Youtooz’s Corruption

Ayla Wise and Cici F

For legal reasons, this is about the alleged issues with Youtooz

 

“Collectibles of the internet’s greatest, made for me and you,” is on the website of the company Youtooz, an online company that sells collectible figurines and plushies of popular internet stars . Hundreds of thousands have bought from this company, enjoying the figurines and plushies of their favourite memes and streamers. Youtooz will often collaborate with internet sensations to make a cute collectible of them. A few of the streamers the brand has collaborated in the past with include Mr. Beast, Technoblade, Tubbo, Tommyinnit, Dream, Sad-ist, and Karl Jacobs. Usually, there would be nothing wrong with a corporation collaborating with an influencer; but there is when the company is stealing designs from artists, without so much as a public apology. Youtooz has allegedly stolen from multiple fan artists while passing the designs off as their own, with little or no compensation to the victims.

“Technoplane” is a term that every fan of the Minecraft youtuber Technoblade knows. Because of this, Youtooz was able to collaborate with the youtuber to make both a plush and figurine toy, which roughly sold for thirty(for the figurine) and sixty(for the plush) dollars. However, how did Youtooz make that design? Well, the short answer is, they didn’t, at least with the original design. An artist, who goes by the online name WinnieSunFlo, had originally made Technoplane as an emote in Technoblades discord server. They had originally given permission to the youtuber to use it as an emote, but was later confused when his drawing seemed to be copied by Youtooz. WinneSunFlo posted about it on their Twitter, with images (shown left) to show when they had originally made the drawing. WinneSunFlo states that they do not want to bring the streamer into the controversy, due to it not being his fault (the emote was later taken off of the youtube channel and discord server as per the artist’s request). 

WinnieSunFlo contacted Youtooz over plagiarism. Youtooz, “offered me credit and a free technoplane in return which was okay but that was all they offered. I should have been given compensation for just taking my work without asking.” In the description of the Technoplane figurine it states, “…At 5 inches tall and 4.7 inches wide, this collectible was inspired by @milesilesiles’ cute emote from a Technoblade stream…”. Ordinarily, minus the lack of compensation, this would not be a major issue. However, the name mentioned in the description is now non-existent. The account was deactivated, as WinneSunFlo had already left the minecraft youtuber community at that point, and the original creator had asked for Youtooz to update it. After rechecking the description of the Technoplane figurine, it is still apparent that Youtooz has not updated the description, allowing little credit to go to the artist.

Another large issue with Youtooz is their compensation. Artists who they have stolen designs off of have received inappropriate or insufficient compensation. An artist who goes by the online name, tubbodisk, had originally posted a plush design of the minecraft streamer, Ranboo, tagging Youtooz in the post. Soon, the plush design for Ranboo came out, and it is a carbon copy of tubbodisk’s design(Shown left). tubbodisk had stated that he enjoyed the fact that Ranboo enjoyed his design. Youtooz then privately messaged tubbodisk and offered five hundred dollars and a free plushie (of what the artist designed) for the design rights.

tubbodisk had originally joked about being mad at Youtooz when they first stole their design. However, it seems as though Youtooz has not appropriately compensated- or credited- tubbodisk for their work. When looking at tubbodisk’s recent Twitter posts, it seems that since they have had a little more time to reflect on what happened, they want actual representation for their work. We have reached out to tubbodisk, asking how they felt about Youtooz. We received a response, but due to censorship issues, we were unable to put it in this document.

It’s not only fan-artists that are having their work stolen, but so are the owners of copyrighted images. Youtooz had released a CallMeCarson- Pupper-Nelson figurine. However, the owner of PupperNelson had fought back against this brand, stating underneath the image, “Cool, guys. Cool. Just use the likeness of my dog for profit without asking me for permission or even crediting the source of the (copyrighted) photo you’re basing the figure off of. Really cool. Stop.” When people had told PupperNelson that the figurine was not a big enough issue to constitute action, (though they own the rights to the image), PupperNelson responded, “I’m 100% cool with people using the photo for creativity and jokes. My issue is w/ someone charging $30 for a commercial product based on Nelson’s image.” Youtooz later sent PupperNelson a message(shown right) asking to collaborate with them. PupperNelson refused.

Ironically enough, even though they are dealing with stolen images and art allegations, they seemed to have no issue with copyright striking Redbubble artists, who had shown the Jschlatt (another youtuber/streamer) as a ram, which is a typical way fan artists draw the creator. Youtooz has stated that this was a mistake by Redbubble, and that it would soon be resolved (it’s unclear by my research if it was resolved). 

Perhaps the last piece of damning evidence that we were able to put in this article is how Youtooz bullied a fourteen year old for buying a website that they wanted. The teenager, who went by the online name Alexxx, had bought a domain name and website, which was called uwuooz.com. If you check the pictures to the right, you will see that that the company wanted the rights to the website, and when Alexxx said no, they banned them from their subreddit, refunded their plush orders from their website, and asked Alexxx’s parents to sell it to them (who did not have ownership of the site.). A few months later the website was sold to the company, and Alexxx has not spoken about it since. Alexxx has completely disappeared from social media, which people have speculated to be because of an N.D.A. 

Youtooz themselves have not clearly addressed the issues. They have left obscure remarks about the allegations on their social media, without directly referencing the artists. We have messaged and emailed Youtooz asking them to comment on the allegations, but have received no contact. 

In all, it does not seem like the issues with Youtooz will be resolved anytime soon. Many of the artists they have allegedly stolen from were minors, and had no means to get the legal representation they needed. These issues have received very little attention from social media, and we all know that with corporations, unless they are put under immense pressure, they will not change. By stealing designs and images from artists, Youtooz have painted themselves as a very infamous character in the art community. We can only keep spreading evidence and supporting the original artists if we want anything to be done.