Two YouTubers have been told to pay $6,000 (£4,600) or risk losing their YouTube channel completely.
MxR and Potastic Panda are known for making videos where they react to memes and other online content.
But it turns out four videos they watched have been bought up by a media company, which has slapped them with a bill for infringing its copyright.
And unless they pay, their channel could now be removed due to the nuances of YouTube’s copyright system.
A channel receives a strike against it if a copyright owner formally notifies YouTube that a copyright infringement has taken place. Receiving three strikes, according to Google, results in a YouTube channel being “subject to termination”.
MxR Plays is a YouTube channel which often involves ‘reaction videos’ – where people film themselves reacting to anything from memes to movie trailers.
MxR and Potastic Panda, the YouTubers who host the channel, say they have received four copyright claims in the same bill from Jukin Media, with Google yet to be notified. Their joint channel has 840,000 subscribers – and MxR has a personal following of more than two million.
MxR tweeted his concerns that because of the ‘three strikes’ rule, if he doesn’t pay up Jukin Media could contact Google with all four claims at once and potentially “take down” the channel.
“Today we got hit with a huge bill of $6,000,” said MxR in a YouTube video viewed 1.3 million times. “I think it’s because in the past we’ve paid them about $2,000 (£1,500).
“If you don’t pay they’ll start striking your channel – they’ll basically remove our channel if we don’t pay them.”