YouTube content copycat gets called out
On YouTube, a crowded and competitive market, Creators would often come up with novel or even shocking content that would get them to blow up in popularity.
Challenges and pranks have recently become a way for ordinary people to become more popular. Like the Bird Box Challenge earlier this year, in which YouTubers would complete everyday tasks such as walking or driving blindfolded. This has led to crashed cars and people walking into walls.
But when such viral challenges don't go big it is the domain of YouTuber Creators who make a living by creating videos on the platform to come up with wacky challenges to get views.
A recent feud between two YouTubers amid claims of blatant copying highlights the fine line between parallel creation, in which two people can come up with the same idea at around the same time, and straight-up copying of ideas.
An American YouTuber MrBeast has noticed his British counterpart Morgz has been uploading videos with challenges that were very similar to his.
MrBeast, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, is a 21-year-old YouTuber known for giving money and expensive gifts to random people and attempting stunts like counting to 100,000 in 40 hours, or spending a day in prison.
Morgz is a 17-year-old YouTuber known for his pranks and challenges on YouTube in which he sometimes ropes in his family members. He recently hit 1.5 billion views on his videos and 10 million subscribers on YouTube.
When Morgz recently tweeted that he was "out of video ideas" and "in a bit of a pickle", Mr Beast replied to his tweet by saying, " Don’t worry, I’m about to start uploading more soon."
Twitter users have pointed out similarities in the challenges being done by MrBeast and Morgz, with Morgz usually uploading his videos later. A few users have posted screenshots of the similar challenges. The similar challenges range from spending 24 hours in an 'asylum', prison, or a pool of slime.
MrBeast responded with: "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery". He also said not everything he does is original, and that a lot of people copy him so it would be hypocritical to "get mad at them".
He probably realises in a marketplace of ideas like YouTube where there is no enforcement against idea theft there is no use getting riled up over being copied.
But in an environment where ideas are currency and can get stolen in pitches, Creators need to be careful to protect their ideas. PitchMark protects the expression of your ideas and gives you peace-of-mind by signalling to whoever you share it with that you are its Creator, and that you wish to be respected as such.