A video from the creators of H3H3 Productions hit the frontpage of Reddit today explains the company is being sued for alleged copyright infringement.
Ethan and Hilla Klein of H3H3 Productions took to their channel to explain the origin of the lawsuit that is draining their energy and their finances.
A few months ago, the couple recorded a video reacting to a video created by Matt Hoss. Hoss believes the video, which uses clips from his original video, infringes on the copyright of the video. Early on, Hoss' lawyer sent the couple an ultimatum demanding three things:
- Remove the infringing video
- Sign a release and confidentiality agreement saying they will never infringe Hoss' current or future works
- Pay Hoss the sum of $3,750 in legal fees
According to the Klein's, they refused to pay Hoss because they did not want to set a precedent for people like Hoss to threaten future creators. According to the video, they received a second ultimatum saying they did not have to pay the fines if they apologized for infringing on Hoss' work in a video, promote him on their social media for two months, and share several of his videos.
They also added that during their good faith negotiations, Hoss allegedly put a copyright strike on the video which had been privated causing the couple to deal with the repercussions of a copyright strike on their channel. According to the couple, the lawsuit is going to cost them up to $100,000 and they could still lose since it will be left to a jury to decide whether or not they have infringed on the video,
Even more strange, the original Reddit thread containing the video above was removed. Another user reposted the thread, and claims they were allegedly contacted by someone who offered $5,000 of Bitcoins in exchange for its removal.
This same account which allegedly offered the deal was later deleted, but not before responding to someone else to say the messages were allegedly faked.
Oddly enough, other uploads of the infringing video are up, but have yet to face any repercussions.
At the end of their video, Ethan and Hilla thank their fans for supporting them, and assure them that they are not interested in doing any fundraising as result of the lawsuit. The case, now having gone to court, will probably be wrapped up in the legal system for some time, here's hoping that everything turns out for the best for all parties involved.
UPDATE: While Ethan and Hilla have no plans to ask fans for financial support, creator Philip DeFranco has started a GoFundMe for the couple, donating $5,000 of his own money to kickstart the campaign.
In less than 24 hours, the GoFundMe has raised $94,665 as of the writing of this update (just short of it's $95,000) goal. Amazingly, the costs to cover the case could be taken care of by this amazing fundraising feat!