About the Saberspark controversy


Hi everyone,

As there has been quite a bit of controversy about the take-down of the Saberspark video reviews of “Strawinsky and the mysterious house” and a lot of misinformation has been spread regarding the reason for the take-down, I’m sharing the unedited emails sent between Stephen Carver (aka Saberspark) and David Hutter on this page.

I appreciate that “Fair Use” is a very sensitive and greatly debated subject, especially as in many cases "Fair use" is a grey area and each situation is different.

This uncensored, unedited email log below documents the entire communications between Saberspark and David Hutter to prevent any further rumour mongering and unhealthy gossip.

Blessings,
David


From: Stephen Carver
Sent: 03 April 2018 18:12
To: David Hutter
Subject: Saberspark Channel Strike for Strawinsky Let’s Watch

Hey David,

My name is Stephen Carver and I run the YouTube channel Saberspark. I see that I had one of my videos about your movie taken down and I have received a channel strike in the process.

First off, I understand where you are coming from. It’s your movie, it’s getting a wave of attention, and you want to protect it. Also, my Let’s Watch was stepping over the line as far as Fair Use goes so I will avoid that in the future.

All in all, I apologize for what happened. Is it possible though to remove the strike from the channel? It takes away abilities that allows me to survive on YouTube and provide for me and my loved ones. I won’t be trying to upload anything that has to do with your content moving forward so this isn’t a way for me to get the video back on my channel. I am leaving that alone.

I hope you can forgive me and we can put this behind us. Thanks for hearing my out David

~Saberspark/Stephen


From: David Hutter
Sent: 03 April 2018 22:58
To: Stephen Carver
Subject: RE: Saberspark Channel Strike for Strawinsky Let’s Watch

Hi Stephen,

thanks for your message. I appreciate that a strike on your channel is very damaging.

Not sure if you’ve seen my comment on your movie review video (my comment was posted over a week ago). Here’s the original comment:

“Thanks for the review! Some fair points. Some not so. Don’t take everything at face value. This film is not about the evils of reading books. When you see an enchanted library with singing and dancing books – think Netflix library, or your favourite video library (YouTube, Amazon Prime, etc.) and moving, singing, dancing pictures. Now here’s a question – is using 75-80% of the films footage still fair use? I don’t mind harsh reviews but I’m strongly considering striking this video for breach of copyright. After all, ‘Honest trailer’ videos only use a small portion of a movie’s footage – not nearly every scene of the movie.”

To be totally honest, both your video uploads have been a massive source of frustration and loss of business for me for the last 1-2 weeks.

I appreciate that my film is not up to scratch and does not compare well with what’s currently released by movie studios, however did you know that…

So you can hopefully understand how frustrating it is when other people just rip into the film, laugh at it and at the same time nearly show the whole film in the review video.

Now, I have a very thick skin and can live with criticism. I understand that for every 1000 people you influence, you get 100 critics. I also know that nobody ever built a monument for a critic. However, by showing pretty much everything of the film and then completely destroy the story and film with harsh criticism, it pretty much stops people from buying a digital download or at least watching it on Amazon Prime so I get a few pennies for the view.

In addition, a lot of the criticism is even inaccurate – the film is not against reading or books, it’s about non-discriminate media consumption, the Scarlet Queen is not a picture for Jesus but for the Holy Spirit, etc.

I really would like to make more movies. I understand the quality of Strawinsky isn’t great so I’ve actually started studying animation intensely from 2012 onwards and have learnt tons of new skills and software that I’m planning to use for a new project very soon. However, funding a new film is very tricky – especially as sales have gone down quite a bit since you’ve uploaded your two videos.

So here’s an offer: I am happy to remove the strike on your video if you also remove the 27 minute review video. By taking it offline yourself, you can still receive the advertising revenue from YouTube that has accumulated until now (which had a good run until now and is probably dropping off gradually). Alternatively, I am very tempted to also report the review video for copyright breach to YouTube as it’s really stretching fair use (mainly from minute 7 until the end) but wanted to first wait 1-2 days to see if I receive an email from you after the removal of the “Let’s watch” video.

I hope that sounds fair? Sorry this email turned into a bit of an essay…

Blessings,
David


From: David Hutter
Sent: 10 April 2018 21:17 GMT
To: Stephen Carver
Subject: RE: Saberspark Channel Strike for Strawinsky Let’s Watch

Hi Stephen,

I thought it might be worth sending you a follow-up email regarding the second copyright strike to provide you with some additional (and hopefully helpful) details.

First of all, I believe something has gone lost in the translation from British to American English. When I say “I appreciate that a strike on your channel is very damaging” I meant “I understand that a strike is damaging” – not “I’m really happy about this”.

I genuinely don’t rejoice in what’s happening with your channel at the moment and I would prefer we would not have this disagreement. I’m generally really supportive of the community, reviews and memes – both positive and negative.

For the record: I don’t hate you. You are not my enemy. In fact, I refuse to name any fellow human an enemy of mine. The moment you hate others, you give them power over you – over your sleep, your appetite, and your happiness.

So rather than calling each other names (which I refuse to do and have not done in my previous email) let’s attack the problem not the person: It seems to be our fundamental disagreement is “what constitutes fair use”.

If you search YouTube for reviews of my animation you can see that there are plenty other negative reviews about my animation. That’s fine with me. And in many cases I’ve added a positive comment below the review. So when you say that I’ve taken your review offline for its criticism, then that’s dishonest. I’ve left plenty of other bad reviews online.

