H3H3 Productions announced its intentions to sue the Korean media company MBC for taking down their latest episode of the H3 Podcast this week. According to Ethan Klein, host and co-owner of H3H3 Productions, MBC used a clip of his without permission a variety show that features Korean commediates. The company then reportedly proceeded to block his new podcast episode because he watched them watching clips of the Korean variety show where they were viewing his stolen clips.
Klein confirmed that they were able to get the episode back up on Tuesday by cutting out the contested clip from the episode, but said, "I am still suing these pieces of sh*t, I'm on a god d*amn warpath still. I'm gonna look into a framework for holding these media companies accountable."
The new lawsuit comes even as H3H3 and the Kleins are facing their own lawsuits from Triller and Ryan Kavanaugh. Triller is suing them for the use of a clip from Jake Paul's boxing match with Ben Askren on a podcast in Summer 2021. Kavanaugh, who is a co-owner of Triller, is suing them for defamation over their reaction to the Triller lawsuit, which Kavanaugh alleges took target at his reputation.
Klein's new copyright lawsuit is being filed as YouTube is under renewed scrutiny over their handling of copyright claims. As reported by Philip DeFranco, last week anime reviewer Totally Not Mark had 150 views claimed by Toei animation, requiring Mark to go through a lengthy, months-long claims process with every single video if he wants the years of work to be returned to the platform. This has drawn criticism of YouTube's copyright claim process, which appears to favor claimants over creators in many cases.
At the same time, YouTube's newest streamer Ludwig has found himself banned several times in his first few YouTube streams due to YouTube's content ID system not playing favorably with the streamer's react style content.
Given the inconsistent, and at times devastating, consequences of false copyright claims on YouTube content, it is no wonder H3 is frustrated and hoping to force more accountability on the companies who claim creator content on questionable grounds.
Ethan and Hila Klein are known for their principled stands on issues of fair use, having won a landmark fair use case against Matt Hoss in 2017, the consequence of which was a legal precedent recognizing fair use as a legitimate legal defense. From what Klein stated on Tuesday, he is hoping to make a similarly principled stand against MBC with his latest lawsuit.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.