Disney vs. YouTubers 🐭

Gee Mickey, what should we do?


It’s Friday and Google is heading off an AI-driven revolution by laying out its very own “Robot Constitution.”


Steamboat Willie’s public domain debut is yet another example of how YouTube’s copyright policies sideline smaller creators in favor of big media.

The context: This story starts way back in 1928, when Mickey Mouse appeared in a Disney short film called Steamboat Willie.

  • 95 years later, the film officially entered the public domain, meaning it can now be legally posted, used, and referenced by anyone, on any platform.

  • Despite that change, Disney is still filing copyright claims against YouTube creators who have posted clips or music from the film.

The consequences: If a creator receives three copyright strikes and fails to remove the offending content or appeal during a specified grace period, YouTube will take their channel permanently offline.

  • One creator (a Nickelodeon enthusiast called Quinton Reviews) has already been hit with 3 separate claims—meaning Steamboat Willie hasn’t yet been removed from YouTube’s Content ID library.

  • Given that YouTube’s policy puts creators’ livelihoods at risk if the Content ID library isn’t kept up-to-date, Quentin believes its upkeep should be the platform’s responsibility:

“I should not have to ‘appeal’ to prove something is public domain—it should be against terms of service to send takedowns over public domain material.”

Quinton Reviews via Inside the Magic
  • YouTube disagrees: A rep for the company told Inside the Magic that “it’s not up to YouTube to decide who ‘owns the rights’ to content…we give copyright holders tools to make claims and uploaders tools to dispute claims that are made incorrectly.”

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From DIY to home decor, this creator is the “millennial Martha Stewart”

How it started: In 2018, Brittany was faced with a sudden realization: as much as she loved her family’s business, working alongside her brother (and only her brother) was starting to take a toll.

  • More than anything, Brittany needed to feel a sense of community. So, she created an Instagram account: fivefootfeminine.

  • For the first two years, the creator connected with an audience of fashion-focused women and fellow creators by uploading image-based posts about petite-friendly dresses.

  • Then COVID-19 hit, and Brittany realized her online community was spending the pandemic in sweatpants—not dresses.

  • So, she changed course: in addition to fashion posts, the blogger began posting Reels and TikToks about seasonal home decor and “elevated” DIY projects.

How it’s going: Nowadays, Brittany serves as “the millennial Martha Stewart” to over 800,000 Instagram and TikTok followers.

  • She writes, edits, films, and posts at least three videos a week on multiple platforms (a hectic production process that she plans to shake up in the near future).

What’s up next: “One thing that I’m looking forward to is hopefully with getting management and a team behind me, I can have more free time, which I’m definitely working on. I hope that happens in the next year.”

Find out more about Brittany—and the hundreds of rising stars and YouTube millionaires we’ve interviewed over the years—right here on Tubefilter.com.


YouTube just lost the upper hand in its fight against unionized contractors

YouTube isn’t taking the outcome of its latest legal battle lying down.

The big news: Earlier this week, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that YouTube illegally refused to negotiate with a group of unionized contractors—even after they joined the Alphabet Workers Union last April.

  • Now, YouTube has vowed to file an appeal.

The context: According to Bloomberg, contractors have made up the majority of Alphabet’s massive workforce since 2018.

  • Despite that enormous “shadow workforce,” YouTube has maintained that it shouldn’t be held responsible for negotiating with a group of contractors (now Alphabet Workers Union members) who came to work at YouTube Music through the staffing firm Cognizant.

  • YouTube’s argument: “We simply believe it’s only appropriate for Cognizant, as their employer, to engage in collective bargaining.”

The outcome: In March 2023, an NLRB regional director challenged YouTube’s claim by noting that “Google exercises direct and immediate control over benefits, hours of work, supervision and direction of work.”

  • Fast forward to January 3, and the board has now ordered YouTube to “cease and desist” its refusal to negotiate with the Alphabet Workers Union reps.

Why it matters: Big Tech companies are notorious for skirting unionization efforts and collective bargaining attempts by relying on contract workers staffed by third-party companies.

  • Although YouTube now plans to file an appeal, the NLRB’s recent decision is a big win for third-party contractors—and a positive sign for others hoping to unionize.


Tetris has met its match after 34 years

It took more than three decades, but NES Tetris has at last been outwitted by a human player.

Here’s how it went down: Over the last 34 years, hundreds of players have outwitted slow controllers and slogged through nearly invisible levels to beat a seemingly unbeatable game.

  • Then, on December 21, the impossible happened: a 13-year-old with the screen name Blue Scuti successfully triggered a kill-screen on a previously unreached level.

  • Check out GameScout’s explanatory video to find out how it all went down—or head over to Scuti’s channel to watch the entire 42-minute game unfold.

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Today's newsletter is from: Emily Burton, Sam Gutelle, and Josh Cohen. Drew Baldwin helped edit, too. It's a team effort.