AEW started issuing takedown notices on YouTube accounts posting fan-made videos. This was not an automatic system as someone from AEW is manually targeting these accounts. Botchamania was taken down, and then AEW rescinded their copyright strike once fans got upset, but not every account has the luxury of a large fan base to protect them.

Ringside News has been contacted by content creators that AEW is going after and they are not happy. One particular account only posted fan-made entrance videos to show how music has changed. Those videos are edited and fall within fair use. Out of all the videos on this account, only six had anything to do with AEW and the company went after them. Now this smaller content creator has two copyright strikes on their account and there’s nothing they can do about it. Three strikes means a channel’s deletion without any second chance.

AEW is doing this intentionally. It was a decision they made to go after these fan accounts. Botchamania was able to get their channel back, but there are tons of other content creators and fans who are now suffering and fearing that their accounts will be deleted because AEW is aggressively going after them.

We were told by one creator that, “To be clear, even WWE has never issued takedowns on my videos, they simply block what they don’t want, which I accept and remove immediately out of mutual respect.”

Antipiracy@allelitewrestling.com is the official email listed in these takedown notices. We were told by one small content creator who is dealing with AEW that they emailed the Anti Piracy account to reason with them. It was explained that all content was fair use and it is illegal and abusing YouTube’s rules to take down those videos. The reply they received seemed cut and pasted without any empathy.

“These clips are AEW intellectual property, intended for only the private use of our audience. No part of our programming (audio and/or video) may be reproduced, broadcast or exhibited in any form or by any means without the consent of AEW. It is also prohibited for users to generate revenue from the broadcast or exhibition by the user of any AEW content (including media scrums or other editorial materials) without the consent of AEW. As a result, we are unable to authorize your use of the content, and you may be subject to copyright strikes and/or takedown notices.”

We were also handed an email that was sent from AEW to a content creator explaining that fair use doesn’t apply to them for some reason.

“Fair use does not apply. These clips are AEW intellectual property, intended for only the private use of our audience. No part of our programming (audio and/or video) may be reproduced, broadcast or exhibited in any form or by any means without the consent of AEW. It is also prohibited for users to generate revenue from the broadcast or exhibition by the user of any AEW content (including media scrums or other editorial materials) without the consent of AEW. As a result, we are unable to authorize your use of the content, and you may be subject to copyright strikes and/or takedown notices.”

In case you need a refresher, “fair use” is defined as: “the doctrine that brief excerpts of copyright material may, under certain circumstances, be quoted verbatim for purposes such as criticism, news reporting, teaching, and research, without the need for permission from or payment to the copyright holder.”

Such copyright strikes should not be permitted in a majority of these cases, but AEW is submitting takedowns anyway. YouTube’s policy is to take down the video and ask questions later. It is on the individual who submitted the strike to decide the channel’s fate. That is how YouTube works and AEW is allegedly abusing that system.

Those videos and accounts that AEW is targeting are generally well within their rights to post content. Still, it is not up to YouTube to review content for fair use due to their shackled and broken copyright claim system. Those creators are also having money taken from them as well as the time they spent creating that content.

AEW has reversed decisions on a few larger YouTubers, but that is likely only for public relations reasons. The fact is that whoever is behind these takedowns is from the company and doing it manually.

Before AEW even started, a promise was made that fan videos will be safe. They obviously reversed that decision.

We will continue monitoring this ongoing story. Hopefully, whoever is going after all of those YouTube accounts within AEW will find something better to do with their time.

H Jenkins

I love pro wrestling and hate BS. These two things drive me. Years of experience in writing, journalism, and digging exclusive insider info for Ringside News. Worked in finance before realizing pro wrestling journalism made much less sense. Pro beachballs at pro wrestling shows, pro dives if someone catches, anti bullies, olives, and pineapples on pizza.

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