People of Facebook, Stop Sharing Stolen Content


If you spend any amount of time on facebook, you’ve probably seen a slew of heartwarming, funny, or entertaining viral videos shared from the James Ellis facebook page.


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This fitness trainer is seriously dominating the facebook feeds right now because of all the good video content he’s been curating and sharing from his page.

Wait – replace “curating” with “stealing” and that previous sentence will be more accurate.

Don’t let the muscles distract you from the fact that he is profiting off of being a shady mother f*cker.  Turns out solid abs do not equal solid ethics.

I admit to sharing a couple of things from his facebook page.  There is a reflex to just hit share when we watch or see something we like on facebook.  I usually try to make sure there is credit given to the original source, but sometimes I’m lazy.  However, as I started seeing posts from James Ellis all over my feed, I soon  realized that this guy couldn’t possibly have made all of these videos, and when I tried to find the original source, I couldn’t – because there was no link or mention of who actually created the content.

Then, he must have gotten that feeling in his gut – you know, that moral compass feeling that tells you your lying and stealing.  In response to that feeling, he started giving credit like this:


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It’s been bothering me for some time that this guy was starting to build a facebook page empire off of stolen content, and the other day my friend Marcy Massura actually voiced what I had been feeling:



You see, there is a proper way to share videos that you find on YouTube.  It is obviously clear and easy to do:


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This is the ONLY proper way to share YouTube videos.  You see, as a video content creator myself, I know that view counts matter.  For a lot of YouTubers, a good portion of their income comes from the traffic their videos get… and when someone uses a video swiper to take videos off of YouTube and then re-uploads them onto facebook, that’s stealing money right out of their pockets.  Some of the videos this guy James has posted have been “liked” tens of thousands of times.  That’s over ten thousand views that the owner of that video did not get credit for on YouTube.

My dear facebook friends, every time you view and share a video that this guy has uploaded to his page without using the proper sharing tools – you are taking views and money away from the content creator.

Look for the YouTube bar at the bottom of the video.  That means proper credit is going to the creator.


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If there is no bar, than it is coming from another video platform, was uploaded by the owner to facebook, or is stolen.  Let’s hope it’s one of the first two…

Stuff gets stolen online regularly – photos, videos, blogposts…

The Internet is still the wild wild west, and the sheriff is busy playing poker.  I’d like to think that most people are in tune with their moral compass…

but it looks like there are quite few that are only in tune with the threat of getting caught.

There are a number of people who gain massive exposure by standing on the stolen content of others.

James Ellis is one of them.

Let’s try not to help him out so much.


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10 responses to “People of Facebook, Stop Sharing Stolen Content”

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of him, but I will absolutely avoid him now. Ew. What a douche-canoe.

  2. Amanda says:

    Yup, I shared one the other day thinking I was spreading good. I will be more vigilant. Thanks you amazing creator and acknowledger of sweet content!

  3. Alison says:

    Wow, what an asshat. Fortunately, for some reason, I have NOT been seeing these stolen videos. Thank you for raising the awareness, Jenni!

  4. Lyn says:

    I noticed the same thing. My newsfeed was filled with videos from James Ellis. For that reason, I would not share them. My gut said he wasn’t legit. Thanks for doing the research.

  5. LeVar Battle says:

    I can somewhat sympathize with the outrage, but if you’re a real “content creator,” how can you not know the importance of branding your content? (It’s quite easy to do that with video.) Can you address the flip side to this issue–content creators having a responsibility to themselves?

    The internet is too full of ranting and complaining. Take this opportunity/platform and educate people on how to keep this from happening to them. Let’s face it, there are plenty of James Ellis’ out there.

    • Jenni Chiu says:

      Thanks for commenting, LeVar.
      Most content creators do know the importance of branding their content – that’s why they upload it to YouTube. That is a legal and known way to protect your video property.The video is then distributed only through your own branded channel. It’s the same as shows that are watched on ABC or NBC – it belongs to that channel. Asking a video content creator to splash watermarks or logos across their work is like asking a film maker to have the name of the production company in every frame of the film – some fell it ruins the viewing experience.
      Some networks will put small logos at the bottom of their videos… but that’s not the point – if the video is illegally downloaded, even with the logo, they are still losing the dollars that come from the views on their channel.
      Using video swiping software and uploading videos to your own page or website is just as bad as going to a movie with a handycam, recording it, and then trying to distribute it.
      Unfortunately, the only way I see to keep this from happening so much, is to continue to call out people who steal. Even if you stamp your videos with a logo, you lose money when people steal it.

  6. So dear oracle …. if I take them embed code and put it on my Facebook page … thats ok right?

  7. Emily says:

    Another one that appears to be popping up all over the place with no original source links is Hot Moms Club.

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