Random thoughts on most things from A. M. Craig.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mountain Dew Rips Off YouTuber and Indie Rappers

Saw it this morning. It's pretty obvious.

Mountain Dew posted a video of BMX bikers going off a jump into a pond. It has a good summer-time feel to it, with a fun hip-hop track going in the background. See video HERE:

UPDATE: Embedding for this video has been disabled. Click HERE to watch the video.

That would be fine, and there wouldn't be a story, EXCEPT they ripped it off, wholesale, with no mention or credit to the creators.

The following video was posted Oct. 3 2010.

Same concept. Same theme. Same shots. Same editing. Same musical style. Same everything.

Why wouldn't they hire the original creators? That's what Apple did, and what Microsoft should have done. Instead, they took the Urban Outfitters route, and ripped off independent artists. How do they benefit from backhanding the online communities that inspired the content?

The original video is from DevinSuperTramp, a partnered YouTuber who appears to be working hard to release content regularly to make money through YouTube's Partner Program. The original music is from Can't Stop Won't Stop, an unsigned hip-hop group trying to grow their following on Facebook. Point is, these artists are struggling to make a name for themselves.

It doesn't help when a huge company steals their work without so much as a shout-out. The MountainDew YouTube channel has a behind the scenes video claiming the inspiration came from a video on WildeManMedia's channel. Take a look, compare the videos side by side, and you tell me which video was the inspiration for their ad.

My take? They ripped it off, knew they ripped it off, and created a back-story to cover their tracks. Disgusting.

[Full Disclosure: I helped a little on the production of the original video, so this one made me mad in a personal way.]


Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed the original when I first saw it last year and immediately subscribed to devin's channel and downloaded the music. This is ridiculous... A fine example of how rotten business is today.

Joe said...

That is soo lame..

Anonymous said...

I'd be more sympathetic to your argument if devinsupertramp hadn't done a poorly executed, Twixtored bmx video soon after this video (http://vimeo.com/13557939) was featured on Gizmodo and went around Facebook. To his credit, this particular knock-off seems to have been taken down, leaving just the less obviously knocked-off jumping into ponds videos.

I'm not convinced anything is entirely original, but please don't hold up devinsupertramp as the epitome of originality.

Austin said...

So because he uses the same software, it isn't original? I'm not holding him up as anything but a creator of original content. Of course he has the same tools as other artists, and has inspiration from other work, but you can't tell me it's even remotely the same "copying" as the Mountain Dew ad is to his video.

Anonymous said...

You obviously didn't see his bmx video then. His was a closer copy of the Vimeo/Gizmodo video than the Mountain Dew video is of his.

Austin said...

That just doesn't hold up. I've watched and enjoy the video you're talking about. They're not the same thing, not by a long shot. I think you're simply wrong. To other readers and commenters, please chime in with your views.

kieron said...

blatant copy by mountain dew. loved the devin vid for a long time.

twitter #mountain_dew_rip_off

very poor from mountain dew, they could of got devin to do it for half the price and got twice the result

savant studios said...

Shot remakes constitute plagiarism, which can be remedied by licensing the original content. Original pieces 'inspired by' other works of art/IP are, well, just that- inspired by them. Inspired to take the original seed into a new direction.

I've been a devout fan of all my fellow alum's work, and an equally vocal evangelist for Devin's hard work. For the months [going on years] of hard work he's put in to create his style and his content, he's barely making ends meet. He deserves better than this, as does any creator of original artwork/IP.

Thanks again for bringing this to light.

savant studios said...

Oh, and before I get any of your adoring fans jumping down my throat, by plagiarism I also just mean general IP infringement.

Anonymous said...

Here's the latest link since they removed the one posted: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJKwLg8PCkI

Matt Moench said...

Now wait a minute Austin - what about this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKr97oNY4W8

This was done at the same spot in Alpine (looks the same, comments on page 3 seem to confirm) 4 whole years before Devin's video went viral last year. AND the title to Devin's video is strikingly similar to the original title.... Obviously Devin's is way better done and went viral while the other did not. But who's copying who?

devinsupertramp posted Oct. 2010: "Huge Bike Jump into a Pond 35 feet in the air"

theguywitharms posted Nov. 2006: "Huge Bike Jump into a Pond 30 ft in the air"

Anonymous said...

They both kind of look like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9miyq8nutM

Is this the band? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mRG2oAQhso

Anonymous said...

There are 4,520 results on YouTube for "bike jump water"


Austin said...

@Matt Moench, he probably did get the idea and the title from there, but my point is, the Mountain Dew ad didn't change ANYTHING. It's exactly the same. WHOLESALE ripoff. They didn't even improve on the concept, did't add to it. Just copied, %100, without any mention of Devin or CSWS.

Jenna said...

So, I'm not sure about this. The videos are very similar -- almost too similar -- but they didn't use the CSWS song (which would DEFINITELY be copyright infringement) and there are some differences.

I don't know if you have a case here (legally speaking). It's the whole "Mark Zuckerberg re-invents the chair" thing. But it might be worth pursuing. After all, the Winklevoss twins were able to settle with Zuckerberg for quite a substantial amount of money in the end.

Basically, I do view this Mountain Dew commercial as idea theft. Shameful? Yes. For sure. Quite deplorable, actually. But will it hold up in a court of law? Don't know. After all, there are quite a few bike-jumping-into-pond videos, just as there are a lot social networking sites. And chairs.

I hope you guys have a good lawyer on your side. Best of luck to you and your friend.

P.S. Nice use of Bananarama's "Cruel Summer," CSWS. I'm always fond of a little '80's sampling in hip-hop songs. :)

Austin said...

Jenna, no legal ground. But it just sucks that they did it this way.

Mark said...

The CSWS video was what inspired this girl. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTi_Zpl9MFk Didn't quite work out as well, but she's gone viral. Pretty awesome! I'd like to see a Mtn Dew rip off of that.

Jared M said...

Wow. First of all, I'm going to pipe into the claims made by 'anonymous' and Matt: Not the same video. Not even close. Same location, same software, completely different direction creatively. I'm not doubting that Devinsupertramp, or any artist, gets inspiration from other sources, but Devinsupertramp has SURELY made this his own stylistically and creatively. If you watch his other videos you'd see that his style is interwoven into this video just like his others and not just a straight-up copy of someone else's work. The only argument I'd give matt is the name thing which is suspicious. I'd be interested to know what his motivations were on the name. An homage to the original? An attempt to 'out-do' the original? In any case, devinsupertramp wasn't profiting off this video, unlike Mountain Dew.

I wonder, and would love to hear your thoughts, if Mountain Dew was oblivious to this and we should really be upset at the producers/directors/or Ad agency? Perhaps, like Austin mentions, Mountain Dew would have gone with Devinsupertramp, but were instead presented with this idea from their Ad agency?

Anyways, I haven't seen Devinsupertramp chime in on FB, Youtube, etc. Which is cool, he lets his piece speak for itself (which I still think is better), but I wonder what his sentiments are?

Anonymous said...

"It's not where you take things from, but where you take them to." - JLG

Nothing's original.

Anonymous said...

my thought on the matter is maybe if you do take it to court it might not have a strong enough case to win but it would possibly bring enough attention to it to further increase the attention that you get beyond this. just a possibility but i think worth looking into and may end up helping devin hit a bigger spot light and start making more money from his videos i personally think after viewing all of the videos posted on this thread that austins argument still stands and this move by mountain dew is a jerk move. personally i am boycotting there product for this and i think anyone else who doesn't approve of what they have done should boycott it's the only way we can actually strike back by limiting there sales.