VTuber Clippers Targeted In YouTube Takedown: What’s The Deal?

VTuber clippers have been hit with a YouTube demonetization wave, so what does the future look like for some of the scene's unsung heroes?

VTuber clippers are speaking out as more names announce they’re being targeted by a YouTube policy, leading to all their revenue being withheld.

According to YouTube’s monetization policy, clips fall under “reused content” when they are “short videos you compiled from other social media websites” or “promotion of other people’s content, even if you have permission.” This goes against YouTube’s AdSense Policy, leading to clip channels being demonetized.

These creators are oft-considered the backbone of the VTuber community, helping spread snippets of content from big agency stars and upcoming indies.

“Many VTubers don’t have the time to edit their own clips or the money to hire someone to do it for them,” prominent clipper VTubers I Love told NewsDrop. “So for most small indie Vtubers, the only way their works gets out there is if someone clips them of their own volition.

“The transformative nature is usually doing things like removing dead air, censoring curse words, adding subtitles, adding images, memes, or video effects for comedic purposes or to add emphasis to something be said.

“All of this culminated in a short video that is entertaining for a YouTube audience that would likely never have seen that moment unless they watch the original stream themselves.”

A recent wave across May 2023 saw numerous clippers impacted. One VTuber clipper who spoke to NewsDrop anonymously said they “kind of expected” the irregular suspensions from YouTube.

However, the nature of the policy’s application has some worried for the future of VTuber clips.

“I genuinely think clip channels cannot operate since there's so many clippers who sometimes clip the same moment even though there's a vast variety of edits in them,” they said. “That also means YouTube might just compare clippers against other clippers instead of the actual VOD and think that it's reused.”

“Only a small number of clip channels have been hit,” VIL heeded. “Why were they targeted, but not others? Is it the style of editing? The types of VTubers or moments clipped? Was there other copyrighted material in the clip besides just the VTuber?

“It’s impossible to say, because YouTube has been consistently awful at communicating with creators and we have to constantly play this guessing game where we try to figure out what YouTube does [or] doesn’t allow.”

VTubers have come out to defend clippers over the last few months as bans have come and gone for top clippers. Even just a few days of canceled monetization can greatly impact a channel’s growth, and ultimately someone’s living.

However, the streamers themselves don’t really have an influence on YouTube’s decisions. The reused content policy ignores any permission given from other creators ⁠— if the system detects duplication, it will shut it down.

That’s a major flaw in the system VTuber clippers want to have addressed for the future of the medium.

“Let clipping channels be monetized as long as there's effort in the clips,” one clipper said. “If a streamer doesn't want you to clip or monetize what you clip, then comply with the streamers' request… [but] if the streamer gave you the okay there's no reason for YouTube to butt in. YouTube gets a cut from the ad revenue anyway.”

“I think YouTube should simply allow those who own the copyrighted material to decide what to do,” VIL added.

“If that’s not a possibility though, then a good compromise would be to at least give creators a warning when they are in violation of this policy, then inform them specifically which videos and what parts of them violate that policy.”