Godtube and Intellectual Property: Arrr! Where’s my Eye Patch, Peg Leg and Parrot?

I may start searching Godtube for maps to buried treasure. X marks the spot.

For fun the other day I headed over to Godtube to see how many of the highlighted videos came from Youtube. Of the eight or so I looked at, the only ones that did not have an exact counterpart of youtube were ones put up by Christian companies that sell videos. I hope that there are many original videos on Godtube, but I just don’t see them. What I see are tons of copyright violations.

Our own church was victim of infringement via Godtube. I’ve had friends who have had the same happen.

But, hey, we’re all believers, right? We are just spreading the Word! Does it matter if people watch the video on your channel or the Godtube channel?

I have a couple of questions about that:

1. If it’s just about spreading the Word, or making a clean place for the faithful to watch, who gets money for the ads? Is the person that stole the video sending it over to the person they stole it from? Somehow I doubt that.

2. Who is getting the social media information? Like number of visits, and demographics, and such? Is that information forwarded to the actual video owner? That would be another no.

3. Is the person who stole the video sending viewers back to the owner’s site for updates and to subscribe, and helping build the network of viewers and contacts that social video brings? Again, no.

The ad money generated on Godtube does not go to the owners of stolen videos. The thieves use the videos to build their own following. And since Godtube doesn’t have a way to contact channel owners, those who are violated have to complain directly to Godtube. (In their defense they were responsive when I contact them about our video, so at least there is that.)

Now, I’m under no illusions, I know that the same sort of piracy goes on at youtube. The same video taken and put on Godtube has been copied multiple times on youtube. But youtube isn’t call “Godtube” and isn’t populated by Christians. I expect people who claim the name of Christ to hold themselves to a higher standard.

I’ve never been a big fan of the idea of Godtube. It is the epitome of Christian subculture. The site is a Christian ghetto of copyright violations and marketing to religious people. It is the opposite of being salt and light in a dark world. It’s a bubble of religious content. And as far as I can see, much of the content has been stolen.

If the community at Godtube will not police itself, stronger measures should be taken to protect copyrighted content.

In the meantime, I’m considering adding a watermark to every video with our youtube channel address on it. So even if it is stolen, viewers know where it came from.

(Pirate flag image from free clip art resource.)

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