Daniel Negreanu Talks GSN’s YouTube Crackdown

2 years ago
Daniel Negreanu's Take on GSN's Content Removing
10 Mar

Game Show Network have recently been at the center of an intellectual property debate, going after a number of vloggers who have used hands from their poker shows (notably the brilliant and much missed High Stakes Poker). Seventeen of Doug Polk’s Youtube videos – using footage from GSN’s flagship poker programme High Stakes Poker – have been pulled under YouTube’s copyright infringement policy.

The question of whether Polk’s analysis is sufficiently transformative and constitutes one of the Fair Use criteria of education, criticism, satire, comment or news journalism, is a matter for the court of public opinion – and the actual courts – to decide.

But whether or not the videos should have been pulled, there is the separate question of whether or not Polk should have used someone else’s content without permission in the first place. Daniel Negreanu seems to think not. ‘The responsible approach I take, which is respectful of people’s content is to reach out to people,’ he says in his recent FCP podcast on YouTube.

The approach of asking first is not a bad idea if you aren’t a lawyer and you’re using a TV network’s footage. After all, TV networks have teams of intellectual property lawyers at their disposal. In that regard, you’re bringing a knife to a gunfight.

Negreanu wanted to use GSN property in his videos as well and asked the relevant parties for permission (apparently the relevant parties are called ‘Maury’), and was duly denied. He seems a bit cagey having had trouble with his own videos getting blocked in the UK because the British PokerStars office there hadn’t been notified of the permissions the US branch had issued.

What Negreanu is really stressing in his approach, is that creators should have some control over their creations, and whether legally permissible or not, it is at the very least kind to ask.

He doesn’t come out and call Polk a thief, and given Negreanu’s outspokenness in the past, if he thought it, you can be pretty sure he’d say it. so it seems pretty clear he’s not throwing shade at anyone in his podcast.

The twist in the tale is that he may inadvertently have got a bunch of other vloggers videos shut down, since a few weeks after he requested permission to use some High Stakes Poker hands in his videos, GSN started going after the other vloggers who had used clips from the show in their videos.

Whether or not GSN’s shutdown will permanently put Polk’s videos off the web is yet to be seen. It sounds like Polk is digging in for a fight. Negreanu though seems to think Polk should make a snow princess, and let it go.

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Jon is a freelance writer and novelist who learned to play poker after watching Rounders in year 9. He has been giving away his beer money at cards ever since. Currently he is based in Bristol where he makes sporadic donations to the occasional live tournament or drunken late night Zoom session. He ...Read more


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