Stupid Battle Over YouTube Subcribers Now Includes A Takedown Order From A Court In India

from the courting-subscribers dept

One of the stupidest fights over internet points has reached its latest nadir. It’s nadirs all the way down, tbh. If you’re interested, there’s an entire Wikipedia page with a blow-by-blow of YouTuber PewDiePie’s fight against Indian content conglomerate, T-Series. It starts with subscriber counts and ends with a court order. In between, there’s racism, hacked printers, billboard purchases, invective of all varieties, and this salvo from the controversial PewDiePie: a “diss track” called “Bitch Lasagna.”

If you’re inclined to click through and assail yourself with “Bitch Lasagna,” you’ll be greeted with some of the worst white boy rapping since white boys started rapping. Robert Van Winkle is rolling over in his grave. [Note: My apologies to all of us: I’ve been informed Mr. Van Winkle is, unfortunately, still alive.] Contained in this video are some slurs against the country of India and its inhabitants — not all that unexpected for a diss track.

What’s a little more unexpected is how far T-Series will go to up its subscriber count and fan the flames of this meaningless — but lucrative — battle over numbers in a little red box. There’s now a court involved.

Delhi HC has ordered the removal of PewDiePie’s diss tracks against T-Series namely ‘Congratulations’ and ‘Bitch lasagna’, Bar and Bench reports. YouTube has also been ordered to see that these videos are not uploaded on the platform again. If you search for either of the videos on YouTube, you will see that they are not available in India.


The High Court was of the opinion that the songs have “repeated comments made which are abusive, vulgar and also racist in nature,” according to the report. The matter is currently pending in the Delhi High Court and the next hearing will take place on July 15.

The court isn’t wrong. The video contains all of those elements. But this isn’t really about someone offending a country with over 1 billion residents. It’s about who has the higher subscriber count. By geofencing PewDiePie out of India, T-Series can hope to grab the lead for good. This is a race to the bottom and T-Series has taken the lead by using the power of the government to nuke a competitor’s video.

But I’m sure — given enough time — PewDiePie or his supporters will find a way to “top” this. Taking control of unsecured devices and vandalizing war memorials is just part of the stupid, stupid game being played here.

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Companies: t-series, youtube

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Comments on “Stupid Battle Over YouTube Subcribers Now Includes A Takedown Order From A Court In India”

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cpt kangarooski says:

Re: Re:

Copyright doesn’t encourage ‘quality’ entertainment, it encourages popular entertainment. The government can’t discern what quality is, and even if it could, no one would want it to. But it doesn’t matter, because the highest quality work and for crappiest piece of crap get equal protection under copyright law. Which gets the most revenue is based on popularity amongst people who will pay for it.

cpt kangarooski says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"Cheap culture" is what piracy brought us: that which is cheap to produce (like cellphone videos) winds up dominating the landscape.

So? There’s nothing bad about works just because they are cheap to produce. Heaven’s Gate cost $135 million in 2018 dollars to make, bankrupting United Artists. It was a piece of crap and hardly anyone went to see it. Blair Witch Project cost $91 thousand in 2018 dollars, is less watchable than a cellphone video (and absolutely would have been shot on phones if it was made a decade later), and made $379 million in 2018 dollars.

Movie studios don’t want to make movies that cost a lot, they want to make movies that are profitable. They should be focusing on making zillions of small, cheap, cellphone movies to find the handful that pay off big time, but instead they seem to prefer risking everything on a handful of huge bets. It hasn’t been working out well for them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

This person seems to think there’s a "scam" going on but never names any books that are the "scam."

Can’t be talking about me, so it seems to be wasting energy, a lot of it.

Masnick not being taken seriously as a journalist is reflected in the low-level comments here. Maybe it’s a hacker or other cybercriminal who doesn’t like me outing them, or the reviews about certain lawyers that are going up….

