn't have the time to devote ton of energy to what would probably be a nasty legal battle that could include Microsoft.
The puzzling part for me is why would Eyeboogie, who is a YouTube Funded Partner, ( meaning they are paid by YouTube to produce content for a YouTube Channel ) take another YouTube Partner's video and sell it to YouTube's competitor? ( YouTube is owned by Google, Bing is owned by Microsoft )
This practice of taking copyrighted material and using it on the web is a large problem, and I think most companies do it knowing the chances of being caught are low. And when they are caught, after they take down the offending video, they can delay litigation for years.
We have yet to be compensated for the unauthorized use of our content, and while we reserve the right to pursue this matter, I felt that people need to know what Woody Thompson, Founder of Eyeboogie, probably doesn't want his clients to know.
I'd be willing to bet Woody doesn't want Qi Lu, Head of Bing.com, to know that Microsoft has paid Eyeboogie for videos created from copyright protected footage.
[jwplayer config=custom file=http://www.gardenfork.tv/bing.m4v]
If the flash player doesn't work on your machine, you download the video clip here: http://gardenfork.tv/bing.m4v