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NSW Terminating BuzzMyVideos YouTube Internet Agreement

Discussion in 'Commercial Law Forum' started by Jackie M., 13 June 2014.

  1. Jackie M.

    Jackie M. Member

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    About a year ago, I received an unsolicited email from BuzzMyVideos.com regarding my YouTube Channel, and inviting me to link my YouTube account to them. In doing so, they would help promote my videos (in return, they get a percentage of money derived from views on my videos). It was a very straightforward sign-up form and I just had to fill in a basic form and click a button to "link" to them.


    I'm now trying to "Unlink" from this "Partner" - to do that, there's an "Unlink" button in my YouTube account setting to do so - and I thought it'd just be unlinked automatically. Unfortunately, I have apparently signed a 2-year contract by linking to them - a fact I wasn't even aware of until they pointed it out. After I chased them up 4 times and was basically ignored, I finally tagged them in a social media post (i.e. went public with my frustration that they were deliberately ignoring my multiple communications). The contract is located in a member section of their website but not, from memory, displayed during the sign-up process i.e. I don't recall clicking "I Agree" etc. the way you would when you install software etc.


    A quick search on the net reveals other people having the same problem, and creative ways to resolve include -

    a) removing the monetization of videos on your channel (i.e. removing ads, which means they get no money for views on your videos and therefore will have no incentive to keep you linked to them).

    b) going public - someone apparently posted a YouTube video giving them a bad review for their experience in dealing with BuzzMyVideos. This apparently worked but they were required to sign an agreement to cease badmouthing the company and presumably remove the offending video.


    Option A seems like cutting off your nose to spite your face (although during the whole period I've never been paid one cent - a fact they acknowledged but had an excuse for, and which they now say they would fix). I'm considering Option B since I do in fact have a sizable online following (over 1.8 million) - I could presumably hurt them through public shaming, but I don't know if I could be accused of defamation.


    Here's part of the contract I extracted from the member login area of their website. It's not available in their publicly-accessible area (it's also in much smaller print and in greyscale on their site). Would someone be able to advise what recourse I have? FYI, although my initial reason for unlinking was quite frivolous, thanks to the bad customer service I've since received from them through my request to unlink, I've decided I absolutely want nothing to do with them.

    Yes, I'm sure you're all thinking that would teach me to sign my life away without reading the small print :/ It's a VERY long document and I can't fit it all in here -

    10 CONFIDENTIALITY RIGHTS AND COPYRIGHT

    (1) Jm hereby grants sole and exclusive management rights including all Intellectual Property Rights, whatsoever to the creative works together with all unfettered use, including, but not limited to, any publication, production, broadcast or use whatsoever, subsequent exploitation of the creative works and all rights of every kind and nature, irrevocably and on a royalty free basis, to the Organisation in consideration of revenue payment made by the Organisation.
    (2) All matters with respect to credit shall be in the Organisation"s sole and complete discretion. No casual or inadvertent failure to comply with the provisions of this Agreement or failure by any third parties to comply with their agreements with the Organisation, shall constitute a beach of this Agreement by the Organisation
    (3) Jm will not disclose to any third party, whether by themselves directly or indirectly, by act or omission, or through any other company, firm or person, or otherwise procure cause or facilitate the disclosure of any confidential information or trade secrets belonging to the Organisation or any of its clients,
    (4) Both parties agree that this Clause, and particularly the rights within it, continues beyond any termination of this Agreement.
    11 TERMINATION

