Just in case there are a few people who haven’t been following the NonSequitur Show drama over the last year or so, let me do a quick TL:DR. My name is Steve MMcRae and in late 2017 I started a podcast and YouTube channel called the NonSequitur show with a 50/50 partner Kyle R. Curtis. The show was pretty popular and over about a year's time earned around $60,000. When it came time to pay me, after April 15, tax day, Mr. Curtis refused to show me the financials, wouldn’t pay me, then removed me and the producer from the channel and took all the money and told me to sue him.
Which I did.
On Jan 23rd, 2020 The Honorable James L. Gale, in a partial default judgement (ECF 17) and ruling of the court, ordered Mr. Curtis to return to me The NonSequitur Show YouTube channel and all related assets which, Mr. Curtis to this day, is an action he has still failed to perform.¹ Additionally Judge Gale found Mr. Curtis liable for fraud, fraudulent conversion, unfair and deceptive trade practices, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract. Because Mr. Curtis refused to obey the ruling of the court the judge had issued an order on a Motion for Order to Show Cause (ECF 26), however, due to the COVID-19 outbreak courts were shut down and we are still waiting for a hearing date for Mr. Curtis to show the court why he should not be held in contempt.
Fast forward to more recently.
On May 29th Mr. Curtis, a prior convicted felon, made a conscious decision to commit possibly another felony by walking in the same footsteps as infamous YouTuber Brett Keane. A YouTuber notoriously known for filing false DMCA’s as weapons to try to take down videos and/or shut down YouTube channels. For on that day Mr. Curtis, in an attempt to merely harass me, issued my main channel “Steve McRae” a false copyright strike from...yes, you guessed it, from the NonSequitur Show channel. Upon doing so I, and my lawyer, believe that Mr. Curtis willfully committed an act of perjury as when you sign a DMCA you are swearing under oath and penalty of law that you own the copyright that someone else has infringed upon. Mr. Curtis willfully knew that the NonSequitur show channel was legally mine including all copyright and related business assets for the show as per the ruling of Judge Gale in the aforementioned case and ruling above. This is a clear case of perjury prima facie.
But, guess what, it doesn’t stop there. Nope. Mr. Curtis then continued to issue 3 more false DMCA notices preventing me from streaming or even uploading videos for effectively the entire month of June. Remember Mr. Curtis had already stolen $60,000 which could lead to possible criminal charges when the civil matter is resolved, and now he has now possibly committed 4 counts of perjury where the evidence is clear he lied under oath. We have already contacted law enforcement in N.C. to try to get a special prosecutor, District Attorney to take the case, or file federal charges under 18 U.S. Code § 1621, and also have notified Judge Gale (ECF 27) of the abuse by DMCA and perjury.²
This case may be precedent in many regards. First regarding the legal standing of business partnerships on YouTube, second someone getting a DMCA notice from their own channel that they legally own, but don’t have primary ownership because the person who committed fraud has it, and first time someone may be indicted for perjury for filing a false DMCA.
YouTube in 2019 sued copyright troll Chris Brady under 17 U.S. Code § 512(f) when he was using them to extort money from content creators resulting in a judgement to YouTube for $25,000. I could sue Mr. Curtis under 17 U.S. Code § 512(f), but I am already in litigation with Mr. Curtis for the $30,000 (half of the $60,000 he stole) that he owes me now. If however some intellectual property lawyer wanted to take this case pro bono for the publicity it may receive as being a very unique YouTube case I would probably be just fine with that, but I’m still weighing all my legal options.
Because of not being able to stream I am losing a significant amount of revenue along with just having spent several thousands of dollars on legal fees and lawyers on defending myself against accusations against one of Mr. Curtis's former co-host which I can’t at the moment discuss, but many may be well aware of. I am starting a GoFundMe to recoup my legal costs and loss of revenue from false DMCA’s, and for past and future filing fees by asking the communities to help me as I have helped others in the past. I am not looking to make a profit, just merely to break even when all the dust settles and I can stream again. As most know as don’t make a lot as a YouTuber, which I do full time and combined expenditure and loss of revenue of approximately $5,000 is astronomically significant to me...especially when I was already defrauded out of $30,000 by Mr. Curtis.
Even if you can’t help with the fundraiser, please help share this GoFundme to make YouTube and other content creators aware of the situation as I have written then multiple times and just get automated responses and/or a representative who has no real authority as I would like YouTube to help in the investigation.
While I offer nothing in return for those helping me with gifting me support here, every single name who does I will remember and thank them appropriately.
N.C. Mandatory Complex Business Court
McRae v. Curtis
(ECF 17) “21. Plaintiff is entitled to recover administrative control of the Channel as its rightful owner.
IT IS THEREFORE ADJUDGED, ORDERED, AND DECREED THAT: a. Defendant shall return administrative control and primary ownership rights of the NonSequitur podcast, YouTube Channel, and other accounts associated with the parties’ business endeavor, to Plaintiff;”
² (ECF 27) “In order to submit a copyright takedown notice to YouTube, the submitting party must assert under penalty of perjury that the complaint is accurate.”
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