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I can imagine a few titles he’s written:

‘How to find your own genitalia with an electron microscope’

‘Help yourself to an orgasm without sex’

‘How to feel good by writing bullshit stuff on the internet’

‘The view from mommy’s basement is better through your own eyes’

Funny thing though, I could not find any of those on The Pirate Bay.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

"It’s what happens when piracy destroys the incentive to create quality entertainment "

Seems this has been going on for some time then because there has been plenty of content lacking quality in the past many decades. I doubt this issue has anything to do with the quality of the content.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Exception: There is no such thing as bad doo-wop…

I beg to differ; I’ve been subjected to a lot of bad doo-wop where the singers sang with no feeling, were off pitch, stumbled over their lines, or had the timing wrong.

"Fools Fall In Love" and "One Fine Day" still exist because they were the best of the genre.

Bamboo Harvester (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

The songs aren’t bad. That they’re sometimes performed by people who sing even worse than I do is another matter entirely.

Especially all the white covers, the Crewcuts come right to mind.

Frankie Lymon’s voice wasn’t all that great, everything by the Chiffons is a good listen.

The really early stuff like Earth Angel, and the very late songs like Dimucci have been popular through what, three, four generations now?

70’s hard rock and punk are still popular, 80’s disco is well, alright, ONE song on rare occasions for nostalgia purposes, 90’s … nope, can’t think of anything really good from then.

There are a gem or three from every genre, Maroon 5’s Wake Up Call is the most kick-ass Foxtrot since Crocodile Rock brought back Single Swing. 🙂

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Point was that piracy does little to destroy the incentive to create quality entertainment … emphasis on Quality.

This is supported by the fact that there were plenty of low quality works pre – internet piracy. These low quality products were certainly not caused by the presence of some piracy in the future were they?

cpt kangarooski says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

People always think old works were better than modern ones, because they’ve forgotten all the bad stuff from back in the day and haven’t yet filtered out the good from the bad for the new works.

I remember 80s MTV, when they actually showed videos — there was plenty of crap.

Gary (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I tohught it was about the tape cassette or the MP3, both of whom, according to every expert on the copyright cult, forever buried music.

None of those innovations every happened. Player piano’s din’t just kill songwriters, they completely killed the desire to ever play a piano.

Seriously. It was the end of the world, draconian new laws were needed so people wouldn’t stop taking piano lessons.

Mrs. Kjellberg says:

Re: Re:

Was Felix to New Zealand and actually killing people, like, personally? No? Obviously no one can possibly control what people say about them or do in their name (heck, even Jesus himself had troubles with that, remember crusades?) and it is unfair to blame Felix for something some obviously insane person did.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Murderer tries to harass high-profile people by including reference to them in the act of committing a crime.

Anonymous Coward takes the bait and joins the mob harassment campaign organized by the killer.

When you’re acting on behalf of a killer in the manner they openly described they would like you to act, you’ve become the bad guy.

Slow Joe Crow (profile) says:

Reason number 732 for never subscribing to PewDiePie, asinine diss tracks. Actually I’ve made a point of never watching PewDiePie, since I don’t consider his garbage worth viewing.
As for the early comment about piracy and quality, the combination of blockbuster mentality, monopoly arrogance, and least common denominator programming means I consider a great deal of the RIAA and MPAA’s output to be so crappy it’s not even worth stealing. I haven’t watched network television in years and don’t miss it
There is quality entertainment out there and most of my YouTube viewing is Patreon supported channels because they deliver as promised.

Mrs. Kjellberg says:

"Congratulations" on completely missing the point.

Seriously, Felix is such a good person. If you had seen ANY of his videos instead of just reading BS Verge and other moron stream media are publishing about him, you’d know that.

What’s more important though, is that you are missing completely the point here. Ever heard of "Broadcast Yourself"? Yeah, yourself. Not "your corporation", "your boss" or similar. Youtube was made for creators such as Felix not faceless corpos like those idiots at t-series.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: "Congratulations" on completely missing the point.