    (1) This Agreement shall continue for 2 years and continue on an automatically renewed basis unless 3 months notice has been provided by Jm to the Organisation before the end of the initial 2 year term.
    (2) Either party may terminate this Agreement forthwith in writing to the other if:
    (a) the other party commits a material breach of this Agreement and, in the case of a breach capable of being remedied, fails to remedy it within a reasonable time of being given written notice from the other party to do so; or
    (b) the other party commits a material breach of this Agreement which cannot be remedied under any circumstances; or
    (c) the other party passes a resolution for winding up (other than for the purpose of solvent amalgamation or reconstruction), or a court of competent jurisdiction makes an order to that effect; or
    (d) the other party ceases to carry on its business or substantially the whole of its business; or
    (e) the other party is declared insolvent, or convenes a meeting of or makes or proposes to make any arrangement or composition with its creditors; or a liquidator, receiver, administrative receiver, manager, trustee or similar officer is appointed over any of its assets.
    (3) Either party may otherwise terminate this Agreement by providing 60 days" notice in writing, provided always that termination will not take effect until the Organisation agrees termination in writing.
    (4) This Agreement shall be without prejudice to any other accrued rights and liabilities of the parties arising in any way out of this Agreement, as at the date of termination.
    (5) If the Organisation shall terminate this Agreement, the Organisation shall (without prejudice to any other action it may take) have the right to withhold any monies then remaining unpaid to Jm on account of any loss or damage suffered by the Organisation and the termination of this Agreement shall be without prejudice to any of the Organisation"s rights.
    (6) If the Organisation does not act upon any breach immediately, Jm should not assume that the Organisation has waived any rights as to enforceability or to seek redress, unless they have expressly stated that in writing.

    15 DISPUTE

    In the event of any dispute upon which the parties cannot reach a joint decision or agreement, then the matter will be referred to an arbitrator to be nominated with joint agreement of both parties. In the event that there is no such joint agreement, such appointment will be allocated by the President for the time being of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and according to the provisions of the relevant Arbitration Acts in force at the time of any dispute. The decision of the Arbitrator shall be final and binding on all parties and the parties agree to share the Arbitration costs on a 50/50 basis. Alternatively, the parties may via joint agreement agree to substitute the appointment of an Arbitrator by a Commercial mediator to resolve the dispute formally on the same costs share basis as for Arbitration.


    16 INVALIDITY

    Each clause or any part at all of this Agreement is to be regarded as independent of the others. This means that should any clause or any part at all of this Agreement be found to be unenforceable or invalid, it will not affect the enforceability or validity of the rest of this Agreement.
     
  2. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jackie,
    From a basic search, it appears that you are not alone in your issues as a YouTube Channel operator with BuzzMyVideos.com.
    It's difficult to provide meaningful information without a full copy of the contract. That said, as a starting point, you may consider:
    1. Documenting the issues that you've had with BuzzMyVideos to date;
    2. Reviewing each clause of your agreement with BuzzMyVideos and identifying clauses that impose an obligation on BuzzMyVideos (e.g. to provide customer service in a timely manner, to make payment of your ad commission less their percentage within X days, etc.); and
    3. Drafting a formal letter/email to BuzzMyVideos that sets out the issues, any behaviour by BuzzMyVideos that you believe breaches your agreement with BuzzMyVideos and your request for BuzzMyVideos to remedy the issue/behaviour or terminate the agreement.
    Congratulations on building a significant YouTube following. Depending on the amount of ad revenue that your YouTube Channel is generating, you may want to consider formally engaging a solicitor to review the agreement and draft a response on your behalf.

    All the best. Please keep us updated with your progress.

    Further Information about BuzzMyVideos
    BuzzMyVideos' general contact email address is: info@buzzmyvideos.com
    BuzzMyVideos' recently moved to London TechHub, 207 Old Street, London, United Kingdom EC1V 9NR.
    BuzzMyVideos' uses a WHOIS privacy protection service to hide ownership and contact information for the buzzmyvideos.com domain name.
    The LinkedIn Company Page for BuzzMyVideos lists both directors and a number of senior employees that you may consider contacting directly if you continue to experience unresponsive customer service.

    Based on public information available from the UK Companies House:
    BuzzMyVideos' appears to be operated by Buzz My Videos Limited (UK Company Number: 07737866), The Quadrant Centre, 1 Limes Road, Weybridge, Surrey, United Kingdom KT13 8DH.
    The two directors of Buzz My Videos Limited are Paola MARINONE (Italian, DOB: 29/08/1978) and Bengu ATAMER (Irish and Turkish, DOB: 20/10/1979).
     
  3. Jackie M.

    Jackie M. Member

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    Thanks very much for your reply John, and for going the extra mile in pulling up the information about Buzz My Videos. I will get someone to have a look through the contract re: your points about their obligations. Will update once we have a resolution. Thanks again :)
     
    John R likes this.

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