$20-Million Damage in YouTube Channel Dispute Revealed Problems in Deal Terms

YouTube-based entertainment business is soaring, with various channels and online celebrities becoming serious money-makers, but YouTube channel dispute problems follow this new trend in online business. Several cases that involved the creators and the companies have soared to public, and one even resulted in million Dollars of damage award from the court. The dispute between comedian Grace Helbig and MyDamnChannel, and later between Marko Princip, Brian Martin and VideoGames channel owners, showed how complicated and murky this infant business can be.

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How YouTube Channel Dispute Ended with Millions of Damage

The news about $20 millions of damage award for YouTube’s VideoGames channel owners, David Tyler Moss and Brandon Keating, became big news in the beginning of April this year because of two things: one, the case was filed way back in 2014, and two, it showed how serious the impact of shaky deal terms between channel owners and content creators in YouTube video business. David Tyler Moss and Brandon Keating filed their case only a year after the famous dispute between Grace Helbig and MyDamnChannel owner, Rob Barnett. Both became YouTube channel dispute cases that have been discusses most for the past 3 years or so.

In Moss and Keating VS Princip and Martin case, the disputes rose after Princip and Martin were employed as content creator for VideoGames YouTube channel. The channel was originally an online investment that Moss and Keating started as a business branch from their holding company, GamerGuide. They originally made a deal with Princip and Martin, in which the two became content creators for VideoGames channel. VideoGames later became a successful YouTube channel; garnering over 3.7 million subscribers and brought about $55,000 per month. Moss and Keating was reported to invest $1,500 for the development of the channel, and as return, Princip and Martin must contribute 30% of the revenues each month.

While VideoGames was proven to be a successful and lucrative YouTube channel, the ending was not pleasant for the content creators. Moss accused Princip and Martin of violating their deal. Other charges brought to the pair of content creators also included fiduciary duty breaching and fraud, which made the court award $20 million in damage for Moss and Keating after nearly two years since Moss filed the lawsuit. This is just one of various recent cases of content creators versus companies, such as Grace Helbig and MyDamnChannel or Ray William Johnson and Jukin Media.

YouTube Channel Owners and Creators Conflict

YouTube’s online video channels were once viewed as a way for account owners to upload and manage videos easily. However, with the recent cases of YouTube channel disputes that even ended with huge settlement, people are now forced to admit that YouTube videos have become big and lucrative business, complete with huge business risks and potential legal disputes that can happen when the deals are not thought well. Before Moss and Keating versus Princip and Martin, Grace Helbig’s story has also become major story among YouTube communities.

In Grace Helbig’s case, she was denied ownership of DailyGrace, her YouTube channel that was made under the network of MyDamnChannel, owned by Rob Barnett who also acts as the CEO. A supposedly “failed renegotiation” made Helbig decide to leave MyDamnChannel, forcing her to leave the channel that viewers had associated with her appearance and style. The IP address associated with her DailyGrace channel became dispute source, in which there were two options: either the show tanked, or MyDamnChannel can acquire the right of the name.

However, with the VideoGames YouTube channel fiasco that ended up with $20 million of damage settlement for the owner of the channel, we are finally forced to admit that despite its lucrative earnings and huge opportunities for the ones involved, YouTube channel-related business is still a rather murky field, in which there are many possibilities for disputes to happen between company owners and creators.

Main Concerns for YouTube Content Creators and CEOs

According to attorney and Fox Rothschild partner, Jody Simon, YouTube’s growing online video business has attracted the coming of felons and crooks who wanted to take advantages of still-muddy business atmosphere. Martin and Princip, who turned out to be former YouTube channel owners that have repeatedly fallen into troubles with YouTube, were only a few people who used loopholes and weak regulations to garner money through bad deals and even fraud.

These cases must become lessons from prospective company owners and content creators to be more careful when receiving a deal to make YouTube channel and make money of it. Independent content creators can be exceptionally fragile in this matter, especially if they are not knowledgeable enough about law. The world of online content creation and marketing have been referred as “The Wild West,” and while YouTube channel has become a legitimate business model, content creators and companies still need to make sure that they become more aware of risks that are involved through every deal to create YouTube channel business.

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