Youtuber Exposes Plagiarism on YouTube in 4-Hour Video

In a very long video, a videographer denounces the common practice of plagiarism on YouTube. He notably accuses many YouTubers of having stolen the work of others, but above all questions the popularity of the practice, while the original authors are still rarely compensated.

What happens when influencers steal content from other creators? Most of the time, nothing. In any case, that’s what it says Hbomberguyan American YouTuber, duringa very long video (3h50) dedicated to plagiarism on YouTube which came out with great fanfare. A fascinating presentation on an extremely common practice among YouTubers, of which the general public is not yet completely aware and which is still very rarely punished. And, as he sums it up: “ on YouTube, if you have a good idea, it won’t be yours for long “.

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Plagiarism among YouTubers, a scourge that is still too little denounced

If plagiarism on social networks is still so little reported, it is above all because it is always difficult to catch copiers red-handed. As Hbomberguy explains, “ for a theft to be noticed, someone must see the copied content, and make the connection with the original content “. However, when content is lost in the limbo of the internet or YouTube, it is particularly difficult to do justice.

Hbomberguy speaks in his video about many content creators having resorted to plagiarism – some being real stars of the platform, accumulating several hundred thousand subscribers. This is particularly the case of Philipa YouTuber and former IGN journalist, who allegedly plagiarized several video game tests, including this one Dead Cells made by another videographer, before being fired. Hbomberguy also recounts the conflict between him and another YouTuber, Luke Stephens, over the theft of a video on Bloodborneand the history ofiilluminaughtiia content creator who allegedly plagiarized Netflix’s Fyre Festival documentary.

But Hbomberguy above all mentions an important and emblematic case of the current problem of plagiarism on YouTube, and more generally on the Internet: that of James Somerton. James Somerton is an openly gay YouTuber, specializing in LGBTQIA+ pop culture topics. Followed by more than 305,000 subscribers, he is very popular for his most in-depth and longest videos – but, as Hbomberguy explains, James Somerton does not produce his content himself. According to his research, the majority of James Somerton’s videos are plagiarism. They would sometimes repeat entire paragraphs word for word from books or articles, the authors of which would never be cited.

YouTuber James Somerton is accused of plagiarism // Source: YouTube / James Somerton
YouTuber James Somerton is accused of plagiarism // Source: YouTube / James Somerton

Hbomberguy gives numerous examples of plagiarism, including one particularly funny: an author, who supported James Somerton on Patreon by regularly giving him money, one day realized that the latter had completely plagiarized his work in his latest video.

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Hbomberguy not only denounces: he also analyzes the apologies of YouTubers caught in the act of plagiarism. Most would clear themselves by explaining that they had made a mistake, simply forgetting to cite their source. Still others hide behind a form of amateurism, or explain that they were simply inspired by their sources, without recognizing the theft.

The debate about drawing the line between inspiration and theft is not new, and has already served as an excuse for many authors accused of plagiarism in the past. In the end, this is not a comment only on YouTubers, but more generally on the entire entertainment industry. This is exactly what Hbomberguy explains in his introduction: plagiarism has existed for a very long time, but it is still very rare that the authors of the original content receive compensation for the theft of their work. The latest example dates back to 1980, when two writers, Harlan Ellison and Ben Bova, won their case against the American television channel ABC. There hasn’t been one since.


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