A gaming-centric YouTube channel by the name of Allbriel has gained millions of views and hundreds of thousands of subscribers by stealing other creators’ videos and reuploading them as his own.
Update – December 17: Allbriel’s YouTube channel and Twitter account are gone.
Jeff Fabre, who runs a comedic game review channel known as SpaceHamster, is one of the YouTubers affected by Allbriel. He posted the video above recounting his dealings with the channel. Fabre found that not only has Allbriel taken several of his videos, but that the reuploaded videos retained most of Fabre’s edits, jokes, and game footage repeated verbatim just with edits to remove his branding and translated into Spanish. No credit is given. Many of the videos earned around 200,000 views. This is off of the original videos which made over a million views.
The channel was first brought to Fabre’s attention by bilingual viewers of his channel over Twitter about a month ago. Fabre attempted to file a copyright claim on one of the stolen videos. However, Allbriel deleted the videos after receiving the claim, supposedly in order to escape consequences from YouTube. Then Fabre’s viewers linked to more of Allbriel’s stolen videos, but those were deleted by him as well. Fabre believes that Allbriel went through his open conversation on Twitter to figure out which of his stolen videos were being called out. According to Fabre, Allbriel also blocked him on Twitter. Fabre and his viewers then deleted the conversation on Twitter and started privately messaging each other instead.
Luckily, Fabre downloaded all the stolen videos before Allbriel could delete them. Fabre even took screenshots of Allbriel sharing his stolen videos on social media. Fabre then took time to look at three different videos that Allbriel has stolen while comparing them to his originals. Not only were most of the edits and jokes in Allbriel’s videos the exact same, but it sometimes even incorporates footage of Fabre’s in-game avatars modeled after himself and even some of the branding and assets specifically made for Fabre’s channel. The videos have some original edits, but Fabre said that they’re probably in place to trick YouTube’s Content ID system.
Fabre also sent evidence of Allbriel stealing his videos to the Multi-Channel Network affiliated with his channel, Polaris. They haven’t been able to do anything yet. They told Fabre that YouTube wants them to go through their copyright strike system. The problem with that, however, is that Allbriel has already destroyed the evidence by deleting the videos.
“…if YouTube doesn’t do something about this, I’m just going to lose mad respect,” said Fabre.
Allbriel has also stolen and reuploaded videos from fellow YouTuber PeanutButterGamer and possibly many more, according to a video by YouTuber CavifaX Gaming. The videos mentioned by CavifaX Gaming have also been deleted by Allbriel. CavifaX Gaming also outlined the now deleted conversation with Fabre and his followers calling out the stolen videos.
Fabre compared his channel’s stats to Allbriel’s on analytics site SocialBlade. Allbriel at the time of writing has 33,703,438 views and 255,703 subscribers on his channel which he created in June 2009. In comparison, Fabre has 62,924,641 views and 633,679 subscribers on his channel since starting in January 2011. At one point, Allbriel was making more than twice as many views as Fabre, with one month earning him 3,909,559 views over Fabre’s 1,697,616 views according to statistics found by Fabre on SocialBlade.
“… in some cases this guy’s been actually making more money than me,” said Fabre in his video. “It must be nice when all you got to do is steal content instead of make it.”
Fabre also noticed that for this past month, Allbriel’s channel saw a decrease in views by 66.3 percent. He said this may be due to him deleting the stolen videos.
Fabre believes that gaming videos on YouTube are especially susceptible to theft because they are in a gray area legally. Video game companies have to enforce their copyright over the games they own as well as footage of their games. However, game footage captured by an individual could be considered their own work. For Let’s Plays or more highly edited and scripted videos like the ones Fabre specializes in, it is generally agreed that those videos fall under the protection of the Fair Use Doctrine as they are transformative pieces of work. Never the less, companies like Nintendo have claimed videos using footage of their games with YouTube’s content ID system even though they could be protected by Fair Use and seized the ad revenue that would have gone to the creator of the video. Fabre has had multiple videos claimed by Nintendo though these are mostly older videos.
However, Fabre believes that it is acceptable to download someone else’s gameplay footage if it is generic enough. He himself has downloaded videos in the past to use in his videos, but only if he needed a few seconds of gameplay footage or footage of a hard to reach Easter egg so that he doesn’t have to go through the trouble of capturing the footage. Otherwise he scripts, edits, and captures everything himself while incorporating jokes he came up with during his playtime.
Fabre said that his videos take around 40 to 100 hours to create. “It sucks when you work for weeks on something and then someone just takes it,” Fabre said.
Fabre currently has people going through Allbriel’s videos looking for evidence of stolen content. Fabre said that there may be other channels like Allbriel stealing other creators’ content, though they may be hard to find because they are in Spanish and thus may pass by the mostly English-speaking viewers of Fabre’s channel.
Fabre ended his video thanking everyone who helped him out and notified him.
Heavy reached out to Fabre over email for more information on the situation.
The concept of video theft is nothing new. As Video Entrepreneur Magazine or Vtrep wrote, there was a huge influx of video theft taking place on Facebook after the platform allowed users to upload video footage. Many Facebook users were simply downloading videos from YouTube and uploading them on Facebook as their own original content. The theft of videos could potentially lead to the loss of potential views, revenue, and subscribers, according to the publication. Meanwhile, Facebook announced in January 2015 that since June 2014 they have averaged more than one billion video views every day.
YouTuber h3h3Productions pointed out several pages on Facebook in November 2015 which gained tons of views from other people’s content. He especially calls out the Facebook page of user SoFloAntonio who gained over 44,000,000 views after stealing and reuploading a video that originally earned its creator over 500,000 views.