YouTube’s decision to tighten its restrictions on firearms videos continues to produce a significant ripple effect. Oregon-based gun manufacturer Radian Weapons is suing the owner of the GY6 YouTube channel, alleging that he didn’t deliver the promised results of a sponsored content deal in part because the video ran afoul of YouTube’s guidelines for advertiser-friendly content.
Last September, GY6 owner Andrew Boetjer agreed to create a video in which he shot object at point-blank range with Radian weaponry. After creating the video, Boetjer made it unlisted on YouTube, possibly because YouTube had spend much of 2017 demonetizing firearms videos, which it deemed unfriendly for advertisers. As a result, Radian says that a link to its website posted in the description of the GY6 video has generated only four clicks.
Based on that series of events, Radian is claiming that Boetjer signed the deal in bad faith, knowing that he would not be able to generate significant traffic for the manufacturer. Radian is reportedly seeking more than $15,000 in lost revenue. “Because of the change in YouTube’s advertising policy, GY6 was losing revenue and was desperate to find new sources of income,” the lawsuit alleges.
Boetjer is certainly not the only gun videomaker who is hurting for income. Due to YouTube’s restrictions, which recently got stricter, some creators have chosen to take their business to any platform that can offer significant revenue. For Boetjer, the answer has been Patreon, where GY6 has nearly 300 patrons. Meanwhile, there haven’t been any new videos on the GY6 YouTube channel in more than two months.
Radian filed its lawsuit on April 6 in Oregon’s Deschutes County Circuit Court.