Several weeks ago I filed eight DMCA takedown notices against QuadJacks videos containing my work. Three of the videos were direct copies from my channel that were simply reuploaded. The other videos contained work I had done while affiliated with QuadJacks. All eight videos have been removed by YouTube.
There has been some speculation about my motives for doing this, and I haven’t felt the need to go into detail about it. Now that QuadJacks has released a statement about all this, I suppose I should tell my side of the story as well.
A Change of Heart
The truth is, I didn’t mind QuadJacks using my work until very recently. We never had any sort of deal on paper, and no money ever changed hands. I was a volunteer. I allowed them to use my work because I wanted to help out, and I worked for free for eight months to do so. In addition to creating songs and hosting the radio program, I made many contributions behind the scenes to keep the website and program running smoothly.
I eventually grew tired of doing all that work. But even after I returned home, I didn’t have a problem with them using my work. My decision to put a stop to it came when the Willy Wonka You Get Nothing Remix started getting widespread recognition. This is a song and video that I created entirely myself, and am quite proud of. Once the video began receiving hundreds of thousands of views, I was disappointed to find that QuadJacks was shamelessly exploiting its popularity. They loaded the video with buttons to other songs I had made, but only the ones on their channel, as well as a button to gain more subscribers. Again, just for their channel. They also promised an MP3 download once their subscriptions reached a certain threshold.
Enough is Enough
Still, that was not the tipping point. That came when the article “Wonka Fever Sweeps the World” was published on the QuadJacks website. In this masturbatory, self-congratulating piece, QuadJacks celebrated the success of the video. It wasn’t enough that I had given them free content to promote their website; they also had to take all the credit for it. QuadJacks claimed that the creation of the video was their idea. They claimed that it was a metaphor for Black Friday. They claimed that they created the song and video with “some help” from me.
All of these claims were lies.
At that point I decided that it was in my best interest to exercise more control of my own work and to stop allowing others to exploit it. So I filed the DMCA claims and had several videos removed from QuadJacks’ YouTube channel. In hindsight, however, I may have handled this poorly and made a few mistakes.
The first was taking this action without first contacting the guys at QuadJacks. I had considered giving them a call and asking them to take down all videos with my music on it, but I figured they wouldn’t comply. I still have good reason to believe that I was correct, but nevertheless I should have had the courtesy to give them some fair warning.
The second (possible) mistake I made was filing claims against Dice Dice Baby, Tony G is Qualified, and Fuck You. I wrote and performed those songs, but QuadJacks did assist with the video production. I know that when people collaborate strictly on music, it is considered “joint work”, and the individuals cannot make copyright claims against each other. I’m not sure how it works when there is a divide in work between audio and video. I may have filed the claims for these videos prematurely.
I still fully stand by the claims I made for Black and Yellow, Party at the DOJ, I am not a Toolbox, What’s My [Screen] Name, and the Wonkamix. I created those videos 100% myself, and everyone involved in this dispute knows it, even if they refuse to admit it.
These are the facts. QuadJacks has recently written a statement about all this and has voluntarily removed all videos containing my work from their channel. In the statement they claim that the reason for removing the videos is that they are embarrassed to be associated with me. They did not seem very embarrassed when reaping the rewards from my Wonka video and gaining widespread attention. They make numerous personal attacks against me, which I could very well return in kind, but I’d rather be an adult and take the high-road. Instead, I’ll just thank them for finally doing the right thing, respecting my wishes, and removing the videos.