Hello there. A sticky from us at /r/videos to announce a new policy change in this subreddit.
TLDR: 3rd party licensing agencies are now banned
Of late, we've seen a rise in the presence of licensing companies on /r/videos . What these companies supposedly do is contact the owners of popular videos, be they on YouTube, LiveLeak, etc... and shop the rights out for them to news agencies, websites, other content creators (maybe a t.v. show for funny clips, or educational videos for well produced content). They promise to do all the hard work for you...farm the clip out to their sales network, prosecute people using your content without your permission, and the like. All without annoying YouTube ads.
TL:DR : Companies promise to do hard work and make you money, while you sit back and relax. They promise you results.
Sounds lovely, in theory. These schemes always do. I mean hey, your content's getting re-uploaded without credit to fortune 500 firms Facebook pages, large radio stations websites, and the like. Surely you deserve some of the sales revenue they generate from inflating their visitor statistics off the back of your content, right? Especially when things like watermarks are commonly removed, and zero credit/link forwarding is given. It's a problem, and the solution isn't super clear. "Freedom of all things on the internet" is a great ideal, you could even argue people shouldn't expect to retain "ownership" of anything uploaded online...but when large companies are making bank off others content, with flagrant disregard for attribution, it leaves a bad taste.
In theory, it's great that someones taking a stand against it, and willing to go out there to bat for you. Make that money! However time and time again, we've seen the majority of these companies to date try gaming Reddit. At the minor end of the scale, they submit and upvote content from fake accounts. Sometimes they'll set up YouTube channels so they have total control over the spam chain. Employees fail to disclose their company affiliation, and outright try to socially engineer having their competitor's submissions removed and channels banned by filing false reports/comments on posts. Ironically, champions of rights are at war, and trying to take out other creators original content in the process.
We are concerned by the systematic culture of gaming websites and abusing them for corporate gain that seems to have become the norm in this role they are trying to perform. We are concerned that legitimate content creators may not be aware of how much these tactics are pissing off various forums, message boards, and subreddits that would otherwise be welcoming of their content. We are concerned that these creators may not even be getting a financially good deal from these companies.
These companies are also penny pinching from hosting platforms by bypassing their own monetization process...thereby giving back absolutely nothing to the platforms that actually host the content. In all honesty, it's a clever business model. In fact LiveLeak now owns "Viralhog", so they generate revenue in this manner (as they don't have traditional video ads).
The internet is a free for all. But in this subreddit, we want to create a corner of the net that's as-close-as-possible to being a fair playing field. As moderators, interested in the future of this subreddit and website as a whole, we all agree these companies stink.
Bottom line: 3rd party licensing agencies have been using vote manipulation and other deceptive tactics to gain an unfair advantage over other original content creators in /r/videos and we plan to put an end to it.
From this day forward any and all videos "rights licenced" by a 3rd party entity are banned from being submitted from this subreddit.
Any and all videos that become "rights licenced" post-submission to this subreddit will be removed, no matter how far up the front page they may be.