NOTE: As I posted this video, the premiere was able to be seen on their site, as the video showed up shortly afterwards.
Every year, I do a web search on Geekazine. I want to know what is out there using it for possible issue. I found my YouTube videos on a series of websites. Some have re-uploaded specific videos, while others simply use my embed code (which is perfectly fine).
Then I came across AZclip.
The Fake YouTube Websites
I won’t be linking to them, but if you do a search on alternate search sites (I used Yandex – an alternate to Google and Bing), you will find them in abundance. They have different names, are in different languages, but all have your content – down to the comments.
These sites also have scraped your content within hours. Even continuous live streaming videos are available (like Geekazine LIVE).
The Problems with These Fake YouTube Websites
The first one is how it looks like a YouTube website – down to the logo. The toolbar is slightly different, but I would guess it will soon update links so it mimics even more.
Secondly, your videos and channel have a full description, view count, likes, and even comments that also appear on your YouTube channel. You can like and share from these sites, but they will be of the fake YouTube website.
These Sites Allow Downloading of Your Content
There are a few programs that allow you to download videos, but these sites allow the download right on the website. It’s a 720p or less download, but still, someone could easily take videos and put them on their own sites.
The Embed Code Does Take You to YouTube
Keep in mind, some of these websites put a play overlay, blocking the link to your actual YouTube channel. In these website’s case, they don’t do that. So you do have a way to get to the native channel and video.
But all other links have been removed. They do a tagging algorithm that links your channel name back to their website channel.
No YouTube Ads?
I am also not sure how they are doing it, but from all the videos I saw, there are no embedded YouTube ads running. They don’t overlay their own ads on the video, but the page does have their ads on the page.
Can You Get it Taken Down?
Each of these websites had their CAPTCHA revoked. There is no way to contact them for takedown that I found. They all have TOS and privacy policies, but also no information for contact.
The websites are registered to a people in Russia, and contact info is protected
The only option is to turn off embedding of videos. That means that nobody can use your videos – which could hurt your channel. Since I have an external website, that would mean all my videos on Geekazine would have to come from somewhere else (which they do – through my Cachefly account).
Is YouTube Doing Anything About This?
I talked with a support agent, and was told the only thing I can do is file a copyright complaint. I couldn’t do it through YouTube, since they are technically posting the video correct. It doesn’t cover descriptions, banners, or anything else.
That means the next step is to hire a lawyer, and try to have my content taken down. But as I look at these channels, all content is up there, so if the Fortune 500 companies are not taking action for removal, what chance is there that I will get my content taken down?
Other Websites with Your Videos
I found others that pretty much only take the video. A few of them have the overlays so you cannot click over to YouTube, but they are sparse. End result is you might get a few views from these sites.
Still, this is an issue that any independent content creator has to deal with. It’s really about how the person interacts.
If they sign up for these sites, they can like and comment – and you’ll never see that information, because it won’t go back to your actual channel.
These sites also use 100% of your YouTube identity, including descriptions, banners, and more. Even the video I created for this article will show up within hours of posting on these alternate YouTube websites.
What Do You Think About these Fake YouTube Websites?
If you’re a content creator, do you have an issue with these sites possibly taking over certain aspects through their fake channels? Let me know by commenting below.