As explained in my previous email, this takedown notice is NOT about your criticism but about the amount of footage used in the review. If you create a 27 minute review of a 30 minute movie that consists of 70-80% of the full movie then that’s no longer fair use. In essence, it’s really not much different to your “Let’s watch” video where you commentate pretty much every scene of the movie.

Have a look at this video: https://www.commoncraft.com/video/fair-use. My main gripe with your video is #3 Amount of work used.

In my take-down notice to YouTube I specifically stated that the copyright complaint is from minute 7 onwards where the video is really straying off fair use and pretty much goes through the film from beginning to end.

I’m surprised that this second take-down notice is a shock to you. After all, in my last email I said that I was planning to submit a take-down notice of the video and wanted to wait for you to take it offline yourself so you can keep the advertising revenue.

I was open to negotiation and/or dialogue after my last email. However when I didn’t receive a reply from you and saw you calling me names on social media I decided to simply go ahead and submit the second notice as is.

If someone first pirates your animation, uploads the whole film to YouTube, then criticises, tears it to pieces, doesn’t respond to your comments or email and finally starts calling you names on social media – wouldn’t you do the same?

Happy to build bridges (rather than burn them) if you’re interested.

Blessings,
David


From: Stephen Carver
Sent: 10 April 2018 21:38 GMT
To: David Hutter
Subject: Re: Saberspark Channel Strike for Strawinsky Let's Watch

Hey David,

Honestly, I am just waiting to hear back from my network's legal team and whether they think this video is Fair Use or not. Personally, I believe it is and so do many of my colleagues. If the lawyers think the same, then I am going to fight this. I don't like being silenced for speaking my mind and I see it as censorship. Also, my video generated viewership for you if anything so I don't know why you have to come at me like this with copyright strikes.

You had a good run with your globgogabgalab meme but it's dying out and I feel that you are blaming me for it. Now you gotta put a sour taste in everyone's mouth and people are going to look at you the same way they look at Derek Savage from Cool Cat. That completely backfired in his face.

So yeah, I'm gonna wait and see what the legal team says. If you wanna remove the strikes, we can leave it at that and I won't upload the review to my channel again. But if you don't and my network's lawyers say that the video is Fair Use, then I am going to fight for it.

Again, I just wanna be done with this stuff. I hate how things have gotten out-of-hand. I was raised as a Christian and I am no stranger to your belief dude. I know some of the band members of Newsboys and I am good friends with the guy who runs Newsong. Heck, I accepted Christ into my heart but I have just fallen onto some rough times with my faith but whatever, that doesn't really apply here I suppose.

Alright, let me know what you think. I am up for the removal of the strikes in exchange for leaving the videos off my channel for good. But if you don't want to do that, I might have to fight you on this one dude. As a reviewer, freedom of speech means a lot to me so I can't just stand by. I hope we can come to some kind of agreement.

Best,
Stephen


From: David Hutter
Sent: 10 April 2018 22:21 GMT
To: Stephen Carver
Subject: RE: Saberspark Channel Strike for Strawinsky Let’s Watch

Hi Stephen,

Many thanks for your quick response.

Yes, I’m very happy with that offer/resolution: I remove the strikes, we can leave it at that and you won't upload the review to your channel again/keep the two videos off your channel. You’re welcome to upload a shorter review with less footage if you want to but I appreciate you probably want to stay clear of the film as it probably has now soured any memory of the animation for you.

Please believe me, this was never about free speech for me or anything personal against you. By the time you’ve posted your review I had already taken down lots of other pirated copies of the full movie. It’s very frustrating when other people upload the whole film, you see the views going up rapidly and it takes YouTube 4-5 days to remove it after reporting it.

By the time I noticed your video on YouTube (and I kept a close eye on all those uploads), the Globglogabgalab song was already #12 trending on YouTube. So when I saw your review and later the “Let’s watch” video, I felt that it was doing the same as the pirated movies as it was showing most of the film. This hopefully also explains my very strongly worded first email reply to you: Frustration with piracy and very slow responses from YouTube.

I hope the fact that I haven’t touched or attacked any other negative reviews or memes on YouTube backs up my claim that this was never about free speech for me.

Thanks for your feedback/comments about your Christian background. I hope my strong reaction in this case hasn’t put you further off God and faith. The last few weeks have been great fun for me but also a very steep learning curve! :P

If you don’t mind I’d like to put our entire uncensored email exchange into the public domain so there’s a clear record of what happened?

Blessings,
David


From: Stephen Carver
Sent: 10 April 2018 23:01 GMT
To: David Hutter
Subject: Re: Saberspark Channel Strike for Strawinsky Let's Watch

I am glad we can find some common ground. Let's move forward with that agreement then. I am willing to drop this with the Fair Use thing in exchange for both strikes being removed. I am going to make a video letting my viewers know what happened but it will be legit. No name-calling, no witch-hunting, nothing like that. I'm only going to tell them that you and I found common ground and that I will upload a shorter version of video some other time.

Let me know what you think! Sorry for the short response, gotta run with the girl friend to get dinner

-Stephen


From: David Hutter
Sent: 10 April 2018 23:09 GMT
To: Stephen Carver
Subject: RE: Saberspark Channel Strike for Strawinsky Let’s Watch

Have just retracted video #1. Have to look up video #2 details as I think you’ve already deleted it, so it doesn’t have its original name...

Enjoy your dinner! :)

Blessings,
David