French YouTube Star Plagiarized Videos by Translating Them

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Popular vlogger Mathieu Richard was trending yesterday for all the wrong reasons. The French teen, whose hit channel Math Podcast (a play on his name, not an invigorating educational activity) has over 430,000 subscribers, began trending after some web sleuths and other YouTubers called him out on stealing their video scripts and remaking them.

This is not a Fine Bros. situation, in which Richard only aped another user’s format. He is accused of copying other videos in terms of both writing and visual technique.

A video uploaded yesterday lays it all out pretty well. Soon after, #MathPodcastPlagiat began trending on Twitter.

One of the plagiarized, Motoki Maxted, told BuzzFeed that he was aware of Richard’s behavior beforehand, and had even communicated with him about it. In Twitter DMs, he repeatedly asked Richard to simply add a link to his profile in the videos’ description.

Richard went on the radio to cop to translating and using American videos without credit. “I’ve loved making videos since I was young, but there is something I cannot do, which is write,” he said.

The weird thing about this situation is that this dustup seems entirely avoidable. Non-English speakers had no use for the original videos, and so Richard was filling a need. People repurpose content online all the time, so this issue isn’t particularly unique. The problem is more that Richard wasn’t crediting the original filmmakers. And in the case of at least one of them, Maxted, that’s all they wanted.