The creators of the popular YouTube channel H3H3Productions say they’ve already spent $200,000 to battle a lawsuit against them over copyright infringement. A verdict in the case is expected soon.
The couple, Ethan and Hila Klein, are being sued in court over a reaction video (now deleted from their channel) they made in 2016 about Mr. Bean impersonator Matt Hoss, also known as The Bold Guy. Their criticism is no different than any other of their productions, but it’s something the thin-skinned Hoss took grave offense to.
The reaction video is clearly a derivative remix, and would appear to be protected under YouTube’s own fair use policies. But the court may not see things that way.
The Kleins said that they had to switch attorneys earlier on, and have already paid $54,000 of their own money in legal fees. YouTuber Phillip DeFranco raised $150,000 to help them with legal costs.
“It’s fucked no matter what happens,” said Ethan. “I’m just wondering, if we didn’t have the backing and support of all you guys, and the means to throw $50,000 of our own money to defend this case, how would we ever stand up to this?”
In response, Matt Hoss took to Reddit to complain about the Kleins. Under the “AgentPao” pseudonym, which he previously used on their subreddit, the YouTuber claimed that the Kleins “ripped 75% of an independent creator’s most successful video without so much as asking permission” and attempted to justify his actions to readers on r/KotakuInAction. Responders pointed out Hoss’ deliberate attempt to misrepresent the situation and downvoted his post into oblivion.