" Ever heard of "Broadcast Yourself"? Yeah, yourself. Not "your corporation", "your boss" or similar. Youtube was made for creators"

That was the original YouTube, not the current version, which seeks to develop business relationships with other corporations. Although Youtube’s success was literally built by ordinary "regular guys with laptops" who talk in front of a camera, much like Pewdiepie, it’s become obvious in recent years that the company now considers such peons as disposable as Youtube transitions into its new business model.

YouTube’s "best of YouTube" awards, Rewind 2018, almost immediately became the most downvoted video in Youtube’s history, as it demonstrated Youtube’s blatant snubbing of the site’s most popular [non-corporate-sponsored] creators. Then there’s Youtube’s manipulation of search algorithms to favor mainstream media channels over user-uploaded content for things like movie reviews, ignoring more relevant factors such as a video’s view numbers or popularity.

It should not surprise anyone that Youtube, like its parent Google, has slowly and continuously moved away from its roots and sold out its principles. It’s the natural progression of most every for-profit corporation.

Anonymous Coward says:

An extremely misconstrued and misinterpreted situation.

Sure you can have your own opinions about Pewdiepie and the practically meaningless battle over subscribers, which he himself has acknowledged is just for fun and doesn’t really matter.
I agree that, when taken seriously, this whole thing becomes stupid and silly. Especially when courts get involved to try to ”win” the ”battle”. Add to that the bad eggs and rabid fans that use PewDiePie’s name in order to get attention for doing something as disgusting as vandalising was memorials. (Which by the way he has openly said is disgusting.) It’s easy to look at PewDIePie himself and say ”Oh he’s encouraging this type of behavior”, but that’s a very close minded way of thinking about things. People are responsible for their own actions. Pewdiepie has openly come out against these types of disgusting things that some of the rabid fans do.
It’s simply dumb to think that he is responsible for other peoples actions.
Using that logic, I can say the exact same thing about anybody.
As for the court case.

”The High Court was of the opinion that the songs have “repeated comments made which are abusive, vulgar and also racist in nature,” according to the report. The matter is currently pending in the Delhi High Court and the next hearing will take place on July 15.
The court isn’t wrong. The video contains all of those elements.”
It’s all just harmless fun at the end of the day, also that video doesn’t have any traces of those elements, it’s vulgar at times yes, but certainly not racist in nature, to think that only convolutes the true meaning of the word racist.
It only takes about one minute to go onto PewDiePie’s channel, look at the videos where he directly addresses the ”racism” claims, and you can easily see that he is quite obviously not a racist in any way.Using ‘Vox’ as a source for this, just highlights the inability on so many people’s behalves, to actually look into things beyond surface level.

I don’t mean to come down too hard on you here- that’s if you’re reading this, But by not bothering to look into things further, you’re not really doing the best job of journalism you could be. And sure maybe you did do all of this, maybe you did check out Pewdiepie’s responses to these claims and still think that he’s a racist, despite all the evidence pointing to the complete opposite. But if that’s the case then you should make it a point to let your readers know that this article is opinionated.

[He also has so many more videos where he addresses all of these things in even more detail]

I know this comment probably seems like it’s more aggressive that I meant it to be, sorry for that.
Either way It’s true, there’ll always be those people that take things too far and who use situations and trends to ”justify” what they’re doing or to gain notoriety/ attention. But you shouldn’t let these things get in the way of the good parts of things. Especially when it comes to something as stupid and silly as a subscriber battle on youtube…Which is quite possibly one of the most endearing things we have ever fought over before, which has not only pushed forward positivity and creativity, but has also allowed for so many people everywhere to come together and help each other.

