PokerTube taking Flack over Alleged “Abuse of Intellectual Property”

by Jeremy Olson on February 11, 2015

PokerTube is just a cooler version of YouTube that offers poker-specific videos, correct? At least that’s what it seemed like, until PokerNews Editor Matthew Parvis hopped on Twitter to say that the industry needs to band together and stop PokerTube’s “continuous abuse of intellectual property.”

While Parvis’ initial tweet sounds like an all-out attack, he refined his remarks in this TwoPlusTwo thread. Here’s one excerpt from his comments:

In 2013, we noticed a substantial number of PokerNews videos had been downloaded from our video players, and re-uploaded to PokerTube with PokerTube logos to start each video. This is very very different from YouTube, which allows you to “embed” a youtube video player on to other sites, which we allow. When you embed videos through YouTube, the source still remains the same, and therefore the views would still essentially be cumalitive on our PokerNews YouTube Channel. Wanted to highlight that the two while similar in name are not remotely similar in business model.

Upon approaching PokerTube owner Jamie Nevin about this, the latter removed most of the PokerNews videos, and both sides began working together for a while. However, PokerNews decided that the relationship wasn’t benefiting them enough, so they ended the partnership. Despite this, Parvis writes that his site’s videos are still being put up on PokerTube without permission.

In defending himself, Nevin explains that whenever he’s been emailed with a request to take content down by the video’s owner, he has obliged in a timely manner. He also argues that media outlets that have chosen to air these matters out on Twitter have done more damage than any non-authorized use of a video could ever do. Nevin adds that there are no real legal grounds for PokerNews or anybody else to pursue his site.

If one thing is clear in this argument, it’s that PokerTube doesn’t operate quite like YouTube, where, as Parvis puts it, views are still credited to the PokerNews YouTube Channel when they’re embedded. So until PokerTube changes this aspect of their operation, and/or PokerNews can prove that they have a legitimate legal case, it looks like the argument will still continue.