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  • Got a License for that YouTube Channel? 

    Got a License for that YouTube Channel?

    Justin Chandler was shocked and confused when he was given a citation for operating a business out of his home without first obtaining a license.

    Unlike many people who run home-based businesses, Chandler doesn’t actually sell anything. In fact, he doesn’t even provide a service. He does, however, run a successful YouTube channel, which, according to officials in Cobb County, Georgia, means Chandler qualifies as a small business owner.

    Internet Famous

    Known to his subscribers as “KOSDFF,” Chandler has become a well-known personality in the world of online gaming. In only a few short years, he has gained hundreds of thousands of social media followers and almost a million YouTube subscribers.  

    Capitalizing on his channel’s popularity, Chandler was able to monetize his views and earn enough money to quit his day job and focus on creating video content full-time.

    While many would applaud his drive and entrepreneurial spirit, the county has instead chosen to reprimand Chandler and his roommates for earning a living without first seeking the government’s permission.   

    Recently, Chandler and five of his fellow vloggers decided to move in together in order to spend even more time working on their projects, with the ultimate goal of earning more money. Choosing a home in Cobb County, Georgia, the roommates had no idea they were violating any local statutes.

    A Pesky Neighbor

    Unfortunately, multiple roommates meant multiple cars parked in the driveway and on the street, which bothered several neighbors. Instead of doing the neighborly thing, and expressing their concerns to Chandler and his roommates directly, the residents took their complaint straight to their local homeowners association, who in turn went straight to county officials.

    Originally, the complaint was based on local zoning laws which classified Chandler’s home as a “single family dwelling.” Since Chandler and his colleagues are not related, this gave the country cause to dig deeper into the situation.

    Upon discovering that Chandler and his roommates were all professional YouTube personalities, the county sent the vloggers a citation threatening to fine the housemates $136 per day and evict them if they refused to comply with their demands.

    When Dana Johnson, director of Cobb County’s Community Development Agency was asked about the situation, she stated, “If he is producing content and receiving revenue from the content produced at his home, then he is running a business and must file for a business license.” She continued, “Just because he makes an occupation in a manner that is new and innovative does not relieve him of his obligation to pay business taxes, just as all other businesses are required to do.”

    Everybody’s Tube

    Every day, millions of Americans upload videos to YouTube and it is safe to speculate that a majority of these individuals do not have business licenses. For vloggers who have been able to monetize their channels, there is also no absolute certainty that they will reach the same levels of success as Chandler. In many cases, monetization means earning somewhere around $1 per 25 views.

    If Cobb County believes that any amount of revenue constitutes a need to obtain a business license, as their own representative stated, then those bringing in only mediocre funds may also be forced to obtain licenses that may cost more than the revenue they are generating.  

    Enforcing this law locally in Cobb County, Georgia might seem insignificant, but setting this precedent could very well impact the entire vlogging community.

    If there is one thing all governments love, it’s finding a way to profit from the success of entrepreneurs. If Cobb County can penalize Chandler and his roommates, it is only a matter of time before other local municipalities begin cracking down on their vloggers as well.  

    Chandler expressed his thoughts on the matter saying, “This extremely unique and rare scenario poses the question: [Does] filming and uploading YouTube videos from your home constitute the home as a business? Does it matter how many views I have or how much income I make from it? Because to be honest, I do the same thing millions of other Americans do.”

    Brittany Hunter

    Brittany Hunter is an associate editor at FEE.

    This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

  • County threatens to fine family for having ‘too many cars in driveway’

    Cobb County is telling a Kennesaw family to apply for permission to park their kids’ cars in their own driveway.

    The Oviedo family got a notice of violation for having four cars in the driveway. The family has relatives visiting and two kids home from college.

    “I am angry. I am beyond angry. I don’t see how the government can tell me whose cars I can park in my own driveway,” said Kim Oviedo.

    They got a visit Friday from code enforcement, acting on an anonymous complaint. The neighborhood is zoned an Open Space Community. A recent rule changed, and enacted a limit of two cars parked in the drive.

    “The fact that my kid’s home from college and now I’m a law breaker I guess,” said neighbor Mark Talley, who has three cars for the summer too.

    “I love Cobb County. I love living here and generally I’m a fan of what we do, but it seems to not make a whole lot of sense.”

    After Channel 2 consumer investigator Jim Strickland got the county on the phone, officials decided to let the issue slide this summer, but put the family on notice next summer would require a permit to park four cars in the driveway.

    “I’m having to pay to park on a property that I already pay tax on,” said Oviedo.

    Source: County threatens to fine family for having ‘too many cars in… | www.wsbtv.com

  • Georgia Cop Who Killed Teen Was Fired From Previous Police Job

    The Georgia cop who killed a teenager last month who was allegedly holding a video game controller — not a gun — was fired from her previous job, where she received numerous reprimands, personnel records show.

    Euharlee police Cpl. Beth Gatny is on paid administrative leave after the Feb. 14 shooting death of Christopher Roupe, 17, at his home in Bartow County in north Georgia.

    Christopher’s family say the Junior ROTC member who wanted to join the Marines was holding a Wii controller when he answered a knock on the door from Gatny and a second cop who were there to serve a warrant on his father. The police affidavit claims Christopher had a pistol in his hand.

    The Georgia Bureau of Investigation hasn’t yet issued its report saying who’s right.
    A police officer shot and killed Christopher Roupe, 17, when he opened the door of his Bartow County, Ga., home on Feb. 14.
    Personnel records obtained by NBC station WXIA of Atlanta show Gatny was fired from the police department in Acworth, a suburb of Atlanta, after a 10-year stint there, for failing to report to work. Her claims for disability compensation were rejected as “not medically supported,” according to the records, and she joined Euharlee police nine months ago.

    Gatny’s Acworth records also show four car accidents in two years and reprimands for refusing to follow orders and for leaving her weapon with a civilian while she had her picture taken, WXIA reported.

    And in an odd parallel to the shooting of Christopher, Gatny was investigated in 2008 for having fired her service weapon at a suspect who was trying to remove his backpack because she believed the suspect was going for a gun, the records show — even though her partner said he never thought the suspect was armed.

    Source: Georgia Cop Who Killed Teen Was Fired From Previous Police Job