Though, with all good things, there will always be people who want to come in and pollute it with negativity, in order to gain clicks + attention. This is where people including you, should act responsible, and not add fuel to the fire by name calling and or not researching/ looking into things properly, taking things at surface level because you don’t have time to look into things properly and or using a situation as a convoluted excuse to do something truly disgusting. Like defacing war memorials, as for the printers thing, the guy actually helped people by making them aware of the problem that they were exposed, to a problem. (Imo having a message saying ”subscribe to pewdiepie” come though your hacked printer, is much better than having any sort of abhorrent material come though it instead.)
Either way this whole issue has been blown out of proportions by so many people and journalists online.
I wish people would put aside their own idiocy agendas, and recognise what this whole thing actually is.
A silly internet meme that is meant for nothing but fun, which has been misconstrued, misinterpreted and misused to fuel peoples own agendas.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: An extremely misconstrued and misinterpreted situation.

He has come out and said that he’s ashamed of those old stupid jokes, and hasn’t made any like it since really.
Also I think that is a very close minded way of thinking about things. Freedom of speech makes it so we can say whatever we want no matter how horrible.
Just because you say something horrible, doesn’t mean that you actually mean it, or that you’re advocating or encouraging something. It goes to that old saying of ‘People should be responsible for themselves.’

But I do agree though about the goats.
”You can be good at so many things, but not be appreciated for one single thing.
For instance- you see that barn over there? I built that barn with my own hands all by myself. But do they call me ”Phill the barn builder!”? No..

Look over there you see that weather balloon? You don’t know this about me sir, but I was one of the first men ever to fly in a weather balloon, but do they go ”
”Hey there’s Phill the weather balloon pioneer!”? No..

And look over there I started that bakery, that dirty bastard Bob has it now- but I’m the guy who started that bakery.
I started that bakery and was the best baker- but does anybody go
”Oh look, there goes Phill the great baker!”? No..

But let me tell you something, you have sex with one goat.
And they go ”There’s Phill the dirty goat fucker!”

Anonymous Coward says:

Oh look, and another STUPID article by a STUPID web "news" author spouting their STUPIID opinion about something (someone) they barely bothered to research before writing said STUPID article.

This is why people do not trust the new, you people put way too much opinion in your articles. That and you all just look at each other’s articles and consider that research.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Did you even read what I wrote, I was simply stating that the information put forward in THIS article, along with so many others is opinionated and should be flagged as such. It’s not like I was spouting out endless torrents about how I want articles to be ”my way, and nothing else”. All I was asking for was some actual transparency about what’s being said, and for people to be responsible and dig a little bit deeper into things before forming solid stances on things.
I don’t think that this is just ”STUPID article by a STUPID web "news" author”
I actually like most of what techdirt stands for, they generally do an actual good job at journalism, backing up what they’re saying with actual facts rather than misguided opinions about people.
All i was doing was pointing out how this article in particular is a bit opinionated, and that it should be marked as such.
I wasn’t implying that ”This is why people do not trust the new, you people put way too much opinion in your articles. That and you all just look at each other’s articles and consider that research.”
I was pointing out how if journalists looked into things (such as this whole pewdiepie issue further) then they would be able to see that he’s not a racist or anything close to that.
The things I linked to were his charity streams, and his various videos addressing the claims of him being racist which prove quite the opposite. I did this to back up my points, something that most people who claim that pew die pie is racist never do.

Wasn’t being toxic, and didn’t intend to be, sorry if I was. I was just criticising the opinionated nature of this article- Which by the way isn’t nearly as bad as any of the others out there but still it adds to the lack of quality journalism in the long run.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I understand that, I was just saying that it’s not always too clear. Cause obviously some articles seem more opinionated than others depending on the subjects. I should have remember that though, sorry about that.
Though I will say that for the general audience of people out there, they normally can’t or don’t care to tell the difference between opinionated pieces and factual ones. Due to everything nowadays being opinionated in some way or another it’s harder to find actual answers. Either way I still think that my points still stand.
Opinionated pieces (everywhere) should be flagged clearly as such and people should back up what they’re saying rather than polluting the news-space with an ill-informed opinion which isn’t backed up in any way.

