Viral video on Dubai taken off YouTube

Viral video on Dubai taken off  YouTube

A video on Dubai that went viral on YouTube for a week has been pulled out of the video-sharing site due to plagiarism concerns.



DUBAI - A video on Dubai that went viral on YouTube for a week has been pulled out of the video-sharing site due to plagiarism concerns.

Dubai-based photographer and IT specialist, Gerald Donovan had posted the video showing how the skyline over Downtown Dubai changed during day and night on the magical day of 11.11.11.

However, he withdrew the original video and closed his YouTube account days after the stunning video was featured in the weekly “video viral chart” of Huffington Post UK that prepares the viral video list based on embedded videos and links on around two million blogs, as well as Facebook and Twitter.

Donovan had created the “24 hours in Dubai” video using 2,880 photographs shot in every 30 seconds of the day for a global time-lapse project called “1day 6 cities.”

Speaking to Khaleej Times, which first published a full-fledged report on the video, Donovan said far too many sites around the world — including leading national newspapers in Europe and South America — decided to simply rip the video from YouTube and host it themselves, putting their own logo on it. “It is for this reason that I have sadly decided to close my YouTube account (bristlog) and not host anything there,” he said. “I can only apologise for any frustration this may have caused you and your readers, but I trust you can see things from my perspective and understand the reasons behind my decision,” said Donovan when he was informed that readers contacted Khaleej Times when, on clicking the video, they were greeted with the message that the video was no longer available because the uploader has closed their YouTube account. The two-minute video showing 24-hour time-lapse photographs of Downtown Dubai’s skyline had hit nearly 450,000 views within a week after it was uploaded.

When Donovan pulled it on the ninth day, he said it had received up to about 520,000 views. “Before I closed my account, I got YouTube to remove the video from about 20 to 30 people who had re-uploaded it. I also got it taken down from a few other websites, but it’s still going on,” said Donovan who had actually posted a copyright warning message below the video.

The message to newspapers/blogs/websites had said “If you want to embed this video on your site, that’s absolutely fine by me, but you must only embed it, and not re-upload or re-host it. If you do, you’ll get a DMCA takedown notice. I’d appreciate it if you credited me in the article (Gerald Donovan), and provided a link to my blog at http://08.ae.”

However, not many complied with the warning. But, Donovan, who is currently looking for alternative solutions, has not decided to leave all the copycats scot-free.

“I’ve set up a new YouTube account (http://www.youtube.com/user/youstolemystuff?feature=mhee) that I will use solely for highlighting instances where people have re-uploaded my work,” he said. On clicking the account, it could be seen that he has started shaming them on their sites by saying “you stole my work ... stop stealing.”

An upset Donovan, who had earlier posted first videos of the Dubai Fountain, Burj Khalifa window cleaners and the full stretch of the Dubai Metro among many other works on Dubai, said it may be some time before he posts a video online again. - sajila@khaleejtimes.com


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