Skillshare suspended my profile in April 2019 for the most ridiculous thing that’s happened to my business online so far. They took all of my courses down despite me teaching online since 2015 and despite no active policy violations. I’ll show you what happened here. Let’s take a look at the screenshot.
This is the email I got at the end of April in 2019 from Susannah from skillshare’s trust and safety team. They got a DMCA notice on behalf of SUPERLIGA Argentina citing my entire Skillshare profile, not a specific class. You can see it says, “We have a zero-tolerance policy for fraudulent activity and violations of intellectual property and copyright.” Clearly, this is a form email now fortunately at the bottom of it you can see it says, “If you feel that your site was mistakenly removed due to a DMCA request, you may contact Google with receipt of a DMCA counter-notification. Skillshare cannot perform any judgments on behalf of the copyright holder. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding in this matter.”
Yes, I understand very clearly that this is ridiculous. I googled because I knew nothing about this. I googled and I said, “Well, who is SUPERLIGA Argentina?” It seemed impossible that I could have anything that caused them a problem on their profile. So, I googled it and turns out that SUPERLIGA Argentina is a football team in Argentina. Really, it’s a football league and one of their teams is named Banfield. Are you seeing this come together? Their football team is named Banfield and they submitted a whole bunch of DMCA takedown requests to anything that looked like it might have football games on it including my Skillshare profile named Jerry Banfield. It got caught in the crossfire of a whole bunch of DMC takedown notices including my Patreon URL.
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Now, Google did keep my Patreon profile. Google ignored the DMCA takedown request on my Patreon profile but for some reason, they honored it on my Skillshare profile. Thus, as you can see by the instructions, I followed up with this by sending a counter-notification to Google saying, “This is my content. I have full copyright to it, put it back up. And I didn’t even realize in my research that they had not even taken the Patreon one down. The Patreon URL was included in the DMCA takedown with the Skillshare URL but Google didn’t take that one down but they did take the Skillshare one down.
As you can see in the image above, I got a confirmation from Google that said it would be reinstated and 10 days or so after this, Google reinstated my Skillshare profile URL. How long do you think it took Skillshare to put my profile back up? Almost a month. Skillshare took my profile down apparently. They received this DMCA notice 24 to 48 hours before they sent this email. They immediately took my whole profile down with nearly 100 courses on it. When I submitted the request to Google, it put the URL back up within 10 days. Skillshare took a long time to put the URL of my profile back up.
Finally, though Skillshare did put my profile back up and now after putting my profile back up, I’m getting more minutes watched than ever. As you can see in the image above, my profile was down and Skillshare did not pay me for any of the minutes watched in April as a result of this and they did not send payment at all in May. They said they would send one in June but it actually arrived in July. Maybe once my profile went offline, students started to miss me or something I don’t know but the minutes watched have gone crazy. I did put up a few new Skillshare courses until they gave me a strike on one of my new courses. I realized, “Why am I wasting time with this platform that’s proven to take my profile down at the drop of a hat even if it’s ridiculous? Despite all that I’ve done for Skillshare, why am I even telling anyone about this and trying to refer people there?”
If you look at my referrals, I’ve referred 1,348 people to Skillshare. I’m grateful I’ve earned $13,000 referring people to Skillshare. The question is, how much would I’ve earned if I hadn’t referred people to Skillshare? If I would have instead do what I’m doing now and say, “Hey, subscribe to my Youtube channel, turn those notifications on, follow me on my Facebook, join my Partner Program, get a sponsored video.” How much would I have earned if I would have done that instead of sending people over and over again to Skillshare? The nice thing is, when you subscribe on YouTube, there are good odds that my YouTube profile will stay up. Same with my Facebook page and the same with my partner program and a sponsored video.
Thus, this whole DMCA takedown has totally violated my trust on Skillshare. They didn’t even have the decency to send me an email beforehand and say, “Hey, this looks a bit weird that an Argentinian football team would do a DMCA request on your profile. Are you going to do a counter-notification? Maybe we’ll wait a little while and see if you’re doing a counter-notification before we take your whole profile down.” The skillshare’s email said that it was hard to put my profile back up with all those courses on it and I realized there is a legal responsibility to take a profile down with a DMCA request. However, why not email somebody right away and say, “Hey, are you going to do a counter-notification on this? If so, that’ll help us keep your profile up instead of doing all the work to take it down and all the work to put it back up.”
I totally do not trust Skillshare anymore as a platform and now I’m hearing stories from other instructors that have been banned through automated methods that weren’t even related to anything DMCA, completely automated ban, instant ban of the account and on other instructors who got hit with 3 strikes all at once and got their entire profile banned. Even though they didn’t have any problems uploading the same courses on other platforms. Thus, I hope this story is useful to you. if you’d like to see, I still have my referral program up on Skillshare. So, if you want access to 30,000 courses on Skillshare, many of them on Udemy for $15 a month, you can use my referral link at Jerry.tips/skillshare and help me earn some more money and watch my Skillshare courses while my profile is still up.
This has been an honest and truthful criticism video of Skillshare for my experience with them. Now, they could use it as an excuse to get rid of my profile if they want to. What I’m doing now is, I’m not even checking my profile anymore. I don’t care what happens on Skillshare. I’ll take the money every month and focus on my business now. Thanks to this Skillshare relationship going south that I am now focusing full-time on YouTube videos that are helpful for you. I trust you subscribe or hit those notifications and follow to make sure you see them. If you want the best way to work with me, join that Partner Program at Jerry.tips/partner. That’s my one program that covers all of my coachings, anything you’d want to do to work with me and my partner program is my catch-all. You get a one-on-one call, group coaching every week, private label rights to all my courses. If you’d like me to do a sponsored video on a topic of your choice, just go to Jerry.tips/sponsored and this is how I am staying in business. You can also follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and Linkedin.
Now instead of relying on platforms like Skillshare and Udemy did ban me on a very similar arbitrary “let’s just make up some policy violations”. These big platforms are not trustworthy to build your entire business on because they don’t care about you at all and it’s in their best interest to constantly ban people because they get to keep all the users and the customers and they get to stop paying you. Skillshare has a self-interested incentive to ban me because students are watching my courses. They’ll watch somebody else’s courses if I’m banned but I’ve brought all kinds of students to Skillshare and if Skillshare bans me, well I don’t get anything and they get to keep all the students. Thank you for making it to the very end of this post. I love you. You’re awesome and I’ll see you in the next post.