Btw I mean no disrespect or anything, Techdirt is a very good source of information,- even if it is opinionated, you still reinforce your points with facts and evidence ect. It not just opinions about the surface value of things.
But I do think that in this article in particular it’s a rather ill-informed opinion based on misrepresentations and misinterpretations (purposeful or not) by most news media looking for clicks.
(also sorry to everyone for my bad spelling in my other comments..)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

If PDP gets a bad billing it’s because it was earned. He’s a 20-something acting like a child to entertain kids who have yet to sprout pubes. Soon he’ll age out of his demographic and fade into obscurity. At least he’ll have his millions from YT ads to get by on since he has no actual talent.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I’m saying most other people don’t care about any of that, they take an article and treat it as actual news and facts rather than an opinionated piece. People will do anything to reinforce their misguided opinions.
I understood that It was an opinion piece very well. Though I didn’t make that very clear when I was writing the first comment, either way the points I made still stand.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

How else do you explain all the stuff around PewDiePie then? I agree that he has slipped up sometimes, but most of the articles and ‘news’ surrounding him being racist ect, is all predicated off of very biased and surface level assumptions and fundamentally flawed agendas. As an example the Vox article they linked. And countless others.
I could go on giving example after example and explain each one, but I don’t think I have to, plus I don’t have the time.
Also I don’t think that it’s an oversimplification, is very very simple. most things in life are. People who don’t care, are too irresponsible to look into things further than what’s on the surface, are lazy or that just don’t have the time, will all have their reasons to take ‘news’ at surface level. (Or take opinions and think that they’re news, because – again – they’re only looking at the surfaces of it all, and believing it blindingly (in a way) rather than doing some digging for themselves.
All I’m saying is that people should be responsible enough to form their own opinions properly rather than quickly looking at something and deciding they hate it or whatever. If people were responsible then there wouldn’t be any hubbub about PewDiePie being a racist, which it is very obvious that he’s not when you take the time to look into it.
I should have elaborated more on what I meant when I said ”I’m saying most other people don’t care about any of that, they take an article and treat it as actual news and facts rather than an opinionated piece” But I thought my other comments did that well enough. Which is why I didn’t.

Btw sorry again, if this comment seems aggressive I really don’t mean for that, at all.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

People being too-easily convinced by someone else’s opinion, and deciding to share it, is not the same thing as them being too stupid to understand the difference between opinion and fact. Labeling every Techdirt piece "OPINION" would not change it in the slightest.

You also need to understand that when people talk about PewDiePie being racist, they more often than not are talking about the impact his actions and words have on the world and his fan-base — they aren’t concerned with what does or doesn’t reside in the depths of his heart, since that’s broadly irrelevant.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

I think that either, I’ve not made what I’m trying to say clear, or maybe you’ve not understood what I meant so say properly.

The whole point of what I was saying was that.
The people who I mentioned before, the ones that have a host of reasons to take things at surface level, will use opinionated articles, which they may or may not know are opinionated or not (depending on the articles publishers responsibility to flag their article as opinionated) to either fuel their own arguments, agendas ect, and try to change the world around them based on these flawed opinions.
Essentially all I was asking for was for people to not do this, and for publishers of ‘news’ opinionated or not to try to make steps to ensure that this sort of thing doesn’t happen. basically just asking people to be mature and responsible.

And when it comes to people talking about how ”PewDiePie is racist.”
and how his actions impact his fan base, I’ve made that very clear.
I even provided links to him, himself talking about these issues above.
I was saying that these incredibly misguided assumptions that he is racist, are fueled by pure ignorance and bias for the sake of reinforcing a flawed opinion which was acquired from ill informed, misguide, irresponsible, and opinionated articles which in most cases state their opinions as facts and masquerades as such.
Because it’s very obvious, if you look even a tiny bit into it that he is clearly not a racist in any way. This is not a thing that resides in the depths of his heart.
It’s clear and obvious information. That many people are choosing to ignore.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

This is not a thing that resides in the depths of his heart.

Did you… did you not actually read what I said? Because I specifically said that’s not what people are talking about. Give it another read.

You’re spending a lot of words in an attempt to do a very simple thing: claim that your opinion is actually a simple objective fact, while everyone else is just being uncritical and credulous. You should just admit (to yourself, for starters) that what you’re really describing is a difference of opinion between you and others.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"We’re an opinion site. We always put our opinion in our posts."

Not always. Here was one time when you [wisely] refused to offer any opinion or speculation about a subject, despite the repeated cajoling from readers who were desperate to hear from someone they hoped would help break it down and straighten out all the wild conspiracy theories raging across the internet at the time.

"To date, I had avoided all of the stories both about the allegations against Julian Assange in Sweden, as well as his arrest this morning. But people keep asking us to cover it. Frankly, I’m not sure what to say about it. … I have no idea what happened between Assange and those two women in Sweden and it’s difficult to see how adding any commentary on the matter at this stage really adds anything to the discussion."

Concerned scoentist says:

This is not a stupid battle this is literally deciding who the face of the platform is many want the face to be one person. And YouTubes old slogan is “Broadcast yourself” now it’s we’ll fuckin sue ya for making a diss track and block your 2 songs in other country’s so your news website can unkindly fuck off.

Anonymous Coward says:

Cursory review of Pewdiepie’s videos on the topic show that he treats the entire experience as light-hearted competition. Acknowledges the awkwardness of being center of the event. Uses the spotlight of the event to [i]fund-raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for children in India[/i]. Repeatedly reminds his fans to keep it legal. The diss track right on the heels of the fundraiser was clear good-fun humor with the fun oil becoming soured after legal action was thrown in.

Digital media makes their clicks on dragging high-profile people into the spotlight for character assassination. Outrage = shares and clicks for ad bucks. Thus drag Pewdiepie out as a favored slow-Wednesday topic to deride, knowing that his large following will be angered by mischaracterizations.

Those not engaged on YouTube have no context as to how wholesome Pewdiepie conducts himself. The only context many are introduced is that put out by digital media channels maligning his character. The digital media never reports on the frequent charity work and fundraising Pewdiepie has performed. The intent of coverage is always to outrage his fans and drive outrage clicks.

The business model of digital media today is completely rotten. Pewdiepie does not deserve the negative treatment.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Uh, yes it does. He is a troll. The "troll brigade" likes him. Of course that isn’t entirely his fault, but what one chooses to do when one is popular has consequences outside the end of a video. It’s his full time job. That he doesn’t care, and doesn’t take it seriously, says something about him.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Put it this way.

Mythbusters and Jackass both have very prominent "Don’t try any of this at home" warnings, because the messages of their shows are otherwise "Blowing shit up is awesome" and "Doing mortality-defying stunts is awesome," respectively. And those messages are quite genuine: Jackass doesn’t stop doing stupid stunts because they do think that those stunts are awesome (if you have the training to not-die while attempting them), and, similarly, the Mythbusters really do think that explosions are cool (given appropriate training and safety precautions), which is why they kept destroying poor Buster right up until the series finale.

And that’s fair. The warning is acknowledging that without constantly warning people not to replicate what they see on screen, these shows would probably inspire all sorts of injuries. Heck, they probably do anyway, because certain audiences (e.g. teenagers) aren’t good at listening to warnings. By providing the warning, they’re at least exercising a measure of due diligence. That is, they know that by showing this stuff on screen, it’s going to inspire people to do something dangerous, so they need to have it on record that they shouldn’t.

So, when someone tells me that PewDiePie has a recurring content warning of "Don’t do anything illegal," it makes me wonder why he thinks his channel would inspire illegal behaviour. That it’s something intrinsic to the content he’s posting. And, if that’s the case, why he doesn’t do something about the content, rather than issuing a content warning.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

In an article about the ridiculousness of court rulings, you choose this route…

So here’s mine. 😀 Fuck Pewds, fuck his fans, fuck his charity work, and fuck his stupid little books.

He still has every right to do whatever, and if he were clever he’d move off YT. He has the money. (But that might actually be, like, work or